Thanks to Life As Mom, I am participating in I'm Booking It in 2010! I have decided to read 6 books this year (at least 1 book every 2 months). I just finished reading The Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.
This was a great read! The entire concept of this book was to show us that the people who we think are "outliers", exceptional beings, or geniuses in various fields, are moreso a product of their environment and history...not just these "supereme" figures. Granted someone like Bill Gates works hard at building his empire, but he is rather a product of history, community, and several opportunities, to which he had the strength and presence of mind to take advantage of every step of the way.
In this book Malcolm explains the concept of the "10,000 hour" rule where he discovers that most "greats" or "geniuses" have at least 10,000 hours of work under their belts before they are considered to be exceptional. For most "greats or outliers", these hours begin accumulating early in life. For example, he notes that Bill Gates learned computer programming as an 8th grader. This allows for much needed time and work in order to build experience and expertise. He gives great examples of leaders from various fields and breaks down their paths to success.
He also makes mention of "concerted cultivation", where people are an accumulation of advantages and circumstances. Providing a child with various avenues to explore their talents and providing them with the courage and security to question authority, etc. ... those environments also help to create great leaders.
This was a very nice and easy read, and with the examples he provides, it helps you really understand the concept of an "outlier", and how we are shaped and influenced by our environment and history!