We’ve been following Dan Mulhern (@danmulhern) on Twitter for nearly a year, and we’ve been impressed with his leadership in talking about the evolution of fatherhood. When his wife, Jennifer Granholm, became Governor of Michigan, he decided to defer his career as a consultant and speaker to stay at home to focus on his family. We’re proud to say that Dan has followed us on Twitter as well and suggested a Meetup with our group to discuss his life, the changing role of fathers, and the new book he has written with his wife, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future. The book is very interesting on many levels, but I’m particularly taken with the story of a person (Governor Granholm) who has always succeeded through hard work, perseverance, and just plain intelligence. But when faced with the challenges of a collapsing economy in Michigan, all those things weren’t enough. The Governor and her husband present a very honest account of her response to the crisis– the many measures that didn’t work and the few that did. Most importantly, they present what they learned, and I hope our lawmakers are learning from Michigan so we don’t repeat the same mistakes across the country.
Personally, I’m very excited to meet Dan, because I think many of the Dads in our group can identify with his story on some level. Many of us are on hiatus from successful careers so we can focus on our caregiving while our partners focus on breadwinning. In fact, many of us would likely be the primary breadwinners ourselves if we were in a different relationship. We’ve made the choices we have based on what we think is best for our families, just as Mr. Mulhern and his wife did when she was elected Governor. Dan stands as a valuable example and advocate for fathers as we stand up and say we need changes in the workplace, changes on the homefront, and changes in our culture to be the best fathers we can be.
More about Dan
Dan Mulhern is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of leadership, gender and organizational culture. As a senior advisor to Families and Work Institute, Mulhern is dedicated to helping individuals, businesses and organizations vigilantly work to mutually promote the strength of family and the productivity of work. Now teaching courses on leadership, gender and work at the Haas School of Business and Boalt Law School at the University of California, Berkeley, Mulhern leverages his experience to offer valuable insight on cultural changes happening in today’s workplaces. Through his work as a public speaker, radio personality, writer, leadership coach, and consultant in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Mulhern’s inspired thousands to lead with their best self.
More about A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future
Jennifer Granholm was the two-term governor of Michigan, a state synonymous with manufacturing during a financial crisis that threatened to put all America’s major car companies into bankruptcy. The immediate and knock-on effects were catastrophic. Granholm’s grand plans for education reform, economic revitalization, clean energy, and infrastructure development were blitzed by a perfect economic storm.
Granholm was a determined and undefeated governor, who enjoyed close access to the White House at critical moments (Granholm stood in for Sarah Palin during Joe Biden’s debate preparation), and her account offers a front row seat on the effects of the crisis. Ultimately, her story is a model of hope. She hauls Michigan towards unprecedented private-public partnerships, forged in the chaos of financial freefall, built on new technologies that promise to revolutionize not only the century-old auto industry but Michigan’s entire manufacturing base. They offer the potential for a remarkable recovery not just for her state, but for American industry nationwide.