The Current

Malcolm Gladwell on re-imagining the underdog

We talk to Malcolm Gladwell about unlocking the secret power of disadvantage, and his book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants....
We talk to Malcolm Gladwell about unlocking the secret power of disadvantage, and his book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.
David and Goliath has entered our language as a metaphor for improbable victories by some weak party over someone far stronger. Everything I thought I knew about that story turned out to be wrong.Malcolm Gladwell

Everybody loves a good rags-to-riches story. Victory against all odds. Personal triumph, when many predicted failure.

But Mr. Gladwell thinks we've got it all wrong. He believes people have too rigid an idea of what it means to be disadvantaged and says things like poverty, small size, and learning disabilities can all be secret weapons.

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. This interview first aired on October 7, 2013.

Do you think disadvantages can be turned into strengths?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien.

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