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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

By |May 27th, 2018|Categories: Leadership|

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|Categories: Leadership|

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

By |March 9th, 2018|Categories: Leadership|

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|Categories: Leadership|

WHAT IS YOUR HOLIDAY MESSAGE?

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 to

By |December 2nd, 2017|Categories: Leadership|

CEO ROUNDTABLE SET FOR EXIT AND SUCCESSION PLANNING

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: https://mulkernassociates.com/leadership/can-sell-business-time-comes. 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. 

By |November 9th, 2017|Categories: Leadership|

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|Categories: Leadership|

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|Categories: Leadership|

Waiting for Winds to Fill the Sales

     The economy essentially flat-lined in the first quarter with a growth rate of 0.1%, notwithstanding the addition of 288,000 jobs in April and the fact that the overall outlook for 2014 remains positive.  In this slow recovery, the sense of frustration experienced by many businesses calls to mind a scene from one of those adventure movies with tall ships from the 18th or 19th century, such as Master and Commander, one of my favorites. 

By |May 8th, 2014|Categories: Leadership|

Will Your Successors Be There when You Need Them? Lessons from the Trump Empire on Orderly Transitions

Donald Trump made headlines again last Fall when he announced that instead of naming one of his three eldest children as heir to his fortune, as would have been customary, they will all share equally in ownership and responsibility in leading his multi-billion financial and real estate empire.  Also notable is how carefully he and they prepared for this decision, since each of the heirs has contributed significantly to the family brand and has been

By |March 28th, 2014|Categories: Leadership|