Challenge to Authority – Authority Responds

Last week, I wrote about Dolores the PhD science student, and the power that her tenured leadership lab researcher had over her teaching assignments, research and future career. Dolores spoke (her) truth to his power. I promised that I’d share the sequel. If you consider times when you perhaps challenged authority, you might anticipate that … Continued

3 Simple Game-Changers That Are Always at a Leader’s Disposal

Over 20-plus years of teaching and coaching leadership, I have increasingly come to love and strive for simplicity. And today I offer three tools that a leader always has at their disposal. . Aim the telescope. The telescope points to destination or, in leadership lingo, vision. Help people see clearly through it to where we … Continued

What Would You Tattoo . . . On Your Heart

Perhaps you have read of Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J.  Boyle has been working (LEADING!) in Los Angeles for thirty years, dedicated to Homeboy Industries, “the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.” In his two books, he frequently introduces the “homies” (as he and they refer to themselves) by referencing aspects of … Continued

Using Your Unused Capacity As Boss

Everyday Leadership means you don’t need no stinkin’ boss to tell you what to do. You have your own value and values, your own initiative and instincts. Sure, the boss is “above” you, but they may not be smarter, kinder, or more effective. And even the owner . . . don’t own you! They should … Continued

Mulhern Mistake #502 – Failure to Proactively Recruit

I saw Spiderman: Homecoming this weekend.  I like the guy.  But at one point hubris got him.  Doesn’t it always?  Next thing you know, his recklessness results in a Staten Island Ferry splitting in two.  Thank God for the (pompous) Iron Man who comes along with much more than webs, and bridges the two parts … Continued

The Rewarding Discipline of Positive Leadership

“Doesn’t being so positive with people end up meaning that you’re denying reality?”   I was asked this at a Women’s Executive Leadership program at the Haas Business School at Berkeley last week.  She was responding to my challenge: great relationships tilt heavily positive, so if you want to lead well, get positive! I was … Continued

Dirty Management Truth: What’s Up?

Dirty truth:  Most of us were never taught how to manage an individual, and especially when that individual goofed up. We mimic our parents, bosses, Murphy Brown, Donald Trump. We dislike it. They dislike it. It’s just something that has to be done, like vomiting when you’ve had too much of the wrong thing. Here’s … Continued

I’d like to hear your story

Last week I wrote about the story of the “coin on the copier.” In a “comment,” Steven Jackson, one of my students, shared a similar story. It’s too good not to call your attention to it. And I do so with this invitation: What’s YOUR coin on the copier story? I’m sure others would love … Continued

Converting Complaints to Positive Leadership

Thank you to the 231 of you who weighed in on my survey on complaining last week! I am afraid I botched the design a little,* but the core data remains fascinating:  People who responded guesstimated that they complain between 14 and 18 times a day. My inquiry was fueled by two essential leadership truths … Continued