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Raising the Dead Is that ear-piercing peal the sound of your company flatlining? Clear! We've got 1,700 volts of insight that could turn your business around.

By Jonathan T. Scott

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Leading a business turnaround is a gut-wrenching task. I know because I've led three:

In 1991, colleagues elected me manager of a two-channel TV studio in the Middle East. The bland programming our studio regularly broadcast was the focus of much viewer aggression. I didn't know anything about studio operations, so I asked the staff for the top three viewer complaints. The next day I issued three programming edicts, got rid of videotapes that didn't meet the criteria and left the well-seasoned employees to order replacements. The following week, viewer complaints stopped completely. Not long afterward, the Gulf War broke out. Despite 14 nights of missile attacks, regular air-raid warnings, countless broadcasting regulation changes issued by the government and the fraying mental stability of just about everyone, this remains the easiest of the turnarounds I've led.

One year later, I was lured to a company consisting of 12 recreation facilities scattered across a city of 2.5 million inhabitants. The business had been in decline for one decade-more than half its customer facilities either were unusable, or were so damaged or filthy, few people went near them. The board of directors, constantly arguing, offered no support. Employee morale was low.

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