“Before starting down the path of tackling a transformation or turnaround, you must first ask yourself if you are suited to do it.”

The white paper How did you do that?, published in 2009 by executive thought leader Sid Fuchs, explores the practical, yet often overlooked aspects of what makes an executive a true leader in turnout transformation and high growth.

Fuchs wrote the assessment as President and CEO of OAO Technology Solutions in 2009. He is the current CEO of MacAulay-Brown, Inc. and recent Author of the popular networking and mentorship book Get off the Bench.

According to Fuchs, there are three personality traits standing in the way of an executive in succeeding transformational and fundamental change…and that of a “hired gun.”

  • The capacity to multi-task and obtain results for a wide-variety of internal and external concerns swiftly and deliberately
  • The energy to sustain and drive change in your organization and industry
  • The ability to maintain an edge that allows you and your company to stand out in the marketplace in a positive and significant way

“Never confuse activity with results”

From day one, executives must be prepared to effectively diagnose the situation at hand, set proper goals and expectations, and create an environment that fosters a winning culture to drive results.

“The best CEO’s and executives,” according to Fuchs, “are those who truly understand their role, surround themselves with smart and capable leaders, are broad in experience, passionate about the business and results, love working with and developing people, and possess an unlimited amount of focused energy.”

People work for two reasons: money and passion. It is the fundamental job of the executive to continue challenge and nurture employees at all levels to reach an individual’s full potential. However, what should be a leader’s action of an employee is seen as a “high-achiever” regarding that individuals work, but the employee does not reflect (or even damages) the company’s corporate culture? Regarding this common, but not often not discussed situation, Fuchs gives this advice:

“It takes more than just being a good performer – it also takes being a good employee, which means that employees must represent the company in the appropriate manner and abide by the policies and guidelines that have been established. I’ve always said that there is no “sitting on the fence” and that your employees have to be either in the company and live its values or be out of the company.”

While succession planning, executive leadership and corporate culture present unique challenges, there are frameworks executives can follow when improving an organization’s performance. These frameworks can appropriately address how executives should manage the transition from a failing organization to one that achieves desired outcomes, and how executives should realign individual tasks and functions to support the overall turnaround strategy.

“Set clear and attainable expectations early on.”

According to Fuchs, “it is critical to always ‘under promise and over deliver.’ Setting proper expectations from the start will give executives room to breathe, make accurate assessments, bring new talent on board, try some changes through trial and error, and recover from any false starts.”

“People are not only watching what you say, but how you say it, how you act, how you react, your body language, how you dress, and how you carry yourself…Leading change is about evolving the culture while navigating through treacherous waters. This is impossible to do from your desk,” Fuchs writes.

Ultimately, executives with the right talent, mentality, passion and energy, can lead an organizational turnaround venture toward growth.

To read up on the complete paper, please visit the thought leadership section at www.sidfuchs.com.