Marian Temelkov

Leading With Care: How To Attract The Best People Through The Way You Lead With Marian Temelkov

A company only finds success through its leader. Companies that are leading with care are going to attract the best people. Leaders that focus on diversity are going to get the most out of their employees. People who lead through the four categories of prosperity are going to find true success. These are the leaders you want to have running the company. Join Sam Reeve, Char Miller, & Sumit Singla as they talk to Marian Temelkov about why leaders should lead with care. Marian is the founder and CEO of Dynamis Group, a global executive search company specializing in strategic placements, M&A, and leadership audits. Learn about leadership behaviors you need to have as a leader. Find out more about neurodiversity in the workplace. And, discover the four categories of prosperity. Start leading with care today!

Leading With Care: How To Attract The Best People Through The Way You Lead With Marian Temelkov

I will be helping host this forum. I help host it every week. We’re here to engage, energize and elevate your employees and your company. That’s our mission. How we do that is we get together, hop on Zoom and live stream it to as many platforms as we can. It’s also a podcast as well. If you’re more of an audio type of person, we have the right thing for you. You can jump on the show and read it as well. We get a nice panel with a lot of experience in different areas, a lot of entrepreneurs, and then we always bring a guest speaker.

I will introduce our episode’s guest speaker. It’s going to be a great conversation about leaders who care. We’re talking about caring and how important it is and leadership roles. Before we introduce him, let me introduce everyone else. We have Char. She is a former HR professional with over twenty years of experience working in corporate. She’s an entrepreneur. She’s had many of her own companies and is currently the Founder and CEO of Mountain & Sea Health Advocacy and Mountain & Sea Career Coaching. If you need some coaching, Char is the person to go to.

If you’re not familiar with Sumit, he has over sixteen years of experience working as a people strategist and an HR consultant. His talent is going into organizations, assessing what’s going on and what can be improved with new and improved HR practices. We also have Sam, who brings us this form every week. He’s the reason why we’re here and why we have a show. He’s also a compensation expert. He’s a very busy man running his own company CompTeam. That will bring me to our speaker in this episode, Marian Temelkov. We are so excited to have him here.

He is all about helping leaders who care to fulfill their vision and he helps lead and attract exceptional talent. He is the CEO of Dynamis Group. He’s the host of The Leaders Who Care podcast, another podcast for you to check out. He’s helped leaders in over 50 countries. He’s a very busy guy as well. He’s an advocate for care culture. We’re very excited about this discussion. Welcome, Marian. Thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you so much, what an honor to be here. Sumit, it’s great to meet you too, as well. What a great way to start a day to energize the employees and the people in the organization. It’s something that I’m deeply passionate about. I honor and appreciate it because we do need that. That positive energy makes a difference. That’s why I was excited to join and make time because, for me, that’s something very dear. I would love to see more of that going around. That’s one of the core things of what we do and why leaders care. I’m deeply passionate about helping people to thrive in their workplace, not survive.

For me, the leaders who care are the ones who have the prerequisites often. They’re the ones who go beyond their self-interest to accommodate and take care of their teams and the communities in the organization. I honor what you do and I hope that we can inspire some of your readers and bring some positive energy.

It’s such an important line of business. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself, Marian? How did you get into this area of helping leaders and finding the best leaders out there? Can you tell us a little bit about your history?

I was born in a beautiful part of the world, in the Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria, surrounded by natural springs and mountains. It’s an hour away from Lozen and Greece. It was a fantastic place to be born into an entrepreneurial family. As a teenager, I was very curious and wanted to discover my purpose in life. I decided to go around and explore the world and leave that place. I didn’t know where to go, but the UK was the choice that I made, mainly because English was the language I could learn the fastest. The US was a bit too far from Canada and Australia was even farther, so I thought the UK was the place.

At the age of sixteen, I arrived in the UK with no high school diploma. I don’t know how they accepted me, but they did. I lost my luggage along the way and it was a challenge, arriving here with no connections and no one I knew but that was one of the most valuable experiences. I was grateful to many people. I’ve learned from the best. That was my strategy because I didn’t know how to write an essay. I didn’t know what is it going to be like to study here but that inspired me to give back and go back to the community.

