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First Gentleman Daniel G. Mulhern

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First Gentleman Daniel G. Mulhern

Headshot of Daniel Granholm Mulhern.

First Gentleman Daniel Granholm Mulhern

When Jennifer M. Granholm became Michigan's 47th Governor in 2002, her husband Daniel G. Mulhern put aside his business and quickly became one of the hardest working volunteers in the State of Michigan.

Daniel Granholm Mulhern

As Michigan's first "First Gentleman," Mulhern championed the cause of state volunteerism and community service, as chairman of the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) for seven years through the beginning of 2010.  During that time he led the effort to increase Michigan's mentoring population by over 15,000 people. Dan, Jennifer and their two daughters have led by example, mentoring wonderful Lansing area children who were in need of caring adults in their lives.  He also spearheaded efforts, based on his extensive experience as leadership coach and organizational development expert, to improve the work place culture both within the state government and in Michigan as a whole.

Mulhern hosts a Saturday morning radio program, called Everyday Leadership: Making Work Work, which is broadcast across the Michigan Talk Network. 

The First Gentleman is a prolific public speaker and has recently published a book called, Everyday Leadership: Getting Results in Business, Politics and Life . This book illuminates leadership lessons that help everyday people lead better every day.   He shares his personal experiences as he writes about real people as leaders.  In his stories, Mulhern explores and discusses both successful strategies and various misconceptions he's observed in leadership practice, and offers his thoughts and ideas on how to negotiate the various challenges leadership can present.  He also writes and publishes a weekly e-column called "Reading for Leading" that stimulates the thought and development of leaders around the country. "Reading for Leading" is available free of charge to anyone with an interest in leadership.  

What's in a Name?

While doing research on integrity, I stumbled across a 104 year old essay by a John MacLaren that answered the question, "What is a Gentleman?" 

Mr. MacLaren's essay prompted me to put on this public site the reason why I chose the title "First Gentleman." Initially, when people asked me what they should call me I said, "call me Dan," and that remains my preferred moniker. But after being asked repeatedly, I decided if a title was in order, why not call me "the first gentleman." I chose this title for a few reasons. First, other male spouses had already claimed the fun names: first hunk, first dude, and first coach. Seriously, I learned from my Irish grandmother's repeated instructions, that gentleman meant something, and most important it meant that you showed respect to ladies, and a special fidelity to your lady. I am proud and humbled to serve my wife. As "first lady" connotes a respect for her husband and her governor, it seems like "first gentleman" is an appropriate mirror image that conveys respect to the leader of the state. Second, I chose the title with the thought that it might help to inject this word back into our vocabulary. I think all men should strive to be "gentlemen," a word, and perhaps therefore a style, that has unfortunately lost meaning in our culture. We have lost appreciation for the humility and civility that the word connotes. So, I see the title as something I try to earn every day, by showing respect to my elders, love for my wife, kindness to children. Mr. MacLaren says it so much better than I. I hope you'll read his thoughts -- more potent today than at the outset of the 20th century. 

- Daniel Granholm Mulhern
- First Gentleman