Business biographies ultimately focus on the end goal, when the hero walks off to a beautiful sunset with their profitable business (or string of businesses) as a legacy for readers to follow. Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance is a little different. The focus in this book is on enjoying the journey leading up to the beautiful sunset. Elise Mitchell wants current and aspiring entrepreneurs to know that your focus shouldn’t be only on the end goal. You can and should learn from the entire winding journey that is entrepreneurship.
What is Leading Through the Turn About?
Elise Mitchell shares in Leading Through the Turn how she came to appreciate not only achieving her dream but the unorthodox journey that got her to that dream. She started off on the traditional path. Went to school? Check. Got hired by a PR company? Check. Dreamed about owning a global PR agency with her name on the front and agents who were thrilled to hang from every bit of wisdom? Check — with a twist.
Mitchell’s husband had been offered a prestigious opportunity … in Arkansas.
To Mitchell, this felt like the crushing of her dreams. She decided to move with her husband, thinking that her dream of becoming a PR newsmaker was over.
That wasn’t the end.
In fact, it was the start of two brand new businesses, a PR agency and a virtual talent network, which started from her kitchen table. Using her previous work experience and the resources around her, Mitchell transformed her PR business from a kitchen hobby into something ultimately larger than she had ever imagined.
In Leading Through the Turn, the life lessons that Mitchell learned during her entrepreneurial journey are transformed into a blueprint for others to follow. Her book looks at the crucial decisions she had to make at each step of that journey, whether that was working all-nighters to keep the business going or deciding if she wanted to sell that business after it reached millions. Through these decisions, Mitchell asks entrepreneurs to take a moment to appreciate the entire entrepreneur’s journey, from where they are now to where they want to be. If you don’t appreciate the entrepreneur’s journey while you’re on it, Mitchell explains, you’ll miss the significance when it ends.
Mitchell, a communications expert, author, speaker, philanthropist, and dedicated motorcycle rider, now serves as CEO of Mitchell Communications Group and the Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network. She developed a powerful reputation in the PR and marketing industry before launching her own businesses from the kitchen table, a global media enterprise and a virtual talent network of freelance creative and media professionals.
What Was Best About Leading Through the Turn?
Mitchell is a great communicator and it shows throughout the book. Leading Through the Turn has two distinct features that deserve attention, especially in a world overflowing with leadership biographies. The first feature is the back-and-forth conversation Mitchell has with the reader. She shares the life situation or problem she faced, how she dealt with it and then follows it up with a discussion of how readers can adapt the insight into their own professional or personal lives. She does this effortlessly as if she were actually in the room giving a lecture with the reader.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
One area that could possible use more attention is the section on innovation. Mitchell makes an excellent case for businesses (of all types) getting more involved with innovation for their long-term survival. She mentions briefly what she and another female entrepreneur did to improve profits. While this is inspirational, more practical examples (specifically how other entrepreneurs overcome innovation obstacles) might be helpful for those entrepreneurs that want to innovate but literally don’t know where to start.
Why Read Leading Through the Turn?
The road to success is often poorly paved, especially in business.
The pain points along the way to ultimate success are often forgotten. Who wants to remember the bad times, the slumps and the rough patches?
Of course, there are plenty of good times, too. But instead of separating them between good and bad, Leading Through the Turn looks at the journey through a singular lens — and embraces it.