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How To Save Your Company in a Bad Economy

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Turnarounds are inspiring. The ability to rebound after a poor-performing day or decade shows the power of resilience and the determination to find success even when, at times, it seems unreachable. Every CEO should seek to become a Turnaround CEO.

It’s challenging to know where to turn when a company is declining, but you can get your company back on track by following a turnaround playbook. CEOs are wise to have a turnaround playbook that will help them succeed. That playbook includes a set of strategies that will focus the leader on knowing what decisions must be made and when to make those decisions.

One such CEO who was able to turn around his company was Chris Lamontagne, who leads TeeSpring (a social commerce platform to create and sell products online.) Chris has had a habit of focusing on growth and has played vital roles in many fast-moving tech companies, even starting his first business at age twenty.

In a short period of time, Chris, following the playbook that he designed, was able to take a company that was losing money and grow it to gain profitability. During that focus, he was also able to enhance the companies social commerce and engage a new audience to build products to create awareness through their platform. Through the use of this playbook, Chris was able to lead his team to recategorize their business and bring clarity to their customers, supporters, and funders. Chris worked to build a new partnerships eco-system (with the likes of YouTube, Amazon, Twitch & eBay) and develop a new fast-growing user base in content creators creating merchandise for their fans.

The 5 Plays That Should Be In Every CEOs Playbook:

1. The Profitability Play:

Many businesses can start bleeding cash when they are launching a new product or idea. It is crucial for a CEO who will lead the charge of changing the direction of an organization that they move the company to profitability and do so as quickly as possible. This play consists of educating the entire organization of the cash standing and helping everyone in the organization take responsibility to get to profitability. The CEO will know that the team takes ownership when the team takes responsibility to watch costs and reduce unnecessary expenses.

Every CEO that wishes to lead a turnaround must focus on the numbers every day. Turnaround CEOs recognized that every penny counts, and every penny must be counted. When a Turn Around CEO focuses on the team on profitability, then the team understands the value of taking care of the customer.

2. The Clarity Play:

I teach every CEO I work with a simple phrase: when the leader is clear, everything becomes clear. CEOs who wish to turn around their company must push for clarity about who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. The leader must help everyone in the organization embrace the organization’s true identity.

One tool that Chris used with his team to push for clarity was going through the exercise of having each person explain the company so that their mom could understand what they do. This simple question is a fantastic exercise for any CEO of any company. Can you and every team member explain your company and what you do so well that your mother could understand it? A company that does not know who they are or what they are about will not succeed in the marketplace.

3. The Awareness Play:

Leaders are visionary. Leaders have the ability to see into the future and develop a company or organization around the possibilities of what could happen or what could make life better for others. However, sometimes, the vision can become blurry. Blurry companies are often buried by their competition.

Chris made an unusual decision when he assumed the CEO role at Teespring. He decided to spend the first three to four months meeting with people in similar businesses to hear what they were doing and what was coming in the future to the industry. When asked about why he would make such a decision, he responded, “I had to find out what success looks like for our company. I knew that the answers were not in Teespring. That was today’s business, not tomorrow’s business.”

“I had to find out what success looks like for our company. I knew that the answers were not in Teespring. That was today’s business, not tomorrow’s business.”

CEOs who wish to turn around their company must lead from their vision. They must look out ahead of the competition and make bold decisions that others in their industry are afraid to make. They must get out ahead if they will get out of being behind.

4. The Team Play:

It takes a team to make a turnaround. After leaders know where they want to go, they must focus on getting a team to go along with them. Part of the team play instills in the team the belief that the company or organization can be successful again. The CEO must embrace the role of Chief Belief Officer. They must inspire and call others to believe in the vision. The CEO must communicate the value of what the company is working to accomplish and that all the hard work is worth the effort.

Turn Around CEOs understand the value of the right people doing the right things in the right ways. People will either bring energy into the company or cost the company to expand energy in ineffective ways. This might be the most crucial play a turnaround CEO makes as they gather people who have high energy that will help to energize the company.

5. The Execution Play

The execution play happens by putting the strategy to work. Companies that are in free-fall mode often have a difficult time making decisions. These companies paralyze themselves because they are afraid that they will make the wrong decision. They analyze numbers and data and never move to work the strategy that will lead to success. When people know what to do and how to do it, they are empowered to execute. The CEO, during a turnaround, must focus on encouraging and inspiring the team to act with intention.

Turnarounds are not easy. However, every business will have periods when they start to decline. When a company does not know how to recover after a setback, it is doomed to continue a downward spiral until it closes. These are the five plays that Chris Lamontagne called to help turn his company around. This turnaround playbook should be embraced by every CEO who wishes to guide their company through a downturn back to an uptick for a positive future.

