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About Tony Mulkern

Tony specializes in the development and delivery of leading-edge executive coaching, executive launch and leadership development programs. He is founder and President of Mulkern Associates, a Los Angeles-based consulting services firm. All articles in the Executive Compass are the original work of the author in the by-line, not ghost-written or purchased elsewhere, and copyrighted by Mulkern Associates. Articles by Tony Mulkern are based upon issues his clients have struggled with in the over 25 years he has been an Executive Coach and consultant to upper level management in a wide spectrum of industries, from small start-ups to Fortune 100s, public and private organizations.

Why Let Performance Appraisals Like Taxes Fill Us with Dread?

The news these days is full of discussions of proposed corporate tax increases, something business leaders want passionately to avoid, except for a few multi-billionaires.  Yet there is another activity that rivals paying taxes for the sense it evokes of doing the utterly thankless and truly distasteful—performance appraisals.  How draining, demoralizing, and unproductive they usually seem to be!  Consequently, most companies take one of three approaches to this annual ritual of self-punishment: Conduct performance appraisals

By |April 14th, 2021|Categories: Leadership|

REFLECTIONS ON A LEADERSHIP CRISIS

The deep divisions present in our country at this time seem to constitute a leadership crisis. Some Americans are beginning to question the viability of democracy itself. I share the view expressed in the famous quotation attributed to Churchill that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  Lincoln’s view that American democracy is an “experiment” is also a view I share—there is no guarantee that it will work out in

By |February 13th, 2021|Categories: Leadership|

CAN YOU HANDLE A BOOM?

Tired of reading about Zoom fatigue and the need to resign yourself to the “new normal?”  If so, this article may provide the relief you crave. It is time to plan take advantage of the opportunities that the end of the Covid-19 crisis will bring.  Consider the estimate of third quarter GDP growth by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: 36.2%!  (https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow) While not a forecast, this “GDP Now” number is considered indicative of what

By |October 27th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

All Times Are Turbulent

By Tony Mulkern Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management theory, published in the 1980s his Managing in Turbulent Times.  Though much respected and still worth reading, the book was given a redundant title.  Every epoch or era has been turbulent. In our own recent history since the year 2000, we have had the attacks of 9/11; the war in Afghanistan, which continues; the second war in Iraq; constant economic theft from China; threats from

By |August 4th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

Words to Inspire Clients and Teams in this Crisis: A View from the Bridge

By John Frederich, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®  Editor’s Note: While reflecting upon possible communications for bolstering morale and engagement during the current Covid-19 crisis, I received the following email that a long-term client John Frederich had sent to his team and clients and decided that I could provide no better example to readers of this column. He provided permission to reprint his eloquent message here. John is the senior partner and owner at Frederich Family Wealth

By |April 23rd, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

Avoid Corona Virus Panic

While I write this article regarding the corona virus, the Dow Jones stock index is down nearly 1,000 points.  Clearly, panic is upon us.  If ever there was a time to say, “Calm down,” this is it. We did not panic when 80,000 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to the flu in the 2018-2019 season by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  This was significantly above the usual number of around 50,000 to

By |February 24th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

How to Be More Successful Than Most Other People Is Not Complicated

By Andrew Neitlich   Editor's Note:  One of the best and most succinct articles I have ever read on success is reprinted here with permission from the author and guest columnist this month, Andrew Neitlich, pictured to the side. A Harvard MBA and long-time consultant to major corporations, Andrew is the author of six books and the Director and co-Founder of the Center for Executive Coaching, https://centerforexecutivecoaching.com which provides internationally accredited executive coach training and certification. 

By |February 8th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

HOLIDAY PARTIES: NET WORKING OR NOT WORKING?

The season for holiday parties has arrived.   Leaving aside family events and work group activities, entrepreneurs tend to look upon such events as an opportunity for a combination of fun and celebration together with a chance for additional networking that will result in potentially profitable business connections. My own experience and observations are that the better the chance for good networking the more fun the event turns out to be.  None of this happens automatically.

By |November 22nd, 2019|Categories: Leadership|

TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES…OR NOT?

James Madison, fourth President of the United States and one of the drafters of the Constitution, famously said that no limits on government would be necessary if we were ruled by angels.  Of course, we know better regarding the human capacity for wrong-doing.  Yet when academic advisers to management write about how leaders should exhibit great trust, it is almost as though they think that all employees and co-workers really are angels. One example is

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Leadership|

DO YOU KNOW A TEAM WHEN YOU SEE ONE?

Editor’s Note:  Team Formation, the topic of this article, is the sixth of the Six Engines of Entrepreneurial Ascent®, which are detailed at https://mulkernassociates.com/leadership/six-engines-entrepreneurial-ascent. Everyone in business accepts without question the critical importance of teams and teamwork.  The terms are treated almost with reverence.  Yet much of the time, I respectfully submit, we do not seem to know what we are talking about.  Some examples: President Trump has said repeatedly in speeches that all Americans

By |February 21st, 2019|Categories: Leadership|