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David and Goliath Book Synopsis

We often tend to enjoy stories about underdogs, the ones who struggle to rise to the top and manage to defeat the insurmountable odds. However, in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, David and Goliath, he observes that we misread the given odds to make battles seem tougher than they really are. In order to win in difficult circumstances, Gladwell focuses on the importance of thinking like David in the biblical text and adopting his mindset. Let’s take a look at some strategies we can adopt to become victorious in our daily battles:

1. Adopt a Different Strategy

After analyzing all the wars in the past 200 years or so, Ivan Toft found that smaller countries using unconventional methods such as guerrilla warfare won nearly 64% of the time against much larger countries. The implications here can be applied to the success of smaller physiotherapy clinics versus large chains. Rather than attempting to enter the same market as a large company, small clinics could target a niche set of patient demographics. For example, choosing to market services to a specific age group versus just anyone requiring physiotherapy services. Simply because the titans of the industry have found a specific model that works, doesn’t necessarily mean that you

have to follow it. Smaller clinics can concentrate on driving an amazing patient experience leading to high patient retention rates. This will help create a family atmosphere that can be scaled into a successful business model down the road.

2. Compare Yourself to Absolutes

Relative deprivation is a phenomenon where people value their own self-worth by comparing it to others rather than against absolute measures. If you’re a student with a 4.0 GPA at a school where the average is 3.0, then you would likely say you’re above average. If you have that same 4.0 at a school where the average is 4.0, then your self-worth would likely diminish. Similarly, as a clinician and especially for new graduates, valuing your skills and abilities against a seasoned physiotherapist with 20+ years of experience and multiple additional courses and certifications is a losing battle. Since it can be difficult to use absolute measures in physiotherapy, you can use key performance indicators or KPIs to measure your abilities. This way you can objectively see if you’re able to retain more patients and if you’re actually completing your plan of care. Gladwell highlights that at the end of the day, the main person that you should be competing against is yourself. The boys at PTBC have found that competing against yourself is the best route to self-development. Your situation and circumstances will always be unique. However, if you notice positive trends in the personal/professional metrics that you track, that means you are on a path to success.

Gladwell’s book is full of interesting stories and provides great content overall. It’s more than just a book about underdogs and giants, instead it changes the perspective with which we view strengths, weaknesses and advantages. We, at PT Business Corner, definitely enjoyed it and we recommend giving it a read. Let us know what you think about this book!


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