Every time I go back for holidays, I would bring a professor or some insight or share something that you do. In a way, you are sharing this insight and bringing those wonderful guests, but at that time, it wasn’t so digital. It was more personal when you visited. That’s what inspired me to help a lot of young people. That’s how Leader Academy was born. We’re helping more than 30 young people and coming over. The academy has more than 3,000 people that have gone through it. That inspired me to further transcend that to thinking of and exploring what’s next.

PSF 31 | Leading With Care

Leading With Care: Instead of looking at the company, look into the leader. Because the leader can create islands even in large corporations. A leader who cares can make a profound difference to organizations.


In addition to that, I almost went to investment banking, but I declined due to my curiosity. If you do what you do and love people, you got to be curious about them. You need to know and understand what they’re passionate about. Curiosity brought me to what I do and I started as a researcher many years ago, back in 2006. A company invited me for an interview and I stayed with them. I made a transition to consultant and the ranks. I went to managing partner a few years ago. We did a buyout. That’s how Dynamis was born and the team followed as well.

It’s always been a journey to understand and grow the level of impact when you start serving a company from more manager level all the way to CEO. What I was also excited about was the level of the impact and understanding of the innovations that I needed to know about. There’s not a great deal of care when it comes down to understanding the candidates themselves. The candidate experience is something I’m deeply passionate about because we’re placing people and we want to see them thrive in their workplace.

That’s what brought a lot of innovations to our field. We’ve been piloting number a number of areas apart from the Strategic Leadership Succession. We’ve also been investing heavily in leadership due diligence, which is one of the few companies in the world that we do that at scale. We also had Theo Smith joining to help us with the neurodiversity at work, starting right at the top and helping millions of neurodiverse people to get access to work. That hopefully gives you a little bit of a story in a nutshell of how it all started.

You help companies find exceptionally gifted talent. There are a lot of companies out there that will find executives and so forth, but what makes your process different than those others in what you do?

There are a lot of organizations out there. Some of them have excellent consultants that understand and are consistent with some of the values. What is important to us in our vision and mission is not even the company. We look into the leader. Who are we going to serve and support? Why? It’s because the leader can create islands even in a large corporate or with multidimensional layers and movements. A leader who cares can make a profound difference to organizations. That’s what we are deeply passionate about. That’s probably one of the secret sauces.

We have a rigorous process when it comes down to assessing but what is important is to understand people and look to, “What are they passionate about? What are their key strengths? What do they excel in terms of their character virtues and professional and functional expertise?” It’s also understanding values. What are the boundaries that they’re not willing to cross? It’s to have that deep insight and interest and have not only the client’s interest at heart but also the candidate’s.

That’s something I would love to see more of in there if we can do more of those meaningful placements because it is where people are thriving. If you thrive at your place, your family, friends, and community feel it. This will bring more care and impact. Imagine when you do that at the CEO level. We had a case in Germany for 23,000 employees.

That’s 23,000 families that are directly impacted and that’s what inspires me. I have had the privilege to talk to different leaders with exceptionally gifted talent. They’re sensitive to the way you treat not just the gifted ones but all your people. Because if you are inconsistent with how you treat people, that’s something you need to sort out. Otherwise, they’ll very quickly sense that.

We’re talking about leaders that care about their people and the process and understand the big picture. You mentioned that leaders have a heavy weight on their shoulders. A CEO is responsible for the people and the lives in their organization. It impacts not just the ones that you’ve hired but their families as well, so it’s in the community as a whole. What is your process for identifying these leaders that care? You were talking about values and so forth in there. Is there a way that you can get down to what they think about and whether they’re the right fit for the organization? How do you go about that?

That comes down to looking at a multidimensional aspect and understanding them well. Often, we do it through a four-stage assessment process. We look at someone, talk to and understand them, find out, and also encourage them as well. Sometimes in order to take care of others, you need to also take care of yourself. What is important here is to look at their lifestyle.

In order to really take care of others, you need to also take care of yourself. Recognize how fruitful you really are. Share on X

There’s a saying, “You recognize them by their fruits.” Look at how fruitful they are not only in their business but generally in their relationships and their families. How are they able to help? How do they operate? Look at their community. How do they impact others? What causes do they support? What do the employees say?

