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The Mandala


The mandala, reminiscent of a bygone era, symbolizes authentic leadership. A relic from the 60s, surviving floods and relocations, it mirrors my journey into leadership development. Each layer, from the outer presentation to the hidden vulnerabilities, culminates in the sweet spot—the core of authentic leadership. In this zone, leadership becomes a nurturing act, feeding the mind, body, and spirit. It uplifts the best within, responds to genuine needs, and aligns with core values. Much like a thumbprint, each individual’s authentic leadership is unparalleled and irreplaceable. Operating from this center crafts a unique and impactful leadership narrative, fostering genuine moments of contribution.

Video Transcript

The mandala, the picture of authentic leadership. I had a big wall hanging similar to this very, very large back in the 60s. This is embarrassing. You know, back in the hippie days, we had these large wall wall things made out of fabric and so forth, and it went through a flood in the basement and 3 or 4 moves, and I kept hanging on to it. It was all dirty on the bottom and everything. I thought, why am I hanging on to this thing? And then it dawned on me that it actually was a graphic. It was a picture of the kind of leadership development work that I was starting to do with people. This is back in the 70s, and here’s, here’s, here’s why. Here’s here’s why. It’s still a significant part of my life and the work that we do. First of all, this outer layer of the mandala is how we present ourselves to the world. You know, we wake up in the morning, we wake up, we put on, we dress, we, you know, we try to put on our best, our best behavior, our best. Look, we know we’re presenting ourselves to the world in hopes that the world will something respect us or or honor us or like us or remember us or something like that? That’s that outer layer is very pretty.

It’s how we present ourselves to the world. Then inside that next layer, the red layer, is how we would never, ever want to be seen by the world. Like, what are some things you would never what are 3 or 4 words that describe how you would never want to be seen? For me it would be cruel, destructive, weak, needy, whiny, dependent, lost, those kind of things. Okay, these are things that how you would never want to be seen. The outside is how you would like to be seen, you know, bright, strong, capable and so forth. By the way, you might want to see the video on here on, on On the shadow, which is this red area, which is much, much more detail about this. I think you’d find it useful. Now the sweet spot is right in the center here. What do you notice in the very center of that mandala? Right. It’s a fingerprint, a thumbprint, I like to say who’s whose print do you think it is? Well, it’s actually clipart. It’s a PowerPoint clip art. But actually, if I could, I would make it your thumbprint. That’s your thumbprint in the center. We’re going to get back to these circles in a minute. See the video by the way, called In the Zone The Sweet spot. This is how to be a leader, how to lead from the sweet spot or from that zone in the middle.

You’re in the zone of authentic leadership, which is very unusual in my experience, to find leaders that are able to operate from this authentic place. When you are in that zone, what you’re doing in that moment is nurturing to you. It’s nurturing to your body, to your mind, to your spirit. It’s it’s feeding you in some way. It’s uplifting the highest and the best of who you are. It’s contributing to what the other people around you truly need. Not what they might say they need or what you instinctively think they need. But it’s really responding to a real need in the people around you. And finally, it’s in alignment with the core values or the mission. Like, what is it? That’s the larger context here. For instance, in a relationship, there’s something when you’re doing something that’s feeding you, that’s feeding your soul, contributing to to your partner, and is in alignment with what your relationship needs. You are in the sweet spot. Now here’s what what contributes nurtures me, what contributes to others, and what’s in alignment with the mission. When that happens, you are in the zone. You are in the sweet spot. How many times have you gone to work one day and you’ve worked really hard all day long, and yet when you go home, you’re really energized.

I know it happens from time to time. And how many times have you gone to work and done basically nothing and gone home exhausted, right? I think the reason for this is that during the day when you go home energized, it’s because off and on what you were doing, the meetings, the phone calls, the conversations, the work you were doing was in some way nurturing to you, was contributing to the real needs of other people and was in alignment with the organization or what the mission was for. When you’re in that zone, when I’m in that zone, I can work and work and work and work, and it really isn’t work at all. It’s like I am getting fed. The world is getting fed. It’s it’s relatively effortless. Now, this is your thumbprint. Just pretend this is your thumbprint. There has never, ever, ever, ever in the history of the world been someone like you. This is this is amazing to me. The the biologists will say the same is true about snowflakes. Like there are no two snowflakes ever the same in the history of the world. Now I want to know how do they know that for sure? Because there are a lot of snowflakes.

If somebody run around and check them. I mean, how do you. I mean, how do you possibly. We know, but they say no, that the crystalline structure of every single snowflake is completely and utterly unique from every other snowflake that’s ever been. Same is true for human beings. There has never been another human being like you on the planet since the beginning of time, and there never will be another human being on the planet like you for the rest of time. This is an extraordinary, extraordinary thing. What it means is that when you are at your best, you are in the middle of this mandala. You are operating in the authentic, the sweet spot. You’re in the zone. You’re real comes from authentic, comes from the same root as author. You are authoring this moment. You are writing this moment to be the best moment it can possibly be. And you are the only person who can do it in exactly the way that you would do it. You need to find ways to put your imprint on every moment so that you’re nurturing your soul, your spirit, contributing to others and in alignment with what the world or what life needs. Think about that. See, if you can’t begin to operate from the center of this mandala and yourself, become the picture of authentic leadership.

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