Carew Must Read No. 2: What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

August 1, 2011  |  Posted by in Recommended Reading

The second in our series on “must” reads

I suspect there are many Malcolm Gladwell fans out there who, like me, have read everything he has written to date (The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers).  For those not familiar with Gladwell’s work, I will offer this introduction: Gladwell’s art and contribution to the world is his ability to think of the tantalizing questions others choose to overlook and then probe even deeper for the correlated information that, in the end, provides unexpected clarity.  Unlike many authors I recommend to professional colleagues, Gladwell does not write specifically about sales training, selling skills or even general business insights.  His observations are more universal in nature, but also thought provoking, challenging and thoroughly entertaining.

Gladwell’s most recent release, What the Dog Saw, is a collection of his articles written originally for The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1996. Gladwell has grouped the articles into three categories: the first section is about obsessives and minor geniuses (Ron Popeil – inventor of the Chop-O-Matic); the second section explores theories like the disastrous crash of the Challenger space shuttle; the third and last section examines the predictions we tend to make about people.

A significant part of Gladwell’s success as a writer is the thorough and original exploration that follows the unique questions he poses, such as:

  • Why has ketchup stayed the same while mustard comes in so many varieties?
  • Why do some people choke and some people panic (and what’s the difference)?
  • Why did nobody get blamed for the Challenger explosion?
  • Are smart people overrated?
  • What can be learned from Cesar Milan (of The Dog Whisperer fame) and the sense of “presence” that differentiates a commanding performance from an average performance?
  • How does what we buy relate to who and what we are?

Many of Gladwell’s lines of inquiry have interesting implications for business leaders and those seeking to improve sales performance. But what Gladwell’s writing mostly provides is a rare sort of intellectual exercise, leaving readers feeling challenged and more mentally fit than before they started. What the Dog Saw will be most appreciated by those who are naturally curious and appreciate thought-provoking material.

To check out the first in our series of “must” reads, click here.

All content and training concepts are the intellectual property of Carew International, Inc., and any reference to these concepts must include a statement of express ownership by Carew International, Inc.


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