Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review- "Outliers"

Okay, I am going to add a book review to the blog from time to time. I love to read and analyze what I am reading.

This week's book review is, "Outliers," by Malcom Gladwell. I am a huge Gladwell fan. I heard him at Catalyst in 2005. I read "The Tipping Point" as well. Wonderful book.

This book is very interesting. Gladwell does a great job, as he did in "The Tipping Point," at studying facts of culture through intense research and revealing those principles to us. "Outliers" is all about extreme stories of success and failure, and the principles behind it. Gladwell studies some of the richest people in history, the success of pro hockey players and plane crashes. He gives you transferrable principles of success and failure.

The Good Stuff:

This book is not one of thoughts and opinions, but facts. From the research on the Beatles to the Plane Crashes of Seoul, it is tethered in facts. I would read through, write down the principle and memorize it. These principles have given me a new perspective on ministry.

-If you hear of a phenomenal success story; study the principles of how it happened. There are advantages and opportunities that the person had that another person will not have. Success stories are WAY MUCH MORE than hard work and determination. They have breaks. They have support. They have advantages that another person in their situation may have not had. (Pastors- please here that. Don't go to a conference and hear this crazy success story and then put that as your goal.) It is phenomenal for a reason.

The Okay Stuff (don't want to say bad):

This book is a hard read. It is very involved and you cannot skim read it. You cannot zone out and still get it. You have to hunker down and read it. Sometimes Gladwell belabors the point. At points there is too much information.

'The Tipping Point" was a little more interesting to me than "Outliers," but Gladwell's style is: A lot of research and information; then a small principle to cap it off.

I would recommend any leader to read this book for the fact that we have a warped view on how people reach successful statuses. As a pastor, it freed me up. Our denominational leaders bring in these talking heads with the same story; started with no people, no money in the account, did not know how to read the Bible, everyone in the town were atheists, they had a vision and boom----- 5 years later, 16,000 people. We go with these stories of non-sense and are not told the "unseen" factors that contributed to their success. They had advantages. They had key relationships with important people. They had financial support. The stories are tainted.

Gladwell shows you the story behind the story.

*All commentary is Kevin's opinion and does not really count in the scheme of things.....

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