‘The ugly duckling is a swan.’ Thus ends the fairy tale of The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen. However, until that beautiful day when it met its fellow swans, the little bird had to go through some tough times. And the ugly duckling is not the only protagonist that faced difficult moments before seeing a happy ending. There are countless fairy tales such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Haensel and Gretel’, just to name a few. ‘Rags-to-riches plots’ have been used by leaders and societies at all times throughout history to recount their own stories. Interestingly, turnaround stories have gained more and more ‘scientific interest’, also in ‘marketing’, ‘entrepreneurship’, and, most recently, even as a ‘leadership tool’. Apparently, we seem to like protagonists which successfully make their way through troubled times. But why? Is it because they might inspire or encourage us and give us hope for a good ending? Or is there anything else we can learn from the ugly duckling, Cinderella, and their fellow protagonists? To that end, the four short essays in the present book examine foundations, features, and actual applications of turnaround stories in various areas. The central aim of all of this is that turnaround stories may give entrepreneurs and leaders hope but also advice so that they, after all kinds of challenges and crises in their own lives, may eventually come to experience that the ‘ugly duckling is a swan.’
Roger II. von Sizilien (1095–1154) war in vielerlei Hinsicht ein herausragender Herrscher. 1112 wurde er Graf von Sizilien, 1128 Herzog von Apulien, nur zwei Jahre später ließ er sich zum König krönen.