I just finished reading Keith McFarland’s new book, “Bounce: The Art of Turning Tough Times into Triumph.” Keith is the author of the bestselling book, “The Breakthrough Company.”
The book opens with a story about Mike Maloney, the division manager of a manufacturing company faced with yet another round of budget cuts, layoffs, and discontented customers wanting lower prices or bailing for another, “better quality” vendor.
Mike meets his buddy, Joe, a Ranger freshly back from the Middle East, at the gym and begins to get schooled in what it takes to bounce back when times get tough.
Using the simile of how a super ball bounces back, versus an orange that thuds and bruises, or a Christmas ornament that shatters into bits, what happens when one loses altitude depends on what they are made of.
In a series of lessons delivered by Joe in an understated manner, Mike learns new attitudes and approaches to turn around his division and bounce to a new level of performance and excellence.
This is a quick-reading (I ripped through it on a Denver to Las Vegas flight), entertaining, and thought-provoking book aimed at executive management.
The six key principles are useful to consider in any challenging leadership situation.
- Embrace the bounce: it’s not going to go away without you doing something about it.
- Manage the anxiety: absorb your team’s anxiety and redirect it to become a positive resource.
- Manage the mental factors: it’s time to get mentally tough and own the situation.
- Manage the money: money is the fuel of commerce and it’s always better to make more then cut, so uncover sources of money now.
- Manage the mission (in a military sense): your mission is to direct the company to higher performance.
- Manage the morale (in a military sense): your team must feel committed to the outcome to make this work.
The book storyline illustrates each of these principals and gives additional insight in the last chapter as it reviews the six key principles.
I found the book an inspiring read for these economic times. If you’re a leader or executive facing tough times, get it and read it.