Book Review: Bounce by Keith McFarland

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership, Book Reviews

The subtitle of this book is “The art of turning tough times into triumph,” and could not be timelier. Calling the 2008 and 2009 “tough times” could be the understatement of the decade. In the preface, McFarland states as a universal truth that, “It’s often during life’s most difficult times that we discover our most critical hidden strengths and that we forge our most important capabilities.” Certainly we can use some strengths going into thus new decade – hidden or otherwise. But what causes that resilience, that ability to bounce back?

Bounce is written as a story, a technique that I’ve come to appreciate and respect in getting across sound business and personal growth lessons. Using a story based on real world experience and people while creating a fictitious company and characters allows the author to keep the reader’s interest while making his or her point. In McFarland’s case, he used a compelling story to reveal and demonstrate his six principles of “Bounce”:

  1. Embrace the bounce. Life is adaptation, which is the repeated disintegration and reintegration in the face of change.
  2. Manage the anxiety. Excellent leaders know how to absorb anxiety from a fear of the discontinuous change happening and convert it to anxiety over what will happen if people and the organization doesn’t change and adapt.
  3. Manage the mental factor. Change leaders know how to manage their own mental processes in times of stress and how to help their teammates do the same.
  4. Manage the money. Why? Because a company can have a great mission, terrific morale and enlightened leadership and still hit a rough patch that runs them out of money.
  5. Manage the mission. Organizations, like people, are inspired, lead happier, healthier and longer lives when they have a clear mission.
  6. Manage the morale. Moral is “firmness in the face of danger, fatigue and difficulties.” People want strong decisive leaders who listen, understand the reality of the difficulty of the situation and also keep an eye on the bright side of the things as well.

McFarland also makes it clear that you can’t learn everything there is to know about bounce by reading a book. You will have to learn to bounce from experience. You will have to learn what works for you in creating bounce as well as for the organizations you lead or in which you participate. This short, easy read will help you understand bounce and raise your awareness of the essence of bounce so that you can help yourself and your colleagues to bounce back in these difficult times.

Click here to see the book on Amazon.