Have you ever wondered if there’s a formula for success? Some may say intelligence is a major key factor in determining one’s success. However in the book “Outliers” , Malcolm Gladwell gives a solid amount of examples of successful “outliers” that did not succeed solely on intelligence.
Gladwell even gives his theories on success, and states various ideologies on the key indicators of success. Malcolm Gladwell’s principles is significant due to modern institutes hardly taking into account of a students skills, talent, potential, and much rather focus on intelligence such as SAT scores, grades, and academics. Success revolves around opportunities, practical intelligence and advantages because cases given in Outliers such as; Bill Gates, and Robert Oppenheimer succeeded with these 3 components. .
Bill Gates was also born into a wealthy family. At the age of 13, Gates was transferred to a private school, named Lakeside. With the money from the Mother’s Club annual rummage sale, Lakeside bought a computer for the students. After a while, a program from University of Washington formed a program that would give free computer time to locals. Gates lived near the University of Washington, which gave him lead him to spend over 30 hours a week in the computer lab. A few years later, Gates dropped out of Harvard to pursue a company, Microsoft, with a few of his friends. “Through sheer brilliance and ambition and guts builds it into the giant of the software world.
“(Pg.50, Paragraph 3, Gladwell). Bill Gates’ biggest advantage was being transferred to Lakeside. “Opportunity number one was that Gates got sent to Lakeside.How many high schools in the world had access to time-sharing terminal in 1968?”(Pg.54, Paragraph 2, Gladwell).
Gladwell focuses on Gates’ advantage of being transferred to Lakeside. Lakeside was one of the biggest advantages to Gates because it sparked the interest of programming and provided a workspace. Which eventually, lead to Gates successfully starting up Microsoft. Robert Oppenheimer was born into a wealthy family,who acknowledged his intelligence. Oppenheimer attended Harvard and Cambridge to pursue a doctorate in physics.Oppenheimer’s family provided a tutor however, Robert attempted to poison his tutor. Oppenheimer only received probation and had to attend therapy on a daily basis.
“The particular skill that allows you to talk your way out of a murder rap…
is what the psychologist Robert Sternberg calls ‘practical intelligence’.”(Pg.101 Paragraph 1, Gladwell). Oppenheimer had the advantage of having practical intelligence. “Would Oppenheimer have lost his scholarship?..
Of course not. And it’s not because he was smarter than Chris Langan. It’s because he possessed the kind of savvy that allowed him to get what he wanted from the world.” According to Gladwell, Oppenheimer had the advantage of possessing practical intelligence.
Practical intelligence was beneficial to Oppenheimer’s success, because he was able to adapt to certain situations. Overall, the pattern seems to be that intelligence alone would not bring a person to succeed. Success consists of many factors, and on the experiences and situations of each person, ones success correlates to how those people utilize those factors for success.Without the opportunity of transferring to Lakeside, Bill Gates might have remained in a public school and never discover his passion at young age.
And Oppenheimer would not have only receive probation after attempting to poison his tutor if he did not have practical intelligence.