This is one of several posts extracting some key points from the book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, 2008
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Success requires intelligence plus personality plus ambition. But, intelligence and achievement are far from perfectly correlated. That is, high intellect doesn’t always translate into a greater likelihood of success.
First, because “general intelligence” does not assure “practical intelligence” … think book smart versus street smart.
[Often, people with high intellects tend to become linear logic specialists ... that is, they may have vision, but not peripheral vision ... they can connect the dots (convergence) but not think out of the box (divergence).]
Below a certain level of intellect, success is very unlikely. But, there’s a “threshold effect” … if a person is just smart enough or talented enough to pass the qualifying threshold, then success is more a function of personality and ambition, moreso than incremental intellect.
Example cited: affirmative action law schools … some students may not have as high an intellect as others do, but they do well because they are “smart enough” to succeed.
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