What Makes Malcolm Gladwell Fascinating
  • Coaching
  • I used to dread going to parties. I stood around struggling with small talk, waiting for an opening to debate about big ideas. That changed 13 years ago, the day I read The Tipping Point.


    Adam Grant giving some Malcolm Gladwell love and exploring what makes him a terrific storyteller.  “A theorist is considered great, not because his theories are true, but because they are interesting.”

    He maps Gladwell to Sociologist Murray Davis’s “Index of the Interesting” along the following five points:

    1. Bad is good, good is bad

    2. What looks like an individual phenomenon is really a collective phenomenon

    3. What seems to succeed fails, and what seems to fail succeeds 

    4. What appears to be local is global

    5. What looks like disorder is actually order

    I believe it is more than that.  What makes Gladwell so eminently readable to me is his voice.  He makes complext ideas sound simple.

    He’s a bit wry.  He draws in material from all over.   And often he lets me see me in his stories.

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