Recently finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The author gives insights into why truly successful people in the world succeed. Traditional wisdom says it a combination of hard work, talent, and passion. O contraire.

Hard work, talent, and passion are merely table stakes. You can’t succeed without them, but they hardly ensure success. Plenty of hardworking, talented, passionate people don’t become wildly successful. Really successful people have all those things plus something else: an advantage.

Somewhere along the way, the truly successful of the world had an advantage. An early start, exposure to an opportunity, extra repetitive practice, some sort of leg up from their cultural background, timing. The book lays out loads of examples. The common thing between the advantages in the examples given, is that it allowed the people to leverage their hardwork, talent, and passion.

I think this is informative for us in these turbulent times. As business owners and executives we are all looking for opportunities to leverage. Which ones are the ones to act on. Certainly not all of them. As leaders of our organizations, we have to look at the opportunities that are related to the advantages and expertise we already have. What is that expertise, experience, or differentiator that has allowed us to succeed so far? What is our current advantage that is the core to your success?