Advertising
Advertising

9 Books That Malcolm Gladwell Wants You To Read

9 Books That Malcolm Gladwell Wants You To Read

Have you ever thought about the books that influence thought leaders like Malcolm Gladwell? With over 4.5 million book sales and counting under his belt, Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most popular and successful authors alive today. His quirky narratives about the hidden nature of achieving success have propelled him to a media-darling status that only a handful of writers can relate to.

Gladwell possesses the rare skill set of being able to dig deep into subjects that deal with human behavior — such as Social Science and Psychology — and to pull away tiny little details that others would’ve probably overlooked, and then tie them into big ideas that affect our lives quite significantly…

It’s his attention to detail that resulted in his string of best-selling books and his stellar writing career as one of the world’s leading non-fiction writer. Several thought-provoking books influenced Gladwell’s way of thinking, which of course had a direct impact on his writing.

Here are nine that Malcolm Gladwell recommends you read.

#1. ‘Freakonomics’ by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

freakonomics-by-steven-d-levitt-and-stephen-j-dubner

    Gladwell told The Week that Freakonomics was the book that turned a boring subject like economics into an entertaining topic, and it’s an enjoyable read to boot.

    #2. ‘Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession’ by Janet Malcolm

    psychoanalysis-the-impossible-profession-by-janet-malcolm

      Gladwell considers the author of Psychoanalysis, Janet Malcom, his “nonfiction role model.” Gladwell was quoted in The New York Times as having said the following about the book and its author:

      “I reread Malcolm’s Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession just to remind myself how nonfiction is supposed to be done.”

      #3. ‘Fooled by Randomness‘ by Nassim Taleb

      fooled-by-randomness

        This is the book that most likely inspired some of Gladwell’s assertions in his best-selling book, Outliers: The Story of Success, where he notes the lack of consideration we place on “opportunities” (luck, chance, or circumstance) when we survey the contributing factors to success for individuals like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

        Gladwell told the New Yorker that Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled By Randomness, “is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses were to the Catholic Church.”

        #4. ‘The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game’ by Michael Lewis

        The_Blind_Side_Evolution_of_a_Game

          Gladwell considers Lewis to be an inspiring role model. Reportedly, Gladwell even told The New York Times that he reads Michael Lewis’ books for the same reasons he watches Tiger Woods play golf:  “I’ll never play like that. But it’s good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like.”

          If Gladwell’s endorsement weren’t enough to get you to pickup the book — you should also probably know that The Blind Side is an extraordinary story about love and redemption that gets you thinking about how we’ve all got vulnerabilities — and whether we’re ready for it or not — life can “blind side” us when we least expect it. And it’s our ability to get back up that makes us successful in the long run.

          #5. ‘The Opposable Mind’ by Roger Martin

          the-opposable-mind-by-roger-martin

            Bookstores — both online and off — are crowded with books about how great CEOs and leaders stand out from their peers. According to Gladwell, The Opposable Mind is the only one you need to read.

            “I realize that there are thousands of business books on the subject, but, trust me, this is the first to really answer the question” Gladwell says.

            #6. ‘Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do’ by Tom Vanderbilt

            traffic-why-we-drive-the-way-we-do-by-tom-vanderbilt

              Traffic is an investigation of how our behavior behind the wheel relates to human nature… this seems like a tall mountain to climb, until of course, you think about how otherwise normal and well-tempered people turn into total maniacs when they get behind the wheel.

              Gladwell says that the author of Traffic, Tom Vanderbilt, has a clever way of writing. Which is suitable, seeing as though you’d have to be pretty savvy to put together a best-selling book about why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us) — and then to have it make Malcom Gladwell’s list of recommended books.

              #7. ‘Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man’ by Garry Wills

              nixon-agonistes (1)

                This book is an outlier when you compare it to the rest of this list, but it’s a classic nonetheless, at least according to Malcolm Gladwell it is.

                Here’s what he told The Week about the book: “A classic from the early ’70s by one of the great political writers of his time. Written just before Richard Nixon resigned, it’s as devastating a portrait of him as has ever been written.

                #8. ‘Should I Be Tested for Cancer?’ by H. Gilbert Welch

                should i be tested for cancer

                  This is a book that brings together a wide body of little-known medical research — and presents this data in a compelling argument against the constant testing for cancer in the world of medicine — which seems to result in unintended consequences by way of invasive treatments, misdiagnosis, and much, much more.

                  This book asks a simple question: are there situations when you shouldn’t be tested for cancer? The author’s answer brings data together in an engaging and stylish way that really gets you thinking. Which is precisely why it makes Malcom’s list of books for you to read.

                  #9. ‘The Person and the Situation’ by Richard Nisbett

                  The-person-and-the-situation-recommended-by-Malcom-Gladwell

                    Gladwell told the New York Times that the author of this book, psychologist Richard Nisbett “was the most influential thinker in my life.” Gladwell attributes his world general way of thinking about the world to Nisbett and his book, The Person and the Situation; saying that “if you read that book, you’ll see the template for the genre of books that The Tipping Point, and Blink and Outliers belongs to. That book changed my life.”

                    Okay, now that you’ve the nine best books straight out of Malcolm Gladwell’s library — which one will you read first?

                    More by this author

                    Dean Bokhari

                    Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

                    15 Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn for a Good Mindset How to Develop a Can Do Attitude and Succeed in Life 7 Things That Cause Your Lack of Motivation (And How to Fix Them) How to Avoid Procrastination and Get Your Work Done 11 Ways to Be Productive And Happy At Once

                    Trending in Work

                    1 How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively 2 How Connecting Different Learning Styles Leads to Career Success 3 How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples) 4 Personal Branding Basics You Need to Know for Career Success 5 How To Work Remotely And Stay Productive

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

                    How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                    How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                    Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

                    But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

                    The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

                    Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

                    But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

                    As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

                    Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

                    There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

                    The four most popular types of learning styles are:

                    Advertising

                    • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
                    • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
                    • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
                    • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

                    But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

                    How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

                    When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

                    I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

                    Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

                    However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

                    Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

                    While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

                    Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

                    Advertising

                    By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

                    How to Use Visual Learning for Success

                    Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

                    1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

                    We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

                    While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

                    I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

                    2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

                    Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

                    Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

                    As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

                    Advertising

                    And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

                    3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

                    Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

                    With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

                    Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

                    It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

                    Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

                    Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

                    4. Add video streaming to meetings.

                    What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

                    Advertising

                    When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

                    For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

                    Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

                    No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

                    You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

                    The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

                    More About Learning Styles

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    Read Next