Newsletter #424 – The Art of Bouncing Back

A friend recently loaned me a copy of Bounce: The Art of Turning Tough Times into Triumph. Written by business consultant Keith McFarland, the book is a story about resilience, giving guidelines for bouncing back whenever we encounter tough times. Here are some principles:

  • Embrace the bounce. Imagine a Christmas ornament, an orange and a basketball. When they fall the first breaks, the second gets bruised and stays on the floor, the third bounces back. Same with people and organizations. Falls get our attention but only a few acknowledge what has happened, determine to change, and bounce back.
  • Manage anxiety. There are two kinds of anxiety; both need to be addressed. First is anxiety about what could happen if we don’t adapt. Second is the anxiety associated with making changes. To bounce back the fear of not adapting has to be stronger than the fear of changing. Leaders acknowledge and help others manage both.
  • Manage mental issues. Resist denial or nostalgia. Instead, keep things in perspective by (1) seeing things as they really are, (2) focusing on causes, not symptoms, (3) remembering that “we control” rather than “they control,” and (4) sticking together so change is a team effort.
  • Manage the money. Prioritize where to cut expenses and channel existing resources. “Focus on the 20 percent of activity likely to generate 80 percent of the results.”  Avoid expansion without funds to pay or making cuts without evaluating priorities first.
  • Manage the mission. Re-examine and clarify the key reason why you or your organization exist. Focus your attention on fulfilling that mission. Drop the lesser priorities.
  • Manage morale – including morale in you. Ask what people really need.” Often this means (1) strong, decisive leaders who listen and cooperate, (2) facing the issues realistically but keeping hope alive, and (3) friends or colleagues who are pragmatic and people with character.

This is a lot to grasp. For Christians the greatest contribution we bring is hope, including the conviction that God is in control.

What would you add to this list? How have you bounced back? Please click on comment to share your story.


  1. Great principle and not always easy to do, bouncing back. I have learned that doing my part and leaving the rest on the Lord’s hands always helps me to bounce back. The difficult part many times for me is “leaving” because I like the illusion of being in control. Great ideas, thank you.


  2. Hi Gary
    Just wanted to share that your book Christian Coachiing which was a foundational text at PCCI changed my life. As a fellow Canadian I know your style of writing had a profound impact on my introduction to coaching. Absolutely love this new story in my life. Thank you for who you are and what you do , so amazingly well!


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