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The Great Turnaround

04-25-turnaround

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
– Will Rogers

Recently, I read a good article on business turnarounds. Written by John Collard, Chairman of Strategic Management Partners Inc. and an expert on turning around failing businesses, the article made a number of important observations.

Typically, turnaround situations arise when a business is deteriorating rapidly and reaches the end of its financial resources. Of course (as per my previous blog) the lack of cash is usually not the real problem but rather a symptom of the real problem.

Collard makes the following observation. “Many causes contribute to business failure. According to a study conducted by the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, only 9% of failures are due to influences beyond management’s control and to sheer bad luck….Businesses fail because of mismanagement.

It is interesting to contrast the management issue related to turning around corporations with the management issue related to turning around individual lives. As noted author Os Guinness says, contrast is the mother of clarity.

In most corporate turnaround situations, denial of the problem ultimately collapses in the face of financial stress – payrolls cannot be met, banks are calling loans, etc. By contrast, many individuals get through life without major financial or other crises that force them to look for and deal with root causes.

According to the Bible, however, everyone – including successful marketplace leaders – is in need of a life turnaround whether or not they recognize it. Notwithstanding, many people today believe that not only are they relatively upstanding citizens but also that the condition of humanity is improving rapidly. However, technological advances should not be confused with moral progress. A dispassionate assessment of the last one hundred years will quickly verify that humankind is not progressing morally.

At the end of the day, the root problem is the human heart. This truth was brilliantly articulated by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in the following quote from “The Gulag Archipelago.” “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

According to the Bible, the good news is that Jesus has already taken the necessary steps to effect our personal turnaround. Our responsibility is to believe and receive the benefits of His successful turnaround, which on a personal level leads to both eternal life and abundant living.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
– Paul, the apostle (Romans 5:17)

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.