Book Review: Bounce

In December 2009, I shared this book review in this newsletter. The economy had taken a deep dive and I thought this book was very helpful in addressing that decline for small business owners. Likewise, I think it is equally helpful in today’s world. The SBM Mastermind group is currently reading the book as well.


by Keith McFarland

Best-selling author Keith McFarland wrote one of my favorite books, “The Breakthrough Company”, last year. He has followed up that book this year with another terrific book “Bounce”.

As the economy begins to slowly recover, some small businesses are well-positioned to recover. Others are not. What’s the difference between the two groups? Author McFarland accurately describes the difference in “Bounce”. This is a leadership fable that shows how to use challenges, like a miserable economy, to make both yourself and your company stronger.

In writing his previous book, McFarland studied the performance of over seven thousand leading growth companies. He found the top performing companies all had one very interesting thing in common: each went through a period of pronounced difficulty. In some cases, almost death-like experiences.  The author found that great companies arise not from an absence of difficulty, but instead as a result of such experiences. He describes the process in his book as “disintegration followed by reintegration”.

The core learning in “Bounce” is found in McFarland’s “Six Key Principles”. My favorite is “Principle #1: Embrace the Bounce”. He explains that it is not a question of whether your business will find trouble; it is a question instead of when. Are you ready? It will be a test of your organizational resiliency. The author suggests there are three possible models. Either you are a Christmas ornament, an orange, or a rubber ball. When an ornament falls, it breaks. When an orange falls, it bruises. When the ball drops, it “bounces” right back. Which are you?

I loved this book. It’s the perfect reading for the times we’re living in.