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Ken Gosnell is the CEO and Servant Leader of CEO Experience (CXP). His company serves Christian CEOs and leaders by helping them to hear the words Well Done. CEO Experience provides great retreat experiences for CEOs that both transform them and their organizations that enable them to go further faster. Ken is the publisher of the CXP CEO Executive Guide that is designed to help leaders learn faster by encouraging them to give themselves a monthly learning retreat. His monthly CEO retreats have helped thousands of CEOs and their leadership teams to enhance strategic, operational, and people accomplishments. He is a keynote speaker, executive coach, and strategic partner with CEOs and successful business leaders. He is also the author of the book Well Done - Biblical Business Principles leaders can use to Grow their business with Kingdom Impact



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Business

What America Do You Want?

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What have we done to the shared values that made America great? Do you shake your head as you listen to the nightly news or the latest Biden gaffe or executive order? Yes, it has been amazing to watch Americans come together to help their neighbors in the face of Hurricane Ian, but hurricanes have an end to their destruction. Between now and November, we must remind Americans of the disaster we face if we do not elect candidates who will put a stop to the Biden Administration’s destructive policies and priorities. America’s future depends upon it.

We know that every improvement is the result of change, but we are now learning a very painful lesson—not every change is in improvement! Biden’s America hardly resembles the country our Founding Fathers envisioned. Fake news abounds, unchecked by mainstream media. Dissent is silenced or, even worse, labeled hate speech. The value of work, personal responsibility, and perseverance are replaced with honoring victimhood, fueling racism, and encouraging dependence.

We might heed the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 5:20) when he warned: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” The prophet could say the same thing about Biden’s America today!

We are becoming the fake news capital of the world. Speaking to Democratic governors recently, President Joe Biden compared Italy’s new and conservative prime minister Giorgia Meloni to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping. Meloni campaigned on God, pride in country, and defense of family values to win the election. Even the direct rival she defeated, ex Italian PM Matteo Renzi, defended her: “Personally I was against Giorgia Meloni, I’m not her best friend. We are rivals, but she is not a danger to democracy. The idea there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news.” Biden’s reckless diplomatic statements are dangerous and irresponsible. America has and must expect more from her presidents.

When most Americans are concerned about their own safety and the rise of crime in their communities, Biden’s Washington remains focused on a never-ending investigation into the “January 6th Insurrection.” The Democrats seem to feel it is the worst travesty to hit America since 9/11. While many who participated in the “insurrection” remain in jail, Democrats are still calling for police budget cuts, an end to bail, fewer prosecutions, and early release for true criminals. To prevent criminals from being homeless after serving time, President Biden has even promised housing for 100% of those who have done criminal crimes. At the same time, his administration has done little or nothing to improve housing for veterans, seniors living on fixed incomes, or working Americans on the verge of losing their homes in the face of the inflation-driven increases in the cost of living.

Instead of challenging and encouraging all Americans to earn their own American Dream, today’s Democrats are arguing for a guaranteed income for all Americans, In America, we promise the freedom to work in pursuit of one’s own happiness. Now, Democrats want to provide a guaranteed income whether you earn it or not. Why work when you can be dependent on your tax-paying neighbors?

Americans wonder why there is inadequate housing, but Washington seems to ensure that building and owning rental property doesn’t pay. When government mandates rent moratoriums, property owners are left holding the bag. Owners must still pay their mortgages and maintenance expenses while renters get a free ride and can’t even be evicted. Why would anyone want to own rental property in today’s America? Want more housing, let capitalism work.

And just what has happened to our guaranteed freedom of speech? If you dare say that you are a MAGA voter who still believes there was rampant fraud in the 2020 election, you must be shamed into silence as an obvious domestic enemy worthy of scorn. In today’s America, the Left can say anything they want about Trump or conservatives and still post away on social media, but even mention election fraud or tyranny from the left, and your freedom of expression goes away. “Hate speech” rules are one-sided and a true threat to our freedom of speech.

Democrats try to tell us that the Southern border is secure, and they rail against conservative border governors sending even a few illegal immigrants to Democrat-controlled cities like Washington, Chicago, and New York. They claim they are “sanctuary cities” ready to protect illegal immigrants. But when put to the test, they plead for National Guard troops and for President Biden to do something! He has been doing something; he has been sending illegals by the bus loads to red states for well over a year. We do not have a secure border, and even Democratic mayors in border cities know something needs to be done. President Biden, it is time to finish the wall and secure our border. It’s time to elect candidates who will demand just that.

If this is the America you want, vote Democrat. If not, embrace the GOP’s Commitment to America and get ready to take back the future of this great country. Yes, it is time to Make America Great Again!

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Business

America Needs a Reboot

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There is a sign outside of Needville Feed that reads: “Has anyone tried unplugging the United States and plugging it back in?” Let the painful laughter ensue! It’s confession time. How many times have you been unable to figure things out on your computer and just decided to start over by rebooting in hopes of a new beginning. Sure, no one wants to lose the current good work, so you save what you can and hope for the best.

But America does need a reboot? Something is not right with America today. Some are working to get the 34 states needed to convene a National Constitutional Convention. Others are clamoring for term limits for all politicians. Unfortunately, every radical answer unleashes radical fears that such plans could create more problems than viable solutions. We seem stuck in stupid!

They want clean energy with wind and solar while they work to shut down natural gas and nuclear energy, two clean energy sources. Due to our clean energy efforts, our coal and oil resources are cleanest in the world. But they want to buy oil from questionable countries while limiting production here. Does it make sense to move from energy independence to energy dependence before we have proven clean energy alternatives that can supply the energy we need? Of course not! We’re stuck on stupid. Time to reboot expanded energy options to reclaim energy independence!

How can you have true freedom of speech and not occasionally offend someone along the way? The answer to hateful or offensive speech, is more speech and thicker skin. People throw around the term “snowflakes” for people who want freedom for themselves but can’t handle that freedom for those who would attack their own views. Freedom is messy. Freedom is loud. Let people say what they want and experience the consequences for their comments. If you offend enough people, don’t expect to win many votes or popularity polls! It’s time to reboot freedom of speech for all!

I always thought that government was established to protect their citizens from enemies and from criminals. Why are people buying guns? Citizens want weapons to protect themselves. They are seeing far too many criminals let go without being prosecuted or punished. Government wants to take guns away from citizens, and everyone knows that criminals will keep theirs! In America today, crime seems to pay pretty well for the growing number of flash mobs, carjackers, and rioters taking what they want! Few big city DAs are doing their jobs. If you riot in the streets, rob small businesses, and attack bystanders, you should go to jail and serve time! We’re stuck on stupid! It’s time to unplug and reboot America’s law and order program!

Immigration has made America a better country, a melting pot of people who value freedom and the opportunity to earn their own dream. But people playing by the rules to immigrate to America keep waiting and never get the welcome illegal aliens receive by just crashing our Southern borders. By not having a secure border, we are advertising for more illegals to come. The Biden administration will provide transportation, let you have benefits, and work to get you housing and an eventual path to citizenship. Why immigrate legally, when doing so illegally works so well? Time to reboot. Time to finish the wall and secure our Southern border!

Martin Luther King, Jr. paid the price and rallied the country around a dream that one’s character would mean more than the color of a one’s skin. And yet today, calls for racism are encouraged. To many, you’re celebrated for saying that all whites are racist. Many blacks call for special reparations for the racism of a distant past. There is one sure result of such calls for special racial treatment-renewed racism! Reverend King would have surely affirmed that “All God’s children matter!” Under democratic leadership, America is backsliding into more racial animus. It’s time for a reboot. It’s time to reaffirm that “All men are created equal” is a value and a promise worth fighting for.

Personal responsibility for one’s choices is a critical American value. If you commit a crime, you do the time. You borrow money for something you want, you pay your debt. President Biden executive order to “forgive” student debt is not “free.” That debt isn’t “canceled;” it’s transferred to every tax-paying American. Many of those taxpayers have already worked and sacrificed to pay off their own student debt. This is not only stupid; it is an assault on basic fairness and a blatant attempt to buy votes. Reboot required! Reinstall personal responsibility programming!

In a recent interview on Jesse Watters’ Fox News show, Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution confronted the extreme actions of the left in transforming America. They are attacking and overthrowing America’s time-tested values.

To Hanson, the left is governing exactly the way they accuse the right of acting: “I mean, nobody on the right said let’s junk the 233-year-old Electoral College; [the] 180-year-old filibuster; the 150-year-old, nine-person Supreme Court. Nobody [on the right] said let’s bring in two more states and end the idea for 60 years of a 50-state union.”

It’s only left that has no problem stalling protection for right-leaning Supreme Court Justices facing demonstrations outside their homes. It’s the left that wants to radically federalize the voting laws to ensure that 70 percent of the votes would not be cast on Election Day. It’s the left that has radically weaponized the IRS with excessive increases in personnel and funding. The left calls January 6th an insurrection, but as Hanson notes: “Remember in 2021 when they had barbed wire and 30,000 troops in Washington, D.C. in the greatest weaponization since the Civil War?” Do you remember?

When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in government entitlement programs that take from your neighbor to give you the things you ought to be forced to earn for yourself. It’s time to unplug this radical administration before it is too late. In November, it’s time to reboot by booting out the politicians who have played so loosely with America’s time-tested recipe for freedom and opportunity. It’s time to send the left home!

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