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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> What the Dog Saw #14: Late Bloomers

thought-leadersJust call me, “Cézanne.”

Having enjoyed a multi-faceted career, I could easily buy into any of the many interpretations others have provided to make sense of the diversity of roles I have held through the years. Interpretations, that is, that come from a particular frame of reference that Malcolm Gladwell explores in this week’s chapter on “Late Bloomers.”

What-the-Dog-SawMultiple roles could be a symptom of being lost. Unable to find my way, my calling, my destiny, I could be moving from role to role in search of something that feels like home.

I could be a loser of sorts. Kidding myself into believing that I am God’s gift to humanity. I don’t see that my personality grates, my skills are archaic, and my working style is neither productive nor helpful.

I could have my priorities mixed up. Preferring to inaugurate entirely new visions of capitalism for the 21st century, I neglect being a stable, domestic provider who makes sure that each week’s expenses corresponds with a particular paycheck that covers them.

What if, though, I were exactly where I belonged during each stage of my professional journey so far? What if the only way forward is to take another step? What about uncharted territory where the path only becomes visible when looking back at where we have been?

When experience is one of life’s teachers, then the knowledge, experience and connections needed to see which path to take can only be found in actually proceeding down a path. In the doing is the learning, the adjusting, the maturing.

Gladwell’s insight into our culture’s fallacious assumption that genius comes early and easily is a breath of fresh air to those of us who experience the world so startlingly different that we struggle to find vocabulary, context and/or means to communicate, persuade and create all that burns deep within.

This week’s chapter seemed written especially for me. Give it a read. It might be especially for you too.

You never know. You or I may be the next, “Cézanne.”

Join the conversation. What was your main take-away from this chapter?

Each week I post my reflections from one chapter of What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.

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