David and Goliath

10 September, 2014

I recently read David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers.
The story of David and Goliath (if you don’t already know) is about a heavily armoured giant of a warrior who goes head to head with a shepherd. The shepherd wins. This summary doesn’t do the story credit but tells you what you need to know. 
The book, in true Gladwell style, goes on to give many examples where ‘Davids’ come out on top compared to their retrospective ‘Goliaths’ by challenging conventional thinking.
How can this help you in your business or line of work? Well, the bottom line is that more often than not the very things your regard as your weaknesses (such as size and lack of experience) and the very things you regard as your opposition (be that a large competitor or more experienced colleague) can turn out to be the complete opposite. 
Goliath was looking to engage with David using one on one, blow to blow fighting… where as David was going to use the unconventional lessons he learned from shepherding - namely the sling shot that he used to kills bears and wolves who were attacking his flock. Goliath’s heavy armour and his giant stature made him slow, and his reputation and experience made him arrogant. David’s light footed, slight frame gave him speed and his sling shot meant he could aim with accuracy at Goliath’s forehead and knock him down without engaging in full body battle.
The bottom line is, we often get locked down with conventional perspectives when if we take a moment to flip things on their head and look at things from a different perspective we may find we have the advantage over the Goliaths in our lives.