Malcolm Gladwell

  • Aired:  10/22/13
  •  | Views: 85,486

"David and Goliath" author Malcolm Gladwell breaks down the differences between helpful adversity and undesirable difficulties. (6:02)

>> Jon: A BEST SELLING AUTHOR.

MY GUEST TONIGHT HIS NEW BOOK ISCALLED "DAVID AND GOLIATH"

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAMMALCOLM GLADWELL.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]HOW ARE YOU?

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> GOOD.

>> Jon: BOOK IS CALLED "DAVIDAND GOLIATH."

BASICALLY THE PREMISE BEINGSOMETIMES BEING DAVID IS A VERY

POSITIVE THING.

YOU CAN USE THOSE TO YOURADVANTAGE IS THAT THE DESIRABLE

ADVERSITY -->> DIFFICULTIES IS THE PHRASE I

USE IN THE BOOK.

UIT'S AN EXAMATION OF UNDERDOGSAND THEIR STRATEGIES AND ALSO OF

THE IDEA, THE BOOK REALLY ASKSTHE QUESTION OF WHETHER WE HAVE

AN ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OFWHAT AN ADVANTAGE IS.

LOTS OF THINGS THAT SEEM LIKEDISADVANTAGES CAN BE HIGHLY

ADVANTAGEOUS.

>> Jon: IN THE BOOK THINGSLIKE DYSLEXIA OR HAVING A CRAPPY

CHILDHOOD.

>> YES.

DYSLEXIA IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OFTHIS.

MANY PEOPLE WITH DYSLEXIA SUFFERAND IT'S A REAL OBSTACLE TO GET

AHEAD IN LIFE.

IF YOU LOOK AT GROUPS OF VERYSUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS OR

PROFESSIONALS YOU'LL FIND AGREATER THAN EXPECTED NUMBER OF

DYSLEXICS IN THEIR RANKS.

THE NUMBER OF INCREDIBLYSUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS OVER

THE LAST 30 YEARS, RICHARDBRANSON, CHARLES SCHWAB, THE GUY

WHO RUNS -- CISCO -- JOHNCHAMBERS. I COULD GO ON AND

ON. >> Jon: IF THERE'S ONLY FOURTHAT WOULDN'T BE VERY GOOD.

>> THERE'S MANY OF THEM.

THEY SAY THEY DIDN'T SUCCEED INSPITE OF DYSLEXIA BUT BECAUSE OF

IT.

BEING FORCED TO COPE WITH AHIGHLY PROBLEMATIC CHILDHOOD

WHERE THEY COULDN'T DO WHAT THEYWERE REQUIRED TO DO, WHICH

WAS READ, FORCED THEM TOLEARN MANY OTHER THINGS.

>> Jon: THERE HAS TO BE A LAFFERCURVE LIKE IN

SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS WHERE ITGETS TO A PLACE -- IF I CAN USE

A PHRASE I LEARNED IN ADIFFERENT BOOK, A TIPPING POINT.

A TIPPING POINT THAT BURIES YOU,BAD CHILDHOOD AND NO MOUTH.

THEN YOU PUTHELEN KELLER UP THERE.

>> I USE THE PHRASE DESIRABLEDIFFICULTY IT'S A LOVELY PHRASE

DTHAT TWO PSYCHOLOGISTS AT UCLAHAVE COME UP

WITH TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THEKIND THAT PROVE ADVANTAGEOUS

AND UNDESIRABLE DIFFICULTIES,SWHICH ARE NOT THE KIND

OF THING ANYONE SHOULD BEEXPECTED TO RECOVER FROM.

>> Jon: I'M SURE SOME PEOPLEDO.

THE HUMAN SPIRIT INCREDIBLYADAPTABLE.

DON'T WE ALL HAVE TO SOME EXTENTDISADVANTAGES THAT SHAPE OUR

CHARACTER AS WE GO THROUGH ANDIT IS SORT OF TENACITY WITH

WHICH YOU OVERCOME THEM NO MATTER WHAT THAT WOULD BE?

>> I GOT STARTED ON THIS BECAUSEMY LAST BOOK "OUTLIERS" BECAUSE

I SPENT TIME TALKING TOSUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.

I WAS STRUCK BY HOW OFTEN WHENTHEY ACCOUNTED FOR WHAT THEY HAD

ACHIEVED THEY BEGAN WITH THEDIFFICULTIES NOT THE OBVIOUS

ADVANTAGES.

SO MUCH OF THEIR SENSE OFTHEMSELVES WAS SOMETHING THAT

GREW OUT OF -- IN SOME CASES ITGREWWAS A TERRIBLE BLOW THAT IT

HAPPENEDTO THEM THAT THEY MANAGED

SOMEHOW TO NAVIGATE.

THE CHAPTER HERE ON PARENTALLOSS.

ON THIS STRIKING FACT THAT VERYLARGE NUMBERS OF AMERICAN

PRESIDENTS AND BRITISH PRIMEMINISTERS HAVE LOST A PARENT IN

CHILDHOOD, WAY HIGHER THAN WOULDBE EXPECTED FROM THE NORMAL

POPULATION.

>> REALLY.

>> IT'S JUST ABOUT THE WORSTTHING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO A HUMAN

BEING.

>> Jon: YOU ARE SAYING IF MYSON WANTS IT BE PRESIDENT -- OH,

BOY.

[LAUGHTER]HERE IS THE THING.

I SHUT THE LIGHTS AND I CLOSE MYEYES AROUND THIS KID.

>> LOOK BILL CLINTON, OBAMA,THESE ARE TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVE --

BUT THE LIST IS EXTRAORDINARILYLONG.

WHAT YOU UNDERSTAND IS THATTHESE ARE -- ONE OF THE THINGS

THAT DISTINGUISHES THESE PEOPLEIS

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THEMTHAT

TOOK THE DEVASTATING EXPERIENCEAND FOUND A WAY TO COME OUT

STRONGER.

>> Jon: IS IT A CHICKEN AND THEEGG? IS

THERE A WAY OF DETERMINING IFTHERE'S AN INHERENT PERSONALITY

TYPE THAT IS ABLE TO TRANSLATETHE DEVASTATING BLOWS INTO A

POSITIVE OUTCOME OR WHETHER HE BLOW INFLUENCES THE

OUTCOME.

>> I DON'T KNOW.

>> Jon: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOUDON'T KNOW.

YOU WROTE THE BOOK?

>> THERE'S SO MUCH I DON'T KNOW.

THESE BOOKS ALWAYS RAISE MOREQUESTIONS THAN THEY RESOLVE.

THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TODO, RIGHT?

THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO KIND OFSTART.

IT WOULD BE REALLY FASCINATING.

I DIDN'T DO IT.

NOW I THINK I SHOULD HAVE.

TO SIT DOWN NEXT TO BILL CLINTONAND ASK THAT QUESTION.

HERE IS A GUY WHO HAD THEFURTHEST THING FROM A SILVER

SPOON IN HIS MOUTH.

>> Jon: NO QUESTION.

I DON'T KNOW IF HE WOULD SHAREHIS STORY.

HE'S VERY RETICENT ABOUT THAT.

>> VERY SHY.

>> Jon: YOU MIGHT GET A COUPLETHINGS.

YOU MIGHT BE LIKE THE BOOK ISTOO BIG LAST.

LAUGH RAISES TONS OF QUESTIONSAND I THINK IS A NICE WAY TO

LOOK AT, YOU KNOW, THAT OLDADAGE THE LEMONS AND

LEMONADE, THAT SORT OF THING.

DAVID AND GOLIATH.

BE A DAVID, WHY NOT.

MALCOLM GLADWELL

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