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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.


Though we live in a time of shortages caused by supply chain disruptions, there is no shortage of advice in the business press about the tremendous advantages of retaining an executive coach or trusted advisor, as a quick Google search will show.  Does that mean that if you as a business owner do not have such support then you are seriously neglecting a key to your success?  Not necessarily.  Perhaps you do not need one.

By |November 11th, 2022|Categories: Leadership|


Like most business-oriented newsletters, this one tends to avoid political issues and broader economic and social questions.  At some point, however, it is appropriate to address the general background in which we all operate, since it can affect our businesses and employees profoundly. The U.S. is going through a very confusing and tough time.  Only about 13% of the populace believe that the country is going in the right direction, according to polls.  Inflation, violent

By |July 23rd, 2022|Categories: Leadership|


Mid-March is about the time a lot of New Year’s resolutions have begun to wane and guilt to set in.  This article aims to relieve you of some of that guilt. Since the publication a few decades ago of In Search of Excellence by Robert Waterman and Tom Peters, a national obsession has emerged of being outstanding in all that we do.  The relentless competition of self-glorification on social media has contributed to this trend.  You can

By |March 15th, 2022|Categories: Leadership|


It is easy to lose perspective when you feel inundated by a torrent of daily, discouraging news reports.  With a loss of perspective can come an erosion of hope and vision, which presents a danger to all enterprise.  “Where there is no vison, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) This article is about some truly positive and remarkable developments which may have escaped your notice.  If it does not translate into immediate, actionable plans, it may

By |September 8th, 2021|Categories: Leadership|

Leading during Computer Disasters: Separating Reality from Illusion

First there was the ransomware attack on Continental Pipeline a month ago, making much of their computer system inaccessible. This shut off 85% of the oil to the East Coast, until a ransom of about $5 million was paid to regain access to data and hardware. A few weeks later, JBS, an international meatpacking company underwent a similar attack, causing the closing of meat plants that are among the largest in the U.S. Now we

By |June 9th, 2021|Categories: Leadership|

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|


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|


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|