Representing Today's Visionaries with Tomorrow's Ideas

Eric McNulty


Eric, alongside his authors, is scheduled to release their new book “You’re It: Change, Crisis, and How to Lead When It Matters Most” on June 11, 2019.

Eric has been named to Trust Across America 2018 Top Thought Leader in Trust“. The awards program celebrates professionals who are transforming the way organizations do business.

Burn Your Rule Book and Unlock the Power of Principles, Sept. 13, 2017. Made Strategy & Business most read list.

Leading through crisis requires getting “smarter than your brain” explains Eric McNulty, Director of Research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. It is critical to be grounded cognitively, emotionally, and psychologically.

Read Eric McNulty’s MIT Sloan Management Review article: Leadership Development’s Epic Fail, May 1, 2017

praise for Eric McNulty

“Eric is a rare talent: equal parts visionary, story teller, thought leader, and teacher…. But what truly sets Eric apart is his ability to communicate as a speaker. If your organization is searching for an authority on the topic of leadership, then you must bring Eric in to speak.”  

— Managing Director, Nexus Global Advisors

Eric J. McNulty holds an appointment as Director of Research and Professional Programs and Program Faculty at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI), a joint program of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. His work centers on leadership in high stakes, high stress situations, particularly for professionals in crisis preparedness and response. He is currently working on a book based on meta-leadership, the core leadership framework of the NPLI curriculum.

McNulty is the principal author of the NPLI’s case studies on leadership decision making in the Boston Marathon bombing response, innovation in the response Hurricane Sandy and the professional/political interface in the Deepwater Horizon response drawing upon his firsthand research as well as extensive interviews with leaders involved in the responses. He has also researched and written on the H1N1 pandemic response and the domestic response to Ebola in 2014-2015. He develops curricula and teaches in several graduate level and executive education leadership programs in his position as Instructor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School. He has adapted curricula for and taught crisis leadership programs in North and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. He also lectures regularly in a business continuity executive education program at M.I.T.

He is the co-author, along with Dr. Leonard Marcus and Dr. Barry Dorn, of the second edition of Renegotiating Health Care: Resolving Conflict to Build Collaboration (Jossey-Bass, 2011). He is co-author of a chapter on meta-leadership in the McGraw-Hill Homeland Security Handbook (2012) and many articles on leadership, decision-making, and negotiation.

McNulty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (with honors) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s degree in Leadership from Lesley University.


ARTful Leadership: Adaptive Capacity, Resilience, and Trust

In the age of networks, the ability to adapt and transform is paramount. Drawing up his extensive research on the extraordinary collaboration and cooperation in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings as well as the latest research on swarm intelligence, psychological safety, teaming, and trust building, Eric presents a powerful and pragmatic framework for building highly adaptive, resilient, and trustworthy organizations.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Coping with a VUCAST World
These are challenging times for leaders. Some refer to this as VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. To this I add two elements: System-scale change (e.g. climate change and urbanization) and ubiquitous Transparency. I explore the implications for leaders and offer practical guidance for making sense of and increasing impact in an uncertain world. Key ideas: leadership, resilience, cities, climate change, demographics, technology, values.

Leading in the 21st Century: Shaping the Future
Leading in the 21st century requires an artful blend of “same as it ever was” and “you’ve never seen this before.” Leading today requires embracing complexity, fostering adaptive capacity, and building resilience–all on a foundation of trust-based relationships with stakeholders. I present the concepts as well as pragmatic tools for putting them into practice. Key ideas: leadership, complexity, resilience, turbulence, agility, technology, trust.

You’re It! Mastering High-Stakes Meta-Leadership
Leadership moments come for all of us–some planned and some utterly unexpected. Will you be ready to set direction, make decisions, and inspire action when it is needed most? I use the dimensions of meta-leadership developed through work with hundreds of leaders in high stakes situations to help participants develop both their leadership capacity and capability. Key ideas: meta-leadership, crisis leadership, professional development.

Eric McNulty – Leadership for Turbulent Times


You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most


Renegotiating Healthcare


Articles by Eric McNulty


Leading through crisis requires getting “smarter than your brain” explains Eric McNulty, Director of Research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.It is critical to be grounded cognitively, emotionally, and psychologically.