New Leadership DNA. Learning to make your mark

Posted on January 27, 2017
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Author: Dr Brenda Hattingh   Date: 26 Jan 2017

As President Donald Trump forges his way forward with his mission to make “America great again” [1], he is also causing controversy while ruffling some feathers. Planning to rewrite different legislation and his difference in attitude towards various heads of state – are keeping everyone on their toes.

What is certain – Donald Trump is committed to making his unique mark as the new path-finder and map-maker as newly elected President of America. Donald Trump is also indelibly writing himself into the history books.  At the same time he is learning as he goes along.

As protests continue, the question of who will follow his lead and who will not – still remains to be seen. Time will tell  …

The questions are: What about us? Can we make our unique mark? Can we write our story into the fabric of life? What kind of legacy will we leave?. How do we do this? What do we need to know and what do we need to do?

Making your mark

The human race has over eons, always placed a sign, left a mark or symbol at the places they visited along the routes of their journeys. Journeys were marked so that others could retrace their steps or follow in their footsteps as necessary. Usually the travelers erected piles of stones or built monuments in order to make the statement: “I was here”.

Man-make markers include buildings, sign-posts, posters and pointers. Other markers along the way include marking significant trees (like this ancient Boabab tree in the Kruger National Park. Natural sites like grottoes, hills or mountains are also included as markers. Some used holy places like burial grounds, natural spots like waterfalls or rivers, while others used man made symbols like planting a tree, building a structure or planting a cross. Diaz planted his cross on the Southern point of Africa[2] in order to make a statement ‘We were here – first!’ 

Even our animals make and indelible imprint on our lives and leave their mark.

Not only is a marker a sign – it can also be a beacon for others. At the same time we follow those who went before us and consciously or unconsciously follow their markers – like following in their footsteps. We also put up our markers for others to follow. The challenge is to make sure you know where you are going, why and how to get there. You could consciously lead others to higher levels of attainment – or – you could mindlessly lead others into their demise. There are many people who send out signs and signals that are vague, empty, even delusional and lead nowhere… (See post: Are you an authentic leader of just a place-keeper)

This makes it important to be conscious and mindful of the quality of markers you put up and the kind of direction you leave behind for …  others could inadvertently follow.

Markers and religion

Various religious leaders have also made their mark. Today we find different kinds of texts, scriptures and on a more physical level the symbol of the cross is used to convey specific information. Cross symbolism[3] can be found everywhere, and can denote positive and negative symbolism and includes crosses of various forms and designs, daggers, double daggers, swords and crucifixes. Christianity views the cross as the symbol of freedom.

For example – the Maltese Cross[4] is viewed as a universal and spiritual symbol that denotes the place physicality meets spirituality or higher, universal dimensions. At this point, the nexus, the physical planes are overcome by the power of spirituality. It is said that Spirit is used to put out the ‘fires of physicality’. Today this is also used as foundation for the symbol or logo for fire fighters.

Buddhists see a Bow tree as the symbol of the tree of life referring to the symbol of Buddha sitting under the bow tree are until he received enlightenment. In the end this can be seen as symbolic of our path up the mountain of life in the process of reclaiming our true identity and authentic self. This is encoded into our DNA this is where the authentic imprint or mark has been made.

The questions each one needs to ask are: Whose markers am I currently following? Where do they lead? What is my marker? Where and when did I make my mark? What is my symbol or mark?

Your personal mark

There are various ways, means and methods we can use to make our unique mark or even multiple marks. Here are some of my milestones and personal ‘marks’ I would like to share – first with my family and then with my friends – like you now reading this post. This is from my Author Page

What about me?

Take a look around you and ask: What kind of mark am I making? Where will people go if they followed my markers? If you’re not satisfied, start making changes. Clean up, clean out, detox your body, mind, soul and spirit. Have a look at what you have stored away in your closet, cupboards, storeroom or garage. Here is where you subconsciously keep everything you think we might need in the future – the ‘just-in-case’ stuff. This means we already subconsciously have our future outlined for us … sometimes it lies within piles of junk and rubble. Our challenge is to leave these old outworn ideas, crutches, over-indulgence, clutter, dis-organisation and/or destructive habits behind.

New authentic leadership is all about making your unique mark while climbing the mountain of life. In our next post you will find out more about this process. Login here to be first to get this news

Steps of self-liberation

Like all other study courses, we find teachers, learners and a curriculum. There are also various steps in this process that first demands an enrollment and commitment from a student. The student can become a servant student or ‘chela’ to the master or teacher. Many religious and other contexts refer to these students as their followers, apprentice, novice, student, trainee or disciple.

