How to think through saving a sinking ship!

us_navyThe best words anyone aboard a sinking ship wants to hear is…

“I CAN help with that, I CAN SAVE you!”

You may apply this metaphor to any business.

As the captain of the ship you have very important decisions to make. Do you stay aboard until the very end and possibly go down with the ship or do you pull out all the stops and do ALL you can to save the ship from sinking? How do you begin to think through this important decision that not only affects you but all of your crew and passengers and their families too?

Next, what must be considered when it comes to saving a sinking ship or going down with it?

Here are 3 practices to help you think through this process and some questions to consider along the way:

Before any determinations can be made, first a thorough examination is in order:


A thorough and deep examination might look like: observing past performance in great detail; analyzing the results “under a microscope”; observing and understanding trends in the market place; and a thorough awareness of key competitors and their performance both domestic and international. Relevancy – are the product/services and business model relevant today? Can customers consume the product in many ways as in how and when they want to use it? Can they get it faster? Does the business model still work or does it need to be revised? What is the health of the company culture, do changes need to be made there? Does charging more for the products make sense, are there opportunities to eliminate products and replace those with others that are in higher demand today and address real issues like wellness and health care. Do we have the right people in the right positions? Do we have the right talent and skilled employees matched correctly with a position they can not just do but excel at, grow into and flourish in? Do we have opportunities to improve customer service, quality control, etc. Is it possible for the business to increase profits? Where do changes need to be made and what flexibility will be required? Do we need funding, investors? Do employees feel valued and respected at ALL levels? Are we paying them what they are worth or just enough to keep them? Is our decision good for everyone?


Once a thorough examination has been made, then and only then can the right diagnosis be made. With through inspection we can identify the root cause of the situation, and begin to make headway plans to remedy and cure. Perhaps we decide to walk away all together depending on whether we believe it is possible to turn around the ship and based on quantifiable facts, results and what we can bring to the table.


Who do we need to bring in that has the skills and expertise to cure the problem? What other support will we need to get the job done? How long will it take to see a positive turnaround? What is the time frame needed realistically for this to happen? What new practices might need to be implemented, by who and how often? In what ways will the treatment be administered and for how long?

“I CAN help with that!”

Turning around a sinking ship is never a walk in the park, yet it is possible. Getting the right diagnosis will lead to getting the right prescription and ultimately the right treatment.

The destination may not need to change, with a few adjustments in the approach perhaps that’s all that’s needed?

What are your thoughts on staying the course, abandoning a sinking ship or turnaround?

How would you turn around a sinking ship?

Janet I Mueller is the CEO of J Mueller Group. She passionately serves and helps her clients and audiences to unlock and achieve their full potential, raise their self-esteem through personal growth and leadership development. Helping leaders to become excellent leaders through practice and philosophy of servant leadership. Janet is a mom, educator, executive coach, speaker and published author. Coming soon, her new book “The Blossoming – A Leader’s Guide 10 Keys To Unlocking Your Blooming Potential”. Author of “A Champion’s Guide To Thriving Beyond Breast Cancer”Janet is an advocate for women and girls and member of RAINN the largest national anti sexual assault organization. She is hired to speak on personal growth, leadership development and self-esteem.

Learn more and meet Janet here:

To work with Janet or hire her as a speaker for your event please inquire here:



Comments are closed.
Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor