Malcolm Gladwell


Canadian Journalist, Author and Speaker

Author Quotes

In order to get one of the greatest inventions of the modern age, in other words, we thought we needed the solitary genius. But if Alexander Graham Bell had fallen into the Grand River and drowned that day back in Brantford, the world would still have had the telephone, the only difference being that the telephone company would have been nicknamed Ma Gray, not Ma Bell.

It's the boiling point. It's the moment when the line starts to shoot straight upwards.

Our unconscious is really good at quick decision-making ? it often delivers a better answer than more deliberate and exhaustive ways of thinking.

Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.

The futility of something is not always (in love and in politics) a sufficient argument against it.

The velocity of a stone released from David?s sling was the equivalent of a 45-calibar handgun.

Under time pressure, they began to behave just as people do when they are highly aroused. They stopped relying on the actual evidence of their senses and fell back on a rigid and unyielding system, a stereotype.

When we understand how much culture and history and the world outside of the individual matter to professional success--then ... We have a way to successes out of the unsuccessful.

In the general American population, 3.9 percent of adult men are six foot two or taller. Among my CEO sample, almost a third were six foot two or taller.

I've always been drawn to those who are exceptional or weird in some way... and the book is about people whose achievement exceeds every expectation. What surprised me most were the ordinary methods successful people use to achieve all they achieve.

Our unconscious reactions come out of a locked room, and we can't look inside that room. but with experience we become expert at using our behavior and our training to interpret - and decode - what lies behind our snap judgment and first impressions.

Success is not a function of individual talent. It's the steady accumulation of advantages. It's bound up in so many other broader circumstantial, environmental, historical, and cultural factors.

The great accomplishment of Jobs' life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection.

The very thing that made the giant so intimidating was the source of his greatest weakness.

Understanding the true nature of instinctive decision making requires us to be forgiving of those people trapped in circumstances where good judgment is imperiled.

When you remove time, de Becker says, you are subject to the lowest-quality intuitive reaction.

Incompetence annoys me. Overconfidence terrifies me.

I've been in auditions without screens, and I can assure you that I was prejudiced. I began to listen with my eyes, and there is no way that your eyes don't affect your judgment. The only true way to listen is with your ears and your heart.

Our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way. I think that approach is a mistake, and if we are to learn to improve the quality of the decisions we make, we need to accept the mysterious nature of our snap judgments. We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that ? sometimes ? we?re better off that way.

Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.

The issue isn?t the accuracy of the bombs you have, it?s how you use the bombs you have ? and more importantly, whether you ought to use bombs at all.

The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.

We are not helpless in the face of our first impressions. They may bubble up from the unconscious - from behind a locked door inside of our brain - but just because something is outside of awareness doesn't mean it's outside of control.

Whenever we have something that we are good at--something we care about--that experience and passion fundamentally change the nature of our first impressions.

Innovation: the heart of the knowledge economy is fundamentally social.

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Canadian Journalist, Author and Speaker