I devoured the Revisionist History podcast over a couple of weeks of driving last month (highly recommended!) One of the analogies Gladwell made stuck with me though, especially since I was thinking about team dynamics at the time.
Caveat emptor: Gladwell simplifies and glosses over quite a bit in making his point - he does this a lot; but I understand why he needs to. Nuance makes the intellectual candy harder to digest.
He talks about talent in the context of basketball and soccer. He cites research which shows that to win the most basketball games it completely makes sense to just focus on getting the best player(s) you can. Conversely, to win the most soccer games your best shot is to have the fewest weaker players on the pitch. If you follow both sports, this'll seem intuitively right to you. The dynamics of the game - on the margin - support one strategy over the other.
He goes on t…