When I read this book immediately I thought of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule. He wrote about this in his book Outliers: Stories of Success, showing how often, those who have achieved great success have done so by acquiring focused experience (i.e. 10,000 hours worth) in a particular area. I wondered what the similarities and differences were between Colvin and Gladwell's approach. Read on in a recent posting to the Barking up the Wrong Tree blog (which comes highly recommended by the way) to see how these ideas come together.
The importance for MBA or LLM applicants? Hard work - effort - is not enough, and simply worrying about your situation is not enough too. Instead, you need to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, work closely with someone to build a plan to highlight the strengths and address the weaknesses, and then carry out that plan. This applies to document preparation, and to interview practice as well.