Have you ever had times when you lost a big customer? When you had a major quality problem that caused an issue with a customer? When you lost a key employee? When your children disappointed you?

We all have times in our personal or professional life when things seem to be working against us. How do you react and carry yourself when things like this happen? 

The way you bounce back from these times are extremely important to team dynamics and future performance. The people within your sphere of influence will feed off of your positive outlook or will be dragged down by your negative energy in these situations.

Are you like a tennis ball, or a ball of clay when bouncing back from tough and challenging times? A tennis ball bounces right back when thrown to the ground, whereas the clay will just splat on the ground.

Servant leaders are like tennis balls! They recognize that their demeanor will dictate how the rest of the team bounces back. Knowing they don’t want the team focused on the negative, but instead on a positive way forward they are intentional about not staying down long.

Effective ways to bounce back are:

  • Focus on things you can control. Lately I have heard many people mention that the price of oil being down is having an extremely negative impact on their business. That very well may be true, but there is probably not one thing you are going to do to change oil prices. So instead of being down about something that you can’t control, work with the things you can and make a positive difference in a challenging market.
  • Believe that failures are not a break down, but instead an opportunity for a break through. Post-It notes were developed by accident in a failed experiment. Keeping an attitude of learning when you are in challenging times will keep your spirits up.
  • Get Jesus into your plans. Change from your plan to His plan! In Luke Chapter 5 we read about some disciples fishing all night without catching any fish. They were professional fishermen. They were extremely disappointed. Jesus then told them later to drop down their nets. They followed his plan and caught more fish than they could handle!
  • Take direction from Jesus’ promises. It will change your thinking and alter your priorities. James 1:2-4 says: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Staying focused on these areas will lift you up in challenging times. Lifting yourself up will lift others up. It is your role as a servant leader!


Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Luke 5:5-6