Malcolm Gladwell has become one of my favorite authors in the last year. What the Dog Saw and other adventures is one of his older books. Malcom’s writing style has a simplicity to it. He gives you a lot of examples that are enjoyable and interesting to read.
I’m going to quote and write about some of my favorite parts of the book in this blog entry. Also check out my blog Investigating Enron it’s based on the first part of the book.
I want to add a thought that sprouted to my mind this year from my interpreting/marketing experience:
One call can change your day, your week, your month, your quarter, your year, your decade, your lifetime. Don’t ever give up!
To give some context I took a risk, I resigned from my job to become a contractor. While working as W-2/ regular job gave me consistent work, my personality has always being about ownership, entrepreneurship. There are a lot more responsibility with being 1099 Independent contractor.
Long story short when I resigned from my job, I had one contract on the books and a second was converting in a matter of 3-4 months.
So this what I mean that one call can change your day,
Three to four months later, I’m still with only one contract the conversion of the second contract didn’t come to fruition. The company didn’t come through as I expected like many times in life an obstacle.
Now I have to be available for a call, for many more hours a week with one contract. The thing with the contract you only get paid by the minute on the phone and with a job you get paid even if you are not working. That’s the biggest difference when its 1099 your business you want to be busy but when its a job please don’t call me.
The one call can change your day is because on Friday night, after long week, I get a phone call and it’s an interesting comprehensive 3 hours conversation that changed my day, it changed my week and it gave me hope that being an owner is tough but its more rewarding when the work is completed. You could say a sense of ownership. The quality of my services are at highest level because I’m putting my self on the line now.
I’m building skills that are turning into cash flow and profit now and in the future.
What the Dog saw and other adventures by Malcolm Gladwell is full of stories that look at both side of the coin. The author will give you a perspective and then switch with research.
Below are some of the part of the book that I highlighted, I think you are going to get hook and read more Malcom Gladwell.
– “The Art of Failure. Why some people choke and other panic. – Human beings sometimes falter under pressure. Pilots crash and over drown. under the glare of competition basketball players cannot fin the basket and golfers cannot find the pin. When that happens, we say variously that people have panicked or, to use the sports colloquialism choked. But what do those words mean? Both are pejorative. To choke or panic is considered to be as bad as to quit. But are all forms of failure equal? And what do the forms in which we fail say about who we are and how we think? we live in an age obsessed with success, with documenting the myriad ways by which taken people overcome challenges sand obstacles. There is as much to be learned, though, from documenting the myriad ways in which talented people sometimes fail.”
“ Choking sounds like vague and all- encompassing term, yet it describes a very specific kind of failure.” Example: Chuck Knoblauch, New York Yankees’ second baseman, who inexplicably has had trouble throwing the ball to first base. Under stress of playing in front of forty thousand fans at Yankee Stadium, Knoblauch finds himself reverting to explicit mode, throwing like a little leaguer again.”
“Panic is something else altogether.”
“Panic, is the opposite of chocking. Choking is about thinking too much. Panic is about thinking too little. Choking is about loss of instinct. Panic is reverse to instinct. They may look the same, but they are worlds apart.”
“Galeson writes in Old Masters and Young Geniuses – the imprecision of their goals means that these artists rarely feel they have succeeded, and their careers are consequently often dominated by the pursuit of a single objective. These artists repeat themselves, painting the same subject many times, and gradually changing its treatment in an experimental process of trial and error. Each work leads to the next, and none is generally privileged over others, so experimental painters rarely make specific preparatory sketches or plans for a painting. They consider the production of a painting as a process of searching, in which they aim to discover the image in the course of making it; they typically believe that learning is more important goal than making finished paitings. Experimental artist build their skills gradually over the course of their careers, improving their work slowly over long periods. These artists are perfectionists and are typically plagued by frustration at their inability to achieve their goal.”
“There are certain jobs where almost nothing you can learn about candidates before they start predicts how they’ll do once they ‘re hired.” Example: Like hiring a quarterback for the NFL.
“ If you rank the countries of the world in terms of the academic performance of their schoolchildren, the United States is just below average, half a standard deviation below a clump of relatively high-performance countries like Canada and Belgium”
“ The new economy that the ultimate success of any enterprise lies with the quality of the people it hires. At many technology companies, employees are asked to all but live at the office, in conditions of intimacy that would have been unthinkable a generation ago. The artifacts of the prototypical Silicon Valley office – the videgames, the espresso bar, the bunk beds, the basketball hoops – are the elements of the rec room, not the workplace. And in the rec room you want top play only with your friends. But how do you find who your friends are? Today, recruiters can vas the country for resumes. They analyze employment histories and their competitors’ staff listings. they call references and then do what I did : sit down with a perfect stranger for an hour and half and attempt to draw conclusions about that stranger’s intelligence and personality. The job interview has become one of the central conventions of the modern economy. But what, exactly, can you know about a stranger after sitting down and talking for an hour?”
“Troublemakers what pit bulls can teach us about crime” Last chapter in book talks about the problem with generalization, and it explains that generalization with perspective can be use as tool. By asking the right generalization questions. Here some excerpts from the book:
“Another word for generalization, though is stereotype, and stereotypes are usually not considered desirable dimensions of our decision-making livers. The process of moving from the specific to the general iOS both necessary and perilous. A doctor could, with some statistical support, generalizing about men of a certain age weight. But what if generalizing from other traits – such as high blood pressure, family history, and smoking – saved more lives? Behind each generalization is a choice of what factors to leave in and what factors to leave out, and those choices can prove surprisingly complicated.”