For example, for me, a KPI for leadership is if I ask one of your employees, what would they tell me? Would they talk passionately about you and how excited they are to come to work? That, to me, is a KPI. What people talk about you when you’re around them, to me, is important. I want to find out what the vision is. What are the fruits? What have you achieved? Often, that’s also indicative. How will you take care of yourself? In order to prosper in life, there are five key categories that people need to master.

We’re going to dive into those five key categories. Sumit, tell us your perspective on finding great leaders. What are your thoughts there?

It’s important for you to care. Marian, what you were saying brought up a funny story that I can recollect from many years ago. I was part of a team where a manager was an absolute driver. He was phenomenal at what he did. He’s a great person in terms of delivering results. We hated him because all of us felt like cogs in a well-oiled running machine. We didn’t feel respected and cared for.

This is almost a decade and a half ago when employee experience and employee engagement weren’t fancy words on the horizon anywhere. It was more about the bell curve, delivering results, and being rated as average, above average, or exceptional. We had some engagement survey and all of us said the same thing, which was, “We don’t feel like our manager cares.”

Somebody took the person aside to give him feedback. Every Monday, the person set aside time, and for the first couple of hours, he would have a one-to-one with all the teammates to talk about, “How was the weekend? How are you doing? Is there anything that I can do to support you?” On the face of it, it sounds great. We began to dread Mondays even more because when we were talking to him, you could see he wasn’t interested in what he was saying. He would say, “How was your weekend like?” and then he’d be looking somewhere else, fidgeting with his phone, or doing lots of stuff.

You could see that somebody had given him a checklist. He was just taking points off and saying, “We’ve spoken about the weekend and how you’re doing. Now, get back to work and start delivering results.” It made things much worse. My question is, “Is leading with care an art or a science? If I’m a manager who doesn’t seem to care, is it sufficient to put me in training and give me a checklist? How do you embed care into the way I function as a manager?”

First of all, I’ve seen it with different people and leaders. That is so common. One of the key things is not to ask, “How are you?” if you don’t have time to listen to your employees. When you ask, “How was your weekend?” don’t have time to listen and check your phone. If you’re busy and overwhelmed, that’s fine. People respect you but be honest. That’s one of the key areas in my opinion and view. It is great hope to the audience because, let’s face it, we all can improve in what we do.

The word character came from the old Greek word that means chisel, which means you shape your character throughout your life. The only thing that is left at the end is your character. In reality, you could improve anything. However, the key here is, do you want to? Are you passionate about getting better? There are people who want to be better in certain areas because they may have blind spots, but they may need time to get better.

My answer to you is, yes, you can, but only if you want to and if you see improvement. There’s this saying in Latin that means, “To make a mistake is a human thing.” It’s normal to make mistakes, but there is a continuation of that sentence, “But to keep making the same mistake is evil.” Making it thousands of times with no improvement, there is something wrong there that you need to look at. I very much relate to that, Sumit. Yes, you can, but only if you want to because we’re not here to change people. We can only change ourselves and that’s the virtue and the hope.

PSF 31 | Leading With Care

Leading With Care: Don’t ask, “How are you?” if you don’t have time to listen. You need to improve your character. The old Greek word for “character” actually means chisel. To shape your character throughout your life.


Every organization is going through different stages of development. They are maybe a startup in a high-growth mode or refining that highly successful product or service that they may have. Each of these stages requires a different kind of leader but having that caring nature is quite important. How do you ensure when you’re looking for these different levels of organizational development that you’re bringing in the appropriate leader? Is there a certain strategy that you use there?

For us, what is very important that we look at is the behaviors of the leaders or the individuals. When you say care, it doesn’t mean you cannot say the truth. It doesn’t mean you will not communicate difficult things with your team if something is not working. To me, seeking the truth is an important value to have.

What this means is focusing on what the leader is looking for and what they need to communicate with their employees, but how you do it is important. If you communicate it with that aggressiveness, it’s one thing versus, “This is where we are. I’m honest. I’m telling you the truth here, but what can we do together? How can we make that happen?” is very important.

One of the things we look at is behaviors. This is my advice to people or talent looking to join an organization. It’s the same way you do due diligence or reference checks. Companies do reference checks if you want to join them. You should be doing the reference checks of your leaders. There is sometimes a glass door around them. It’s the same with the investors. If you are looking for somebody to invest in your company, you’ve got to know these people well.

