Spend any amount of time around horses, and two things become immediately clear. First, a horse doesn't give his trust to just any cowboy in a ten-gallon hat. You might wear spurs, but if your horse isn't confident in your ability to lead, the ride's going to be short-lived.
And second, each time you interact with your horse, whether you mean to or not, you are teaching him something -- about who you are, what makes you tick, what you expect of him, and what you'll do to help him satisfy those expectations.
Leading a company through a period of do-or-die change is a lot like riding a horse, and those turnaround architects who know how to establish trust, consistently communicate their vision, and harness the power of their team have a better chance at riding out the ups and downs and arriving at their desired destination than those who don't.
There are no guarantees, of course (you don't have to look far to find examples of change agents who have failed), but you can give yourself a leg up. If you've shouldered the tremendous responsibility of taking the reins in a turnaround, the following five guidelines will go a long way toward helping you get where you're going.