100 Best Malcolm Gladwell Quotes From The Author Of 'Outliers' | Kidadl

FOR ALL AGES

100 Best Malcolm Gladwell Quotes From The Author Of 'Outliers'

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The theorizer of the magic number for true expertise - Malcolm Gladwell wears many hats.

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist, as well as a social psychologist. If you enjoy these quotes, why not take a look at some Edward R Morrow Quotes and Malcolm Muggeridge quotes as well?

Malcolm Gladwell 'Outliers' Quotes

An idea can strike anyone - at any time.

A strong believer of the idea that it is practice that makes you good, Malcolm Gladwell quotes to work hard enough, and many other ideas, are well known. The concept that achievement is talent plus preparation, as well as special opportunities that lead to success is all landmark observations in the field of social psychology.

Read on for some of the best quotes from his book 'Outliers', and enjoy these Malcolm Gladwell quotes on success, Malcolm Gladwell quotes on leadership and more.

1. "Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

2. “It is a fact researchers have settled on - the 10,000-hour rule is a definite key in success”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

3. "The tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

4. “Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

5. “We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

6. "To be someone's best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

7. “Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

8. “The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

9. "Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

10. “Successful people don’t do it alone. Where they come from matters. They’re products of particular places and environments.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

11. “We all know that successful people come from hardy seeds. But do we know enough about the sunlight.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

 12. “Knowledge of a boy's IQ is of little help if you are faced with a formful of clever boys.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

13. "When we understand how much culture and history and the world outside of the individual matter to professional success--then ... We have a way to successes out of the unsuccessful."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

14. “It’s not so much ability as attitude.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

15. "The idea that excellence at performing a complex task requires the critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

16. “When and where you are born, what your parents did for a living, and what the circumstances of your upbringing made a significant difference in how well you do in the world.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

17. "Success is the result of what sociologists like to call 'accumulative advantage'."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

18. "Outliers are those that have been given an opportunities - and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

19. “...If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

20. “But before he could become an expert, someone had to give him the opportunity to learn how to be an expert.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

21. “It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether or not our work fulfills us."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

22. "The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

23. “Achievement is talent plus preparation”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

24. "Cultural legacies matter--that they are powerful and pervasive and that they persist, long after their original usefulness has passed."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

25. “No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

26. “Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

 27. "Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

28. "The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

29. "It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

30. "The people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

 31. "We overlook just how large a role we all play--and by 'we' I mean society--in determining who makes it and who doesn't.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

32. "The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

33. “Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.”

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

34. "We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We’re a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don’t really have an explanation for."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

35. "Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

36. "Insight is not a light bulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

 37. "It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice."

-Malcolm Gladwell, 'Outliers.'

Quotes By Malcolm Gladwell No One Can Forget

'Snuffed Out' by Malcolm Gladwell is one of his other popular books. 'David and Goliath' Malcolm Gladwell quotes as well as 'Blink' Malcolm Gladwell quotes are all well known from his books. You too, can know all about Malcolm Gladwell tipping point quotes, and Malcolm Gladwell quotes on leadership. With the help of these quotes, anyone can work hard enough and assert themself and make their family rich - if that is a goal they aspire to. You too, can and use these quotes and hard work to shape the world to your desires.

38. “To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success–the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history–with a society that provides opportunities for all.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

39. "Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

40. "The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

41. "There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

42. "We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

43. "The world we could have is so much richer than the world we have settled for."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

44. "Consistency is the most overrated of all human virtues… I’m someone who changes his mind all the time."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

45. "We need to look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

46. "In life, most of us are highly skilled at suppressing action. All the improvisation teacher has to do is to reverse this skill and he creates very ‘gifted’ improvisers. Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

47. "Much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of  one-sided conflicts."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

48. “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

49. "We aren’t, as human beings, very good at acting in our best interest."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

50. "We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

51. "I try to be unafraid of making a fool of myself."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

52. "Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

53. "Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

54. "We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

55. "Capitalization learning: we get good at something by building on the strengths that we are naturally given."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

56. "Flom had the same experience...He didn't triumph over adversity. Instead, what started out as adversity ended up being an opportunity."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

57. "A lot of what is beautiful mostly arises from struggle."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

58. "For younger kids, repetition is really valuable. They demand it."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

59. "The only true way to listen is with your ears and your heart."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

60. "Underdog strategies are hard."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

61. 'Extraordinary achievement is less about talent than it is about the opportunity.'

