The Underdogs

Malcolm Gladwell writes in his article “How Underdogs can Win”:

“What happened when the underdogs […] acknowledged their weakness and chose an unconventional strategy? […] In those cases, David’s winning percentage went from 28.5 to 63.6. When underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win”.

He uses the example of David and Goliath, where if David had fought Goliath on his terms, he would have almost certainly lost. Playing by different rules, and using ingenuity, David became an unlikely winner.

Sometimes it pays to play by your own rules. Sometimes you can’t do things the way they’re typically done. Sometimes failure means finding a better way to do something. Being unconventional is admitting that there might be other/better ways to win.

When trying something new, you may not even have support, or a clear way to do what you want to do. In those cases you have the freedom to build your own path, to buck convention, to be small and nimble. Advantages don’t always look impressive, nor do they have to. Being the underdog isn’t a bad thing. It might mean you have more at stake, more to prove, more headroom to grow, and more reasons to succeed.

Share some stories about being an underdog, or being unconventional.

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