In his recent book, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink) takes an interesting and unique approach to the study of success. Gladwell’s premise, which he supports with deep fact, is that success has little to do with raw ambition or intelligence, but that the story of success is much more complex.
As just one example, he outlines a study completed in the early 1990s of violinists at Berlin’s elite Academy of Music. The study divided the schools violinists into three groups; the stars; those judged merely good; and those who would never become professional musicians but teachers. All of the violinists were asked to provide information about their entire career since picking up the violin. Some interesting facts emerged.