Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Adversity Paradox

The Adversity Paradox

An Unconventional Guide to Achieving Uncommon Business Success

J. Barry Griswell and Bob Jennings

St. Martin's Press




Harvey Mackay, Doris Christopher, Pete Dawkins, Clay Jones and John Pappajohn know that the answer to how you recover from career toppling adversity, and then go on to achieve pinnacles of success lies in firsthand knowledge of "the adversity paradox". They all attest to having found that the knowledge they gained from overcoming adversity played such a crucial role in their success trajectories, they now consider adversity a friend.

While many motivational business books promise easy access to prosperity and power by way of secret insight, quick and easy steps, or "insider tips" that are dubious at best, The Adversity Paradox tells it straight and offers no secret formula or silver bullet; instead it offers candid accounts from those whose skills, resourcefulness, and confidence have been tested by adversity and who have put their misfortunes to good use by gaining invaluable business lessons from them. The paths to success are diverse, but The Adversity Paradox identifies patterns that anyone can study and learn from. Business people working to overcome humble beginnings, lack of knowledge, unexpected setbacks, or any manner of misfortune may find the greatest tool for creating business success lies in this new book.


Chapter One

What Is Business Savvy, Anyway?

Business savvy is not something you're born with, nor is it something you inherit. But as we believe it is the key to business success, we start...


Praise for The Adversity Paradox

“The leaders of today face real challenges. Many challenges are challenges of adversity. Determined leaders learn from adversity and gain character and a set of skills that propel them into the future. This is the book to read if you want to get real insights and prepare for the hurdles that we all face in our careers from time to time.” —Ram Charan, best-selling author and acclaimed management philosopher

“As Griswell and Jennings point out, there really is no substitute for hard work. We have to build endurance of character the same way we build endurance of speed or strength, and it always pays off.” —Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Fame player, businessman, and coach

“If you're going to be really successful in business, you have to have the confidence that you can do what others see as impossible. The Adversity Paradox gives readers the chance to gain that confidence from facing their own struggles, take inspiration from the victories of others, aspire to courage and character, and arm themselves with the optimism required to turn big ideas into big realities.” —Wayne Huizenga, award-winning entrepreneur and CEO, and founder of Waste Management, Blockbuster Entertainment, and AutoNation

“The overriding message of this book is consistent with my belief that every one of us is capable and deserving of success and fulfillment in life, no matter what adversity we encounter. I am so glad to see these themes of self improvement, responsibility and positive thinking being recommended to business readers.” —Dr. Robert Schuller, author and founder of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries

“Fascinating insights into the ways that successful people have not only overcome adversity but made a friend and ally out of it. This book offers readers a great opportunity to consider how they will emerge from the major challenges we face individually and as a society. Griswell and Jennings have a deep understanding of the experiences of success arising from adversity, and their observations are unique and encouraging to us all.” —David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University

The Adversity Paradox provides incredible insight into how adversity, when you have made it your friend, can dramatically change a person for the better.I have known both of the authors for over fifteen years and have witnessed the adversity paradox in action in their lives as they grappled with setbacks or misfortunes and became more and more successful. Their extensive knowledge of business, coupled with the amazing stories they compiled in this book, will improve the lives of all those who read it. ” —Ron Willingham, Founder of Integrity Selling and author of ten books

“In some of the most difficult and troubled times for American leaders Griswell and Jennings offer the right prescription. Embrace adversity, learn from adversity, and overcome adversity. The stories of individuals who squarely faced adversity, including Griswell's personal triumph, should inspire us all.” —The Honorable Tom Vilsack, former Iowa Governor and incoming United States Secretary of Agriculture

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

J. Barry Griswell and Bob Jennings

J. BARRY GRISWELL is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of the Principal Financial Group. BOB JENNINGS is president of Lean Management Inc., a consulting company focused on senior management methods and execution.

J. Barry Griswell

© Treleven Photography

Bob Jennings

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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