You got to find a way to understand them. Otherwise, you might be in a situation where it’s much worse or much better than where you were before. That’s why it’s very important to go down and understand what their end goal is and where they’re heading. Reference checking them from their teams is important to understand. Look at their fruits. What I mean by fruits is what they have done and achieved, not only in the business but in everything around them. What do they care about beyond the communities, for example? How they use business to impact communities is something that we’re very keen to see.

For example, one of the CEOs of Moderna was one of the people actively developing the COVID vaccine and part of how they scaled in the COVID time and did something exceptional from 800 people to 3,200 in nine months. This is quite a growth. They manage to roll it all out. Is this something exceptional? What they do is look at vaccines or diseases that may not be commercially viable to do, but they will still donate to the foundation to develop them. They will guarantee that could save 200 or 300 lives a year. How do you measure human life?

This behavior is important. These are some of the things we’re looking at when we go into the process. In addition to that, we want to understand what is important to them at this moment in time in terms of their passions and also their key strengths. You need to make sure the leaders can excel in the environment that you’re putting them into.

The point you made about glass doors was great because even without glass doors, words about poor leadership or, “Leaders don’t care,” get around and vice versa as well. Another quick story that comes to mind is about a recruiter who called me a few years ago. They were looking for a senior position for one of the large consulting firms. I happened to ask, “Is this for a particular partner?” and I named the partner. The recruiter started laughing and said, “A lot of people have asked me this. I know what the next question is going to be or how you’re going to respond, but we can work around that.”

There’s a particular leader who’s got a bad reputation in the market. I hadn’t interacted with them at that point in time. Based on my network and the people I had interacted with, I knew folks in her team were miserable. Feedback does get around even without a glass door. It’s stronger because when you only read about it on a third-party website, you’re willing to discount it, saying, “All those unhappy souls must have gone there specifically to vent out. Maybe the ones who are happy haven’t given their feedback there.” When you hear a friend saying, “Never ever go there,” you trust their advice a lot more. That’s how these leaders end up destroying talent acquisition and a lot of other parts of the organization.

How do you measure the cost of that? The seller statistic shows that for every employee you lose, the minimum cost that you lose out as a company is $30,000 and that’s only for a junior. What about the more senior people? That measurement is important in the retention and the turnover of staff. Let me tell you another story which is the opposite side.

As a leader, your first reaction to a problem will have an impact on your organization. Share on X

This is the leader that we have. We completed a search in Germany and it was for a CFO role. We’ve gone through several rounds of recommendations with the references and the assessments through the four stages that we’ve carried. We also monitor the leaders and the placements we do afterward closely to see how they are.

It’s interesting because there was also a new leader appointed above him. As a CEO, you might think, “Do I keep this one or not?” There’s always an assessment. What’s interesting is that the CEO was saying, “I was impressed to see when people come out of the office of the CFO. They’re always smiling. They are always in a good hype and energy genuinely.” These are things that you can’t hide. This is also the opposite side that you could have.

My vision in how I see leadership is that your role should be to take care of your people and get interested in not only taking care of themselves but finding out about their families. Find out about the things they’re passionate about externally outside work because we all do multiple projects, not just work. Support them in the best possible way you can.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can see. If I have to pick one thing that leaders should be mindful of, the single most important thing that you can do is your first reaction to a problem. Whenever there is a problem, how you react will have an impact on your organization may be for years and will take years to change.

If you react by shouting and getting annoyed, that will lead to people not taking risks and paralyzing the organization. Everything will be going through you. If you react calmly and say, “What happened? Let me go through this. How can I support you to get through that problem?” and give them the resources. Be mindful of how you react. That could provide an environment where people that even if they fail, they know that you have their back. Make sure that you don’t give too much too soon. You got to be interested in people. If you don’t love people, it’s difficult to be in a leadership position, to be honest.

What are your thoughts on that, Char? I know that you, as a leader, care about the people in your organizations that you’ve had over the years. Do you find that something that you encourage in your executive team?

I have many thoughts about this. When I was an HR business partner trying to coordinate the hiring and many other things under my umbrella, I remember being reached out to by nonprofit organizations that were trying to support the promotion of neurodiverse hiring. At the time, I don’t think I realized the importance of it as much back then but it’s interesting. When I went out and started doing my own business and my own hiring, I had an eye-opener to this particular topic.

