I never wanted to be a good parent. I wanted to be a great parent. I benefited from lots of books and articles about parenting, but the lights really went on when I started to view parenting as a leadership activity. I’d been studying leaders in business and politics, education and the church. I had coached and consulted to them and learned immensely from them.
Then I was thrust, by a choice my wife and I made when she ran for Attorney General and then Governor, to be the lead parent. And a funny thing happened: the more I did it, the more I realized that the principles of leadership made more sense at home than almost anywhere else.
So, I began to apply those lessons. My book Be Real: Inspiring Stories for Leading at Home and Work is the product of ten years of writing about leadership. It begins with an introduction to two very real moms and how they supported each other and then delves into a variety of leadership stories, ideas and practices.
Be Real shows through real stories how tested leadership and coaching practices can melt away common kid-raising problems. For example:
• Creating a vision can reduce conflict dramatically.
• Great leaders challenge and tough love works
• It’s good to lose to your kids sometimes
• The inclusion of men in parenting can bring new energy
“In my 20 years as an executive with HP and in my work at the Center with some of the world’s leading companies, I have learned that 99% of leadership isn’t about what the elite few do in a moment of crisis. It is the product of everyday work and life. Dan Mulhern’s excellent new book gently but eloquently makes this point in a highly readable fashion.”
– Brad Harringon, Executive Director, Boston College Center for Work & Family