Business literature indicates that even the best turnaround leaders have only about a fifty percent success rate in attempting to turnaround distressed organizations (2). When a non-profit organization rebounds from decline, the leader is credited with pulling together the resources resident within the organization and putting them to use in new ways. So what are these resources, and what type of leader does it take to wield them to the best advantage?
One important tool for the turnaround leader is ready access to a broad spectrum of people willing to mentor and support the new leader through the learning curve and the turnaround implementation. The organization must also give the leader license to experiment and introduce radical change, including closure or bankruptcy if necessary. The selection guidelines outlined here may help organizations meet the challenge of selecting a leader whose project management style is appropriate for wielding these turnaround tools.