Pete Peterson: The typical outlier

July 6, 2009

Billionaire Peter Peterson, one of the Blackstone guys (now retired) talks about his life, the economy and our unsustainable deficits with Charlie Rose.

But what struck me is how the interview sounds like a chapter out of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success.

First, Peterson points out the many unforeseen and unplanned events that lead him to his success, such as getting kicked out of MIT (so he ended up a businessman instead of an engineer).

Second, he confides his belief that his constant drive for achievement was just a subconscious  way to get his mother’s attention after she lost her daughter at age 1 and became very melancholic.

Indeed, he is walking proof of Gladwell’s point that success is usually due to external factors beyond our control.

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