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By Tony Mulkern

Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman and CEO of Amazon, and the richest person in the world, recently said that he wants his employees to “be afraid” and to “wake up every morning terrified.”  Presumabaly he was exaggerating, because Bezos knows something about what motivates achievement, and terror is usually debilitating.  What he is referring to is the fifth of the Six Engines of Entrepreneurial Ascent®, namely, Sustaining a Sense of Urgency, which is […]

By |November 17th, 2018|Leadership|Comments Off on DON’T LET SUCCESS BE YOUR DOWNFALL

Do You Inspire Others?

By Tony Mulkern

If you like what you read here, contact me to learn about the Leader’s Dashboard. It is a great tool that will show you how to inspire others and stay inspired. Contact me at or at 818 249 0147.

UNLEASHING INSPIRATION is the fourth engine of entrepreneurial ascent. The term itself suggests that there exists an energy in people that is restrained, held back, and that if the leader can liberate it, […]

By |July 12th, 2018|Leadership|Comments Off on Do You Inspire Others?

In Clear English, How Does Your Company Make Money?

By Tony Mulkern

TRIGGER WARNING:  If you already have Mission and Vision Statements which are full of vague “solutions” jargon, you may find parts of this article offensive.

INVITATION:  If you would like to improve your Mission and Vision Statements, or write them well in the first instance, you will likely find this article very helpful.

What is your mission?  What is your vision?

Many entrepreneurs seem not to know the answers to these two simple questions.  Either […]

By |May 27th, 2018|Leadership|Comments Off on In Clear English, How Does Your Company Make Money?

Executive Hiring: Getting it Right

The high turnover in President Trump’s White House staff illustrates that hiring the right person for the job does not come naturally even to the most accomplished, entrepreneurial executives.  In fact, success in deal-making and wealth generation can lead to over-confidence in one’s ability to make good selections.  Yet without the right team, the leader is powerless.  This is the reason Hiring Right is the second of the Six Engines of Entrepreneurial Ascent®.

The President […]

By |April 5th, 2018|Leadership|Comments Off on Executive Hiring: Getting it Right

TRUST–An Engine of Ascent


A previous article outlined the Six Engines of Entrepreneurial Ascent®.  Over the next six articles, each of these engines will be discussed, one by one, and this one deals with the first, Trust.

Warren Buffett recently gave some sound advice on how to hire well: screen for intelligence, energy, and integrity.  In his characteristically terse wit, he added that if you hire someone who has intelligence and energy but is not ethical, you will likely […]

By |March 9th, 2018|Leadership|Comments Off on TRUST–An Engine of Ascent

The Six Engines of Entrepreneurial Ascent®

By Tony Mulkern

Ever wonder why some entrepreneurial companies take off like rockets, while others struggle to gain at best modest “altitude,” while still others fizzle out or never get more than a few feet of the launch pad?  When it comes to actual rockets that hurl satellites in orbit, travel to the moon, or send missions to the other planets, they require multiple, high thrust, first stage engines to get off the ground and […]

By |January 18th, 2018|Leadership|Comments Off on The Six Engines of Entrepreneurial Ascent®


Year-end holidays starting with Thanksgiving are the times for sending messages of gratitude, goodwill, wishes for happy holidays, happy and successful New Years, etc. to clients, customers, employees and various business partners and vendors. Mostly they are mass-produced and -printed, and in a business context are of dubious value.  For example, how many beautifully-designed holiday cards are sent to executives with scarcely a personal signature, to be opened by an assistant and then taped […]

By |December 2nd, 2017|Leadership|Comments Off on WHAT IS YOUR HOLIDAY MESSAGE?


By Tony Mulkern

If you are a business owner and hope to sell or may want to sell your business sometime within the next five years, you need to start preparing now.  As explained last month, only 17% of businesses put on the market actually sell:

To help ensure that you are among that 17% when the time comes, Mulkern Associates is pleased to announce the launch of the Exit and Succession Planning Roundtable.  The […]

By |November 9th, 2017|Leadership|Comments Off on CEO ROUNDTABLE SET FOR EXIT AND SUCCESSION PLANNING

Can You Sell Your Business When the Time Comes?

If you own a business, you plan to sell it sometime in the future. Unless the sale will be to a family member for a nominal amount, your expectation is probably to gain a substantial monetary reward for all your years of hard work, risk, and personal sacrifice to build a valuable enterprise.  Unfortunately, the odds are not in your favor.

According to Department of Labor statistics, of all the private companies put on the […]

By |October 18th, 2017|Leadership|Comments Off on Can You Sell Your Business When the Time Comes?

Can You Professionalize and Stay Entrepreneurial?

Every leader of a growing and successful entrepreneurial firm, with its informal and loose management controls, will inevitably be advised by consultants that as soon as possible the enterprise should become professionally managed.  This transformation, it is implied, is the formula for future growth and success, not to mention survival.  My experience is that this can become a dangerous illusion.

Some brief definitions: entrepreneurial firms are privately held, founded by an entrepreneur, and tend to […]

By |February 13th, 2015|Leadership|Comments Off on Can You Professionalize and Stay Entrepreneurial?