Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

Why Leaders Fail
and the 7 Prescriptions
for Success

By Mary C. Kelly

Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success is a corporate training and conference keynote that is based on data and delivered in a way that entertains and engages audiences of all levels.  

Great leadership, if you are doing it right, is hard.  Being a great leader is more than just showing up, going through the motions, sitting in the big chair, and getting paid. 

Great leaders are always thinking about how they can become even better for their organizations, their people, and themselves. Our goal with this research was to identify areas where great leaders can become even better. 


We surveyed over 100,000 employees in over 70 different industries. We asked a variety of questions, such as:

  • “What gets in the way of you doing your job more effectively?”
  • “What could leadership do at your organization that would help you be more productive?”
  • “What tools or training do you need so that you can function more efficiently?”


And delved into specific frustrations:

  • “Have you ever seen a really good person be promoted to a leadership position and they struggled?”
  • “Why did they struggle?”
  • “What does your leadership do that frustrates you?”
  • “What are your leaders and managers doing that cause them to sabotage their own success, even though they may have the best of intentions?”


We gathered the data and then categorized it into seven critical areas which define successful leaders.
The 7 critical areas are Vision, Trust, Teamwork, Empathy, Fairness, Humility, and Decision-making.  


Commander Mary Kelly, US Navy (retired) spent 25 years of active duty in the Navy. She was a military professor at the Naval Academy and a civilian professor at the Air Force Academy. She learned lessons in leadership in the first and second gulf wars and during 911. She uses real-world military and industry examples that resonate with participants.


In this highly engaging and deeply effective book and program, leaders will gain insights to:

  • Understand why your top talent is not performing up to their top potential
  • Learn specific actions that lead to both short-term and long-term success
  • Control and manage how you are perceived by your team, your peers, and your leadership
  • Identify small actions that sabotage the loyalty and productivity of the people around you


Using the 7 Prescriptions for Success Assessment, leaders are able to focus their energies on the activities that maximize their time and resources.  


This program comes with a vault of materials that includes:

  • The 7 Prescriptions for Success course handout
  • The 7 Prescriptions for Success workbook
  • The 7 Prescriptions for Success Assessment
  • The 12-Month Business Success and Accountability Planner
  • The 90-Day Business Bootcamp Project Management tool
  • Resiliency: 7 Skills To Bounce Back During Tough Times and more!


“WLF is one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to. Please just keep up the great work!”


Available in Paperback or Kindle download through Amazon HERE!



Inc-Magazine-WLFFeatured in Inc. Magazine May 2016!
CLICK HERE for Article!

Why do so many leaders fail, and what do "the best" do differently?

Thousands of leadership books tell you how to be a great leader. Far fewer books delve deeper into the surprisingly common mistakes managers, CEOs, and supervisors unknowingly make that derail their successes.

Using real scenarios and examples collected through their combined years of leadership and management expertise, Peter Stark and Mary Kelly pinpoint the 7 most common reasons some managers fail while others are so successful.

Whether you're in your first year of management or your 20th, Why Leaders Fail is a must-read for aspiring leaders who know they need to be constantly learning, improving, and developing their leadership skills. 

  • Gain insight into behaviors that may be sabotaging the loyalty of your direct reports.
  • Identify the barriers undermining your team's ability to get things done.
  • Understand why your top talent may not be performing up to their potential.
  • Gain tools to help you align team goals with the organizational mission.
  • Gain awareness of how you are perceived by your direct reports, peers, and supervisors.
  • 49 actionable prescriptions for success.
  • Facilitate an environment where employees can grow and develop to their full potential.
  • Free access to a personalized leadership assessment to identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses.

Many good people, when they assume leadership positions, struggle. Good leadership seems easy in theory but actually living, executing, and fostering strong, effective leadership in corporations and organizations is tough.

How can we ensure success? What do successful leaders do differently? What are the surprisingly common mistakes that many leaders unknowingly make that derail their success? Using current data and case studies collected through years of corporate and military leadership, We’ll explore why so many leaders fail, and how to avoid the hidden pitfalls, Leadership is most critical during times of crisis. Leadership happens when things are tough and there are problems to solve.

Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success show participants how to be even better leaders.

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