How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success
By Rick Newman
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345527837, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
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Let’s face it: Setbacks happen, and failure is always a possibility. But here’s the good news: Amazing success has been achieved by people who once fell flat on their faces. The secret lies in how we respond to life’s bumps and pot holes and unwelcome detours—from getting fired or losing a business to enduring a professional rejection or pursuing a passion that fails to pan out. Misfortune, it turns out, can be a springboard to success.
In Rebounders, U.S. News & World Report journalist Rick Newman examines the rise and fall—and rise again—of some of our most prolific and productive figures in order to demystify the anatomy of resilience. He identifies nine key traits found in people who bounce back that can transform a setback into the first step toward great accomplishment. Newman turns many well-worn axioms on their head as he shows how virtually anybody can improve their resilience and get better at turning adversity into personal and professional achievement.
• Setbacks can be a secret weapon: They often teach vital things you’ll never learn in school, on the job, or from others.
• There are smart ways to fail: Once familiar with them, you’ll be more comfortable taking risks and less discouraged if they don’t pan out.
• “Defensive pessimism” trumps optimism: Planning for what could go wrong is often the best way to ensure that it doesn’t.
• Know when to quit: Walking away at the right time can free the resources you need to exploit better opportunities.
• “Own the suck”: When faced with true hardship, taking command of the pain and sorrow—rather than letting it command you—lays the groundwork for ultimately rising above it.
Each lesson is highlighted by candid and inspiring stories from notable people, including musician Lucinda Williams, tennis champ James Blake, inventor Thomas Edison, army veteran and double-amputee Tammy Duckworth, and Joe Torre, former manager of the New York Yankees.
In this uncertain and unstable time, Rebounders lays out the new rules for success and equips you with the tools you need to get ahead and thrive.
Rick Newman is chief business correspondent for U.S. News & World Report as well as a frequent commentator on MSNBC, CNN, Fox, NPR, and other TV and radio networks. He is the co-author of Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11 and Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He lives outside New York City.
Advance praise for Rebounders
“What an exciting, refreshing, and desperately needed book! Our culture tends to ‘pretty up’ the logic of success. But what really separates winners from losers, legends from laggards, is not a stroke of genius or unbounded ambition: It’s the capacity to bounce back from life’s inevitable setbacks. In Rebounders, Rick Newman draws a set of powerful insights from a collection of masterfully told stories and teaches all of us how to become more resilient in the face of adversity—and thus more likely to succeed. Bravo!”—William C. Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company and author of Practically Radical
“There are many guides to success. Rebounders is a standout because it teaches one of the hardest and most valuable things anybody can learn: how to make the most of your setbacks and even turn them to your advantage. This uplifting and entertaining book is a great read for strivers, entrepreneurs, and anybody eager to get ahead in these challenging times.”—Jane Bryant Quinn, author of Making the Most of Your Money Now
“If the idea of failure makes you wither, read this book. If you want to know how to fail better, read this book. Only a Rebounder like Rick Newman could clarify these lessons. And only a journalist like Rick Newman could write about them with such clarity.”—Erik Proulx, filmmaker of Lemonade and Lemonade: Detroit
“Rebounders is a great read. Rick Newman reveals some powerful perspectives and gives some outstanding examples of people who have learned from their past and created a successful present. This book is full of valuable knowledge; read it and reap the benefits!”—Keith Cameron Smith, author of The Top 10 Distinctions Between Entrepreneurs and Employees
“Business platitudes are a dime a dozen. By contrast, Rebounders shares a dozen remarkably instructive and specific stories of resilience in action. Rick Newman gives us all a road map to success.”—Sydney Finkelstein, Steven Roth Professor of Management, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and author of Why Smart Executives Fail