Kevin Mulleady Discusses His Perspective of Leadership
Being a leader has always been a balance between taking the reins and letting other people get their job done. Kevin Mulleady explains more about what that looks like for him in practice and why it’s so important for other leaders to get it right.
Coming from the Top
There’s a quote by investor Ray Dalio that has always stuck with Mulleady: “Understand that you and the people you manage will go through a process of personal evolution.” This process that Dalio refers to encompasses everything from communication to objectives, and it’s one that needs to be watched and nurtured for as long as a leader is at the top.
It’s this approach that will help all directives come through correctly, in ways that don’t make employees feel undervalued or otherwise unappreciated. It also helps employees stay flexible. Without that enforcement, it would be easy to get into a standard routine as a professional. However, the best companies are always adapting to new demands.
At Altru-Sciences, Kevin Mulleady’s new venture, the employees are trying to get effective pharmaceuticals into the hands of patients who need them. With the stakes that high, everyone in an organization has to be able to stay on their toes. If everyone is on board and ready for changes, it makes it far easier to handle the unexpected shifts that all businesses inevitably face.
Giving People Confidence
At the end of the day, few people want to be micromanaged. If they have a system that works for them and they’re getting the job done, they might reasonably prefer to be left alone more often than not. Yet the leaders who are too hands-off will also yield complaints, particularly when employees feel like they don’t understand what they’re attempting to accomplish.
For Kevin Mulleady at Altru-Sciences, there’s a push-pull that comes down to giving people confidence to take care of their to-do list. This starts with giving employees a cause for their work. Luckily, Mulleady’s pharmaceutical focuses on patients with unmet needs, a worthy goal that can help the people under him push through any number of challenges.
From there, he inspires people to believe in their own abilities so they can push themselves to new heights. This isn’t about putting in extra hours, but about using those hours as wisely as possible. He advises other leaders to focus more on the ratio between productivity and stress. If people are working more but they’re producing less, this is a clear red flag. Similarly, signs of burnout — even when accompanied with higher levels of productivity — could be just as devastating to the long-term survival of the company.
What Mulleady wants to see are employees who feel empowered to make their own decisions, but not because there’s no oversight from the people above them. This is a collaborative strategy that can result in some of the best initiatives a company ever has.
The Beginning of Altru-Sciences: Learning from Following
Kevin Mulleady may be the founder and cofounder of several companies but that doesn’t mean he never had to work for someone else. Learning the art of following is where all real leaders begin. Sometimes, you can learn more from other people’s leadership than you can from personal experiences. When you follow someone, you’re in a unique position to watch what another person does in ambiguous situations.
This isn’t about judging someone else’s actions, but merely about understanding what drives different decisions and why. There are exceptional leaders out there who understand the impact of how they treat their team. There are also ineffective leaders who would prefer to turn a blind eye to their style and blame their employees for each and every failure.
Most fall somewhere in between, and it’s the follower’s job to decide where they fall and why they would do things differently if they were in the same position. Altru-Sciences started with the lessons that Mulleady learned, and enjoyed its success due to the careful balance of leadership instilled in the company.