I volunteered briefly for an organization out of Boulder, Colorado. That was about promoting neurodiverse applicants as well as supporting them with job search, interview processes, and promoting through companies how you could be a neurodiverse proponent or advocate for these types of candidates. I was researching here and you’ll find this all over the web. There are a lot of organizations that are out there, and here it says, SAP, Microsoft, JPMorgan, Hewlett-Packard, Freddie Mac, Ernst & Young, and other major organizations.

They truly have the neurodiverse type of programs that promote this type of hiring, developing, supporting, and reaching out to the communities. That is so amazing from a reputation standpoint, for these organizations to jump in and appreciate that type of diversity as well as other types of diversity-hiring processes, and having these types of programs makes it friendlier to get through. According to what I see here, the biggest challenge is getting through the interview process and the stigma that sadly is attached to hiring these types of candidates.

An organization has to work on its culture about, “What is acceptance? What is having diversity in the organization? How do we truly support the leader to be more open to that process?” One quick personal example I’ll just say and this is funny. Everybody that knows me knows that I curl my hair and stuff. I touch my face too much and all that jazz.

PSF 31 | Leading With Care

Leading With Care: Let your employees write a “how to work with me” paragraph. Because that will encourage people to be themselves and if people are themselves, you will unlock enormous productivity.


Those are micro-aspects. I look at my son, on the other hand, and sadly he has the same type of mannerisms. I’m like, “He inherited that.” It’s interesting because my son has told me that he’s aware of himself. He says, “Mom, I’m socially awkward. I can barely make eye contact because I do these things.” He’s talked to me about this.

I don’t know if he’s thoroughly diagnosed as neuro-deficient, but I would say that he’s also a genius. He’s an A-plus student. He’s going to be a bioengineer someday. My point is that even with the social awkwardness and all of those types of things, many of us have these types of talents. It’s a matter of changing the stigma, so the employers say, “I want to hire this generation of individuals with exceptional talents, abilities, and drive.” Marian, hats off to you. It’s awesome that you’re promoting this type of hiring and the development of these employees.

One thing quick before we get started here. Marian, could you tell us what a neurodiverse candidate is for our readers? What are you looking for there?

First of all, thank you so much, Char, for bringing this topic. It’s something dear to my heart. Together here with Theo Smith, we are bringing this right to the top of the organization. We are bringing awareness and also working on a technology tool that can enable and not disable. There are a lot of technologies that are disabling those people even to getting access through the application process.

They are not designed to bring those people in. They’re designed to take them out. To come back to your question, a neurodiverse individual or a person is exceptionally gifted in one area and under-gifted in another. They’re not neuro-deficient. They’re just different. Like we talk about diversity, there are neurological differences in their brain.

Their brain works uniquely, which could be a great thing, as Char said. I’ll give you one example. There was this talk that my partner, Theo, was talking about. We were saying, “Theo, what do you think is the accuracy when you talk about recognizing human faces, for example, from cameras or technology?” Theo went to this event and said, “The police are using technology because they can recognize it.”

The percentage that gets it accurate is around 1%. If you think about the neurodiverse talent, about 4% or 5% in the world have this gift. They can only see a picture and not even the full photo but a part of the photo, the way it’s positioned, the face, the mimics, they will know exactly who that is. They can recognize it. Do you know the accuracy of that? It’s 100%.

Here’s the thing. The technology is there, but the human brain is powerful. My message to organizations is you are employing and 20% of your workforce is neurodiverse. You may know it or not. They hid because they might be tagged with a label. They might be put in a corner. They may have a family member or a child that may be neurodiverse.

It is so important to get to know your people well. What does it mean? Find out how your people like to receive information. Maybe not just reading. If you have dyslexia, it will take you ages to read something. If you can hear and have a different way of watching, for example, and having those minor lights or different ways, accept that some people are neurodiverse.

If you give them a plan, they will follow it strictly. If you go back, go to them on the same day, and tell them to change it, they might feel stressed because you bombard their day. Be mindful of how they operate. One piece of advice I could give to your readers is to do a small paragraph for every employee or person in the organization, which is simple. “How to work with me.” Just the simple thing that says, “How to work with me,” will make it profound because you get to know and encourage people to be themselves and say, “Please express yourself.”

