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A morning with Malcolm Gladwell

I recently had the pleasure of attending an event where Malcolm Gladwell, author of many of my favourite books including ‘Blink’ and ‘Tipping Point’, spent the morning sharing two keynotes with us and answering many questions.

He started by sharing a truism that ‘the world has turned upside down in the last century’ and would continue to do so.

His first keynote teased out the concept of ‘weak link’ / ‘strong link’ where ‘weak link’ is about improving the weakest performer and used the example of sport. By improving the weakest player in say soccer, the success for the team would be improved as the game is won by the team making the least number of mistakes. ‘Strong link’ is about improving the strongest performer and using the sporting analogy again, in games like basketball, where games were won by the best players on the court.

He suggested that the world is moving to becoming a weak link community where we needed to be mindful and focused on developing our weakest performers for best results, rather than focussing on developing our strongest performers.

This has made me think about my consulting focus on asking people to focus on their strengths and look at ways of developing these, as my belief is (at the moment) when we focus on our strengths we will find what we do far more fulfilling and enjoyable.

Maybe I should be starting to think about developing our weakest areas!

What do you think?


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