Bounce (Hardcover)

The Art of Turning Tough Times into Triumph

By Keith Mcfarland

Crown Business, 9780307588173, 176pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2009

List Price: 21.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Why do many people and companies crumble in the face of difficulty, while others use adversity to bounce back even stronger? Here from New York Times bestselling author Keith McFarland is a leadership fable for those wary of fables, a story that rejects pat, heard-it-before advice and shows–in a startlingly fresh way–how to use challenges to make both yourself and your organization stronger.

Mike Maloney, division manager for Boston-area tech firm CRX, returns from a business trip late one night feeling demoralized. His unit is about to lose its biggest customer and its most valuable employee. Mike wonders how much longer he and his staff can keep up their relentless work schedule and meet upper management’s new request for cost cuts. Something has to give. Hoping to blow off steam, he heads to a gym, where he runs into Joe, a former army Ranger.

After listening to Mike vent about the cards he’s been dealt, the ex-soldier says, "Sounds like your company is ready to bounce." Mike looks confused, so Joe begins tutoring him in lessons from the battlefield. It is precisely when all seems lost, says Joe, that the opportunity exists to rethink a situation and make real progress.

Over the next two weeks, Joe turns Mike’s view of himself and his company upside down. Despite his Ivy League MBA and extensive experience running companies, Mike has a lot to learn from this young grunt just back from Afghanistan. For example, he learns that under pressure, people experience two kinds of anxiety–one that hurts performance and one that helps it. Mike uses the insight to get his troops running toward the sound of gunfire, and in the process, learns that "bounce" can happen outside the workplace, too. With Joe’s help, he finds his own personal bounce.

Drawing inspiration from such sources as the work of M.I.T. social scientist Ed Schein, the film Saving Private Ryan, and his own experiences as a CEO leading companies, McFarland cleverly weaves a story whose practical insights can be put to use immediately. With an invaluable wrap-up section at the book’s end that analyzes each of the key ideas and shows how they can be applied in work and personal life, Bounce may be the most indispensable guide to facing challenges ever written.

About the Author

KEITH McFARLAND is the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Breakthrough Company and a leading business consultant whose client list includes Microsoft, Motorola, Morgan Stanley, Vans, House of Blues, and hundreds of small to midsize firms. A regular columnist for Business Week, McFarland formerly served as CEO of technology firms Nivo International and Collectech Systems, and as a dean of the Pepperdine University School of Business.

Praise For Bounce: The Art of Turning Tough Times into Triumph

Bounce is the right story for our times. If you’re a manager in the hot seat, this book should be on your nightstand.”
—Dan Heath, co-author of Made to Stick

"Keith McFarland has written a brilliant and insightful work on how leaders should face adversity. It’s a must read for leaders in every field in these times which present daunting challenges and require strong people at the top."
—General Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Retired)

"An indispensable guide for leadership and for life. McFarland mines deep truths on how we can meet whatever challenges life throws our way."
—Chris Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness and Stay Where You Are

"How truly relevant! This amazing story teaches proactive thinking and creative action around six key principles. A marvelous and enlightening read."
—Stephen R. Covey, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“When the going gets tough, leaders must know how to adapt in the face of stress—how to bounce. Keith McFarland’s book will show managers in the hot seat how to help their organizations ‘embrace the bounce’—stop blaming, face reality, and take control. This book may be just what your company needs to turn things around!”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

"In times like these, when the rules seem to be changing…Bounce can be just the provocation we need to rediscover our path to success."
—Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., author of the national bestseller Fish!

“Strikingly insightful...the definitive playbook for these challenging times.”
—Kevin Reilly, Entertainment President, Fox Broadcasting

“A must read that is truly inspiring…What’s even more impressive than the storytelling are the takeaways that you’ll instantly incorporate into your life. Consider this book’s cover price small payment for the golden nuggets of wisdom you’ll be carting off.”
—Josh Berman, Co-Founder,; President, Slingshot Labs

“Just as the nature of business has changed in our Web 2.0 world, the nature of leading people has changed. Bounce is going to reorient the way you think about tackling business issues, keeping your team engaged, and winning in the marketplace.”
—Dave Barger, President & CEO JetBlue Airways Corporation