As a leader, you need to respect other people's differences. Be the first one to respect each other. Share on X

If people are themselves, you will unlock enormous productivity. If you know where to put them in the right places and right seats and understand the systems that may be disabling or preventing them to do well, you will not only improve productivity. You will retain and attract talent. You’ll be one of those pioneers that can do this, make a change, and get interested. I would encourage you to get the book Neurodiversity at Work and start there at the minimum. I’m passionate to see more neurodiverse people at work where they’re thriving or surviving.

All this is fascinating to me as an HR executive myself, sadly sitting at many executive boardrooms that had a lack of diversity overall in general. Everybody has to have that stereotypical robot type of mannerisms and have that professional business acumen. It is a buzzword in the day. What is business acumen? You have to be wearing your suit and everything.

You have to look a certain way. You have to have that eye contact, that communication aspect, and the lack of awareness that that is not neurodiverse or even diversity-friendly at all. I’m making a non-scientific study in my head now talking to our youth like my college-aged kids and some of the other younger generations.

Sumit will call it a statistic here, but it appears to me that some of our younger population is way more open and friendly to the idea of working with a diverse population. For example, the LGBTQ community is more open to working with that type of population, more friendly to diversity in general, and people who are colorblind.

I’m excited about the future. That talent management strategies need to take on these types of tools, assessments, training, and development of your leaders to be more open and accepting because the up-and-coming populations are not going to tolerate the ignorance and the bias anymore. That’s just my personal point of view.

You’re exactly right, Char. The pace of acceptance in organizations is astounding. It’s wonderful but also a challenge for those leaders and individuals to ramp up and stay up with that pace and understand the different language and behaviors required. I imagine that’s part of that selection process that you’re using when you’re looking at hiring the best and exceptional talent, Marian. Ensuring that people can be their authentic selves at work is quite important. What are ways that leaders can communicate and model to ensure that people can show up as themselves?

It is important to achieve that in the workplace. It’s not an easy one to do especially when you have an organization with many different people, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies. What is key here is that as a leader, you need to put a clear message to the team and the organization which links to the values that no matter what difference we have, we are the first ones to respect each other. Respect means you are not to criticize for their beliefs, for who they become or who they are. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them because, let’s face it, when you have those communities and different beliefs, they may be different, but it’s the way it’s communicated is important.

This is communicated with respect. You’ve got to set these boundaries that people are not violating. That’s important for organizations with pride so they can feel included and they can feel themselves. Otherwise, it’s a counterproductive day. There is a correlation study that is done. Some great CEOs have achieved that. The CEO of Logitech, Bracken Darrell, is fantastic. If you look at the growth of the company, it’s been phenomenal, hundreds of percent while he was a CEO for more than ten years. What he’s achieved is fantastic.

He’s able to bring diverse leaders focused on key values, design, and quality. We see a company that may look peripherals and may not look necessarily like the apples that have grown exponentially because they care to bring inclusivity and provide those conditions. Care doesn’t mean weakness and less growth in the country. It could mean phenomenal growth, but you need to understand and make sure that you consciously bring diversity, not just for the sake of diversity but also linked to the values and the principles of the organization. You need to set this tone.

That aligns with the five categories you were telling us about how to prosper. Can you take us through those five categories, Marian?

PSF 31 | Leading With Care

Leading With Care: Spiritual prosperity means looking back at your journey. To follow what’s going on in your inner voice. It means spending some time for reflection just to be with yourself.


For me, that is something important and dear that I practice myself in life. It’s not easy. I meet a lot of leaders in the world. Some of them are at the top of their game, multi-billion companies or earning $30 million or even more than that a year. They’re wealthy. What I see often is that they may be successful in one category but not so much in another. My wish is for more leaders to be able to take care of all those five categories and the order matters. We get busy on our day-to-day and go in a wheel but in actual fact, we’ll take ourselves out.

The first category that we need to take care of to prosper not only in our business but in life is spiritual prosperity. What does it mean? For me, it is looking back. Everybody has their own journey to do, go through, and find out. I’m a curious person. Like a scientist with a magnifying glass, I went into research and found out who those spiritual leaders were and why they had such a following. What’s going on? What are their principles?