Where authentic leadership is concerned – ‘discipleship’ is the path a person follows in a teaching from a specific teacher. This is usually a coach, mentor but also includes spiritual masters who help you to connect to the authentic self and obtain self-mastery and enlightenment.[5] It is very beneficial if your coach or mentor is also a spiritual teacher.

However – we already have an authentic coach, mentor and spiritual master within. Unfortunately we became disconnected from this authentic self. Part of becoming authentic  leaders is all about reconnecting to and communicating with our authentic self (Higher self) .

Self-coaching and mentoring now becomes imperative. ( Be of the first to receive information about our upcoming self-coaching and mentoring workshops and login here)

Liberating your authentic leader within

On the path of liberating the authentic self and reclaiming the quality life we are desire and deserve, we can identify various steps, processes and teachings. These steps include being a student, disciple, friend (only by invitation), brother/sister by sharing the same DNA.  This could be physical and/or spiritual DNA. Then there is the anointed or enlightened ones. These are the people who shine their light so brightly so that others can find their way in the dark.

These are our authentic leaders – people like you – who the world has been waiting for to stand up and take in your place on the market place of life.

Each step includes certain teachings and steps in self-growth and development in self-awareness. Self-discipline and self-mastery are the two most important tolls on this path of authentic success.

At a professional or business level, we find that coaching and mentoring are fulfilling the same function. (Ps. Register to get the latest news of our upcoming self-coaching workshops and leadership training. webinars)


This inner work is all rewarded by an initiation, ceremony and a celebration. It is something like graduating from college or university with your degree, diploma or certificate. At the level of self-mastery and enlightenment, the student becomes the teacher, guru or Master. This process of attaining self-mastery through self-disciple in the Truth, then repeats when the new master becomes the teacher. The teacher and the student are at the same time and same place. Our new authentic leaders can also be enlightened healers and teachers!
Authentic leaders

This was and still is the path of the training of authentic new leaders. These were and still are the fundamental teachings that were found in the ancient training of leaders in the mystery schools. Nothing has changed for – Truth can even be compromised.

Authentic leaders have all gone through a process of testing before their emerging into their new positions. This can be viewed as the ‘dark night of the soul’. This process is introduced by the reverse of everything planned and envisioned. It looks as if you made a mistake or ended in a dead-end – irrespective of how noble your intentions were. This could include various issues including the disintegration of relationships, finances, health issues and other significant markers.

However – from this ‘rubble’ emerges a new regenerated you that looks thinks and feels quite different to what you were like before entering the dark night of the soul. (Ps. Look out for next posts that will include more on the ‘dark night of the soul’ stage that all authentic leaders will go through.)

Leaders and ‘the Dark night of the soul’

All iconic leaders, including Nelson Mandela[6], Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others, went through the ‘dark night of the soul’ just to emerge triumphantly while taking in their place and making their mark. It is an uncomfortable place to be – even life-threatening. However, when you come out on the other side – you will have a deeper understanding of the meaning of this process – also called the ‘death of of the ego’.

Even our last resting place will be marked to say – “I was here”. In this we do not have a choice…

Up and till then youand I have have’free will’ and personal choice and responsibility as to what your life looks like, how you turn adversity around and how you impact the fabric of life. No-one is excluded

The questions we need to ask are: Where do I want to be? What should I do in order to get there? Who and how are my current leaders showing me the way? Is it time to make a change and choose new leaders who can help me to develop my authentic self? How do I become someone with a new leadership DNA and make a significant mark that really makes a difference to the world and it’s people?

Restoring our original blueprint 

We will focus on restoring our original blueprint and the emerging of a new human gene-pool in our next post

Untill then …

Stay connected

Brenda Hattingh

Brenda Hattingh

An international leadership coach, inspirational speaker and author with a passion for progress, success and quality living while addressing the challenges of the future.


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[1]   See CNN:26 Jan 2017: Main News: Donald Trump speaks at Republican Party Summit.

[2]   See:

[3]   Cross symbolism: see websites eg.

[4]   See glossary: Maltese Cross

[5]   Hattingh, Brenda. (2012 c.). New  Leadership DNA. Developing enlightened leaders. Currency Communications:


[6]   Hattingh, Brenda. (2012 a.). New  Leadership DNA. Developing enlightened leaders. Currency Communications:


[7]   Hattingh, Brenda, (2012 b). Power Intelligence. Mastering your miracle mind. Currency Communications:


[8]   Hattingh, Brenda. (2012 a.). New  Leadership DNA. Developing enlightened leaders. Currency Communications:


[9]   Hattingh, Brenda. (2012 a.). New Success DNA. What you should know and how to activate it. Currency

Communications: Johannesburg.

[10] Hattingh, Brenda. (2016.). Seven steps to securing the Madiba Magic in life and leadership. Currency

Communications: Johannesburg.

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