Success, Gladwell explains, “is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky.” And intelligence is only so much a contributing factor in making for a successful life– the practical and emotional intelligence of navigating and negotiating your way through the places and people you meet therein is the greater determinant of whether or not you succeed.
The notion that you’re born bright and will therefore excel in your chosen field is not true– instead, the “10,000-hour rule” is proposed as the standard measure for accumulating skills via sheer practice and discipline. Be it Bill Joy, Bill Gates, the Beatles or even Mozart.
In analyzing these and many other successful people, the two common themes of opportunity and legacy (or the nature of one’s childhood and family circumstances) takes greater significance than natural intelligence. Great motivational read! And plenty of references to the University of Michigan, my alma mater.