Some people deal with failure better than others. U.S. News & World Report chief business correspondent Newman (co-author: Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11, 2008, etc.) offers some reasons why.
Looking for the quality that enables some people to bounce back from failure and adversity quicker than others, the author singles out resilience. “Rebounders” recover while “Wallowers” do not. While some view failure as an opportunity to improve, others just sit around and complain about how they've been wronged. Newman examines a series of detailed studies of people from different walks of life, all of whom qualify as rebounders. He looks at their shared qualities—e.g., having a bias toward action, being comfortable with discomfort, reserving the right to change their minds, etc. Newman’s subjects include: musician Lucinda Williams; restaurant owner-operator Thomas Keller; former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre; Tammy Duckworth, an Army helicopter pilot who fought back from double amputation to run for Congress; and James Blake, a world-class tennis player who recovered his form after suffering a broken neck. Persistence of this sort is one of the qualities the author includes under the umbrella of resilience. It applies to the attitude Thomas Edison brought to the work of discovery, as well as to John Bogle's lifetime dedication to building the Vanguard investment company. Newman also discusses Cheers actor John Ratzenberger and Majora Carter, a leader in efforts to revive New York's South Bronx.
An entertaining use of case studies to support self-help activity.