-Malcolm Gladwell.

62. “Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions, by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

63. "When we become experts in something, our tastes grow more esoteric and complex."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

66. “Working really hard is what successful people do.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

67. 'The futility of something is not always (in love and in politics) a sufficient argument against it.'

-Malcolm Gladwell.

68. "IQ is a measure, to some degree, of innate ability. But social savvy is knowledge. It's a set of skills that have to be learned. It has to come from somewhere, and the place where we seem to get these kinds of attitudes and skills is from our families."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

69. "Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

70. "To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

71. “….. it would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

72. "But there are moments, particularly in times of stress when haste does not make waste when our snap judgments and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

Malcolm Gladwell Quotes On Hard Work And People

It takes a very special kind of person to be a leader.

"Talent plus preparation" - Malcolm Gladwell firmly held this belief on the formula to success. One of his best quotes also talked about how it takes many kinds of special opportunities to achieve success, and that one should not be too quick to dismiss those who do not perform too well. According to Malcolm Gladwell, no one achieves success alone, and that there is a system in place to make it happen. If you like these curious ideas, you should definitely read his quotes on people and social psychology.

73. "Our acquaintances—not our friends—are our greatest source of new ideas and information."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

74. "In the act of tearing something apart, you lose its meaning."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

75. "The real me isn't the person I describe, no the real me is me revealed by my actions."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

76. "A book, I was taught long ago in English class, is a living and breathing document that grows richer with each new reading."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

77. "When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters—first and foremost—how they behave."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

78. “My earliest memories of my father are of seeing him work at his desk and realizing that he was happy. I did not know it then, but that was one of the most precious gifts a father can give his child.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

79. "You don't manage a social wrong. You should be ending it."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

80. “Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

81. "Emotion is contagious."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

82. "Understanding the true nature of instinctive decision making requires us to be forgiving of those people trapped in circumstances where good judgment is imperiled."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

83. “Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

84. "When we talk about analytic versus intuitive decision making, neither is good or bad. What is bad is if you use either of them in an inappropriate circumstance."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

85. "What does it say about a society that it devotes more care and patience to the selection of those who handle its money than of those who handle its children?"

-Malcolm Gladwell.

86. "There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them."

-Malcolm Gladwell."

87. "Happiness, in one sense, is a function of how closely our world conforms to the infinite variety of human preference."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

88. “What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

89. "I think when one's working, one works between absolute confidence and absolute doubt, and I got a huge dollop of each."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

90. "The excessive use of force creates legitimacy problems, and force without legitimacy leads to defiance, not submission."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

91. "Incompetence annoys me. Overconfidence terrifies me."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

92. "Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context.”

-Malcolm Gladwell.

93. "He'd had to make his way alone, and no one—not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses —ever makes it alone."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

94. "If you want to bring a fundamental change in people's belief and behavior...you need to create a community around them, where those new beliefs can be practiced and expressed and nurtured."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

95. "They were not really afraid. They were just afraid of being afraid."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

96. "Acquaintances, in sort, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

97. "I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don't work."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

98. "Whenever we have something that we are good at--something we care about--that experience and passion fundamentally changes the nature of our first impressions."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

99. "If there is meaning to your work - work is a prison no more. It becomes joyful."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

100. "It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five...being a teacher is meaningful."

-Malcolm Gladwell.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Malcolm Gladwell quotes, then why not take a look at Gloria Steinem quotes, or Dorothy Day quotes

With a Master's in Philosophy from the prestigious University of Dublin, Devangana likes to write thought-provoking content. She has vast copywriting experience and previously worked for The Career Coach in Dublin. Devanga also possesses computer skills and is constantly looking to boost her writing with courses from the universities of Berkeley, Yale, and Harvard in the United States, as well as Ashoka University, India. Devangana was also honored at the University of Delhi when she undertook her Bachelor's Degree in English and edited her student paper. She was social media head for the global youth, the literacy society president, and the student president.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?