Malcolm Gladwell: What Really Makes People Disruptive

Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author, examines the one crucial component people miss when talking about transforming a field or world. “We talk about the importance of technology and knowledge and resources, having the kind of money to make it happen,” he said, “but we don’t talk about frame of mind – attitude. The kinds of attitudes that lie behind provocateurs.”

Gladwell discussed how having the right attitude is crucial to effecting great change. Gladwell presents three solutions to having the right attitude, including the beauty of being disagreeable, re-framing the problem and removing constraints.

Like most underdogs, it is important to be indifferent to what people say about you, Gladwell said. This is the first and foundational fact to understand these disrupters, he said. This is what psychologists call disagreeable, or they do not require the approval of peers in order to do what they think is correct.

Another problem is not seeing the whole picture and thinking of solutions in terms of how it makes something easier by only re-framing individual components. Gladwell said that successful disrupters are people who are capable of an active imagination. “They begin re-imagining their world by re-framing the problem in a way no one had framed it before,” he said.

Removing constraints is another solution to the right attitude. Removing constraints, according to Gladwell, has nothing to do with vision, insight, brains or resources, but the belief in the vision. What sets someone apart is not what is in his head or his pocket, but what is in his heart, Gladwell said.


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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