|Abstract||Effective turnaround school leadership is a difficult proposition even for the most skilled leaders, yet is direly needed to support student outcomes in Americas most challenging schools. The scale of the challenge is of epic proportions as 5,000 to 6,000 schools across the country are struggling, as defined by chronically low student achievement, and are eligible for school improvement funding. The purpose of this study is to examine turnaround leadership through a people-first, culture-based lens, providing turnaround leaders a potential road map to follow in their journey of doing the cultural work required with their educators in these turnaround schools. To this end, the study was guided by two questions: (1) To what extent do urban school leaders improve school culture for adults in a purposeful and intentional way during the initial stages of the turnaround process; and (2) how and to what degree do turnaround leaders use the accelerators posited in the conceptual framework to guide school turnaround? A qualitative approach, in which the rich story of three turnaround leaders in two schools, is used to answer these questions. Findings articulate that turnaround leaders combine purposefulness with their own unique natural leadership attributes to impact their adult culture in the initial stages of turnaround. Furthermore, the accelerators presented in the framework were each used by turnaround leaders at varying extents depending on the context of their school, the stage of turnaround, and the accelerators they felt matched their own leadership strengths. Additional accelerators, lying outside the conceptual framework, were uncovered for consideration in building a positive adult culture in turnaround. In addition, considerations for turnaround leaders, recommendations for districts, and suggestions for future research involving priming an adult culture ready for turnaround are discussed providing optimism to turnaround leaders.