It takes a special skill set to be able to turn around failing or underperforming operations. I have some experience in this. My background is in finance and accounting. I’ve been part of the opening team for several companies. I have consulted for a company that had been open for a year when the CFO and Director of Finance of the company bolted just before a SEC filing deadline. They were in desperate need of a turnaround specialist.
For that company I was brought on as an interim Director of Finance. I was quickly awed by the interim CFO’s ability to walk into a broken company, maintain his composure in the midst of a maelstrom of bad financial news, and provide the guidance and assurance to the troops that we could turn it around with hard work and a single-minded vision.
What are some of the personality characteristics of a turnaround specialist? I found a useful article from a business consulting firm that gives an idea of what is needed. Some of their ideas include:
· Determined and self-disciplined. A look at the trajectory one is on in their young adulthood can often tell you what is at the core of a person. Mitt Romney—dual degrees from Harvard. President Obama—we don’t really know as he won’t release his transcripts. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article back in 2008 called, Obama’s Lost Years, that is an interesting read.
· Inspires the troops. Remember Hope and Change? It was a great vision, with an articulate spokesman. Many bought into the belief that there was hope that things would change for the better under President Obama. I give him very high marks for creating a positive image that people could get behind. The obvious problem was things didn’t change for the better. We’re mired in the same stagnant economy and President Obama is no longer touting Hope and Change. The argument could be made that he now follows a Divide and Blame meme.
· Has clear, concrete, simple vision. Mitt Romney’s stance on various issues can be found here. By clicking on the link you’ll see his views on topics like, Spending – “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in – Mitt Romney”, Trade, Energy, National Defense, Regulation, and Healthcare.
· Street smart. Mitt Romney is often referred to as Wicked Smart. Both his academic and business prowess speak for themselves. President Obama frequently appears to be flailing around and out of his depth. Instead of learning from the mistakes he’s made in trying to turn the economy around, he doubles and triples down on disastrous policies. When Mitt turns around the economy it will be the basis for his reelection in 2016. What are President Obama’s accomplishments? Healthcare and stimulus spending. It’s odd how he almost never speaks about them…could be because his accomplishments aren’t anything to be proud of. They didn’t work, and they won’t work if given another four years.
· Performance accountability. We’re getting to the crux of my argument with this one. Judge the two candidates by what they have done in their careers. If there is anything stellar on President Obama’s resume I’m unaware of it. Mitt Romney’s resume on the other hand is full significant achievements. Remember the 2002 Winter Olympics? When Mitt arrived they were scandal plagued and teetering on destruction. By any measure the Olympics were a wild success. Bain Capital? Mitt didn’t take successful companies and improve on them. Staples, Sports Authority? Both were in desperate straits and in need of a steady hand. Enter Mitt Romney. Over 100 struggling companies were turned around by his guidance.
· Combining several of the other traits: Isn’t driven by ego, Quickly learns and adapts, Flexible, Open to new ideas, etc. Ego? Granted you’ll never become president without a healthy sense of self-worth. But when left-leaning papers like the Los Angeles Times, describe your arrogance as a huge problem, you know it’s bad. As stated before, president Obama wants to double and triple down on bad ideas that didn’t work the first time around.
What the country needs right now is a turnaround specialist, someone that has demonstrated an ability to walk into the middle of turmoil and provide the correct guidance needed to right the ship. We have two choices—go with a person who has done exactly this, or remain with the person that has never turned anything around, and who has struggled and failed to turn around our economy despite being given four years to do so.
I’m supporting Mitt Romney.