As a member of Kerri Miller’s Book Club from Minnesota Public Radio, I received one of Kerri’s picks in the mail, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants by Malcom Gladwell. Since Gladwell published The Tipping Point, at the first of the century, I have pulled bits and pieces of insight from his works. I figured this latest work might provide me with something to ponder over coffee. The title speaks to me, and perhaps you, if you consider yourself a bit of a misfit. (smile)
Reading Gladwell is like reading an anthology or a collection of short stories. He is a masterful storyteller that knits disperse stories together under a particular overarching theme. The theme for this book was uncovering the ways people battle giants. He begins with an actual giant from the Bible and continues with examples of others who battle giants like leukemia, Birmingham Police Chief- Eugene “Bull” Connor, the British Army in Northern Ireland, and California’s criminal system.
From the perspective of the leadership process, the stories Gladwell shares provide specific examples of how individual people persisted against the odds in a variety of circumstances. The stretch aspect of the leadership process is the capacity to adapt our thinking, encounter conflicts, and learn as we go. By reading this book you will gain instruction on the variety of ways people stretched and ultimately led other people in the process of achieving the result they were seeking.
Every week during 2014 I look forward to sharing books that I am reading. The lens of the leadership process will be the filter for which I recommend books. Books are powerful vehicles for providing us with inspiration and new ideas.