Going through that journey and looking at what God and Jesus, in particular, have done inspired me a lot because it’s one thing to die for a person you love. The other thing is to die for somebody that hates you. Why do people follow that so much? These are the important details that they look at leadership. There are many other great leaders out there and spiritual leaders in that aspect but when I look at that, it is important. How much time do you spend with your inner self? It may not be God, maybe your inner voice. Spending that reflection time and being with yourself first thing in the morning matters. You can see how your day will manage.

The second thing is mental prosperity. What mental prosperity means is, “Have you mastered your reactions to your emotion?” Mastering your reactions to your emotions is important. It’s your will. When you say something, you do it. You don’t falter. How sharp are you and your memory? These are things that are important to prosper mentally. You’re not having any anxiety or depression. This is called mental prosperity. The same way you train your body, you got to train your brain. It is important to do that consciously.

The first three are internal. Work with your inner self. That is not only for leaders but also for all of your audience because they apply to all of us. The third one is your physical prosperity and here, there are two main major things. Eating nourishing food will give you energy and longevity in your life. Training and your exercise will also help you to do that because what makes you fit is not the intensity. A one-off to the gym for nine hours for one day, but every day or every other day for 30 minutes, for example, these three are important to have.

The fourth category is financial prosperity. You need to make sure of that. There are two ways you can prosper financially, either you inherit, like when somebody wins the lottery, or second, you solve a problem. You refine your value in a way that you’re no longer needed, but you’ve created systems and people that can deliver these teams to work for you. Make sure that you are exceptionally valuable to people that have problems that you can solve. That’s what it means.

The final one is your relationship prosperity. That is super important. If you can only buy things with money, you’re poor. Whatever money can buy, relationships can pay for it. Make sure you take care of relationships with not only yourself but your family. Bring delight. Before going home, make sure you spend fifteen minutes planning, “How can I bring lavish delight to my family?”

It could be small things. It could be a flower or something my son or daughter likes. Just little things, but do it consistently. It’s like you make the bread with a dough. That’s how you should think of those relationships and start going after your family. Take care of your team and find out what they’re interested in. Find out about their families as well.

This is what I got and there’s no limit to how much you can expand. The reason I’ve mentioned all that matters is that if you don’t take care of the spiritual, mental, and physical, you will not last. You can do it, but it will not be sustainable. The financial comes because of your serving. Once you take care of those three, we can go externally, and then you can take care of your relationships. My message to your audience is to take care of yourself and everyone around you. There is no limit to how much you can care but do it sincerely and authentically. That’s important when it comes down to it.

Sumit, you sent this statistic that I was looking for. Can you share the statistic that you found?

If you can only buy things with money, you're poor. Whatever money can buy, relationships can pay for it. Share on X

Since you put that extra pressure on me by saying Sumit’s the one with the statistics, I thought I would look something up real quick. It was a study by a certain university in the US. It says that the US is becoming less White. In the people in the workplace, the racial profiling is 75% of people who are 55-plus years of age are White.

Post-Millennials, people who are under eighteen years of age, the number of White people is over 50 and 50% in the US with more Black people, Asians, Hispanics, and other races being part of the demographic as well. That points to the fact that for people in our generation or a generation older, diversity is a plus. For people who are joining the workforce or who are looking to join the workforce, it’s as natural as breathing.

You won’t say that we offer free air for the people who walk into your office. You wouldn’t say, “We pride ourselves on diversity,” because it’s being treated more and more like a given. Leaders who don’t care would not say that diversity or inclusion is our differentiating factor. People would simply assume it’s there. In case you’re not building inclusion, you are not a leader who cares.

It’s a good point. I truly believe it’s happening. It’s not only just neurodiversity, gender, race, or every other diversity topic out there. Even as a small business owner, I’ve worked on my company to be as diverse as possible, from hiring individuals of neurodiversity as well as individuals who are paralyzed from the neck down almost to the point of accepting it.

Our communities appreciate seeing that we hire employees like that. It only represents the communities we serve that they see that we have diversity in our organization. It turned into a great return on investment that we invest in these employees and take care of them. Employees are looking for organizations that have that open dynamic and are accepting.

That’s a core part of leading with care. It brings us a sense of awareness. A lot of people that are not handicapped and so forth walk or go through life taking things for granted. When you have a handicapped individual in your organization, it makes you become aware quickly. When you see a person’s struggle and it’s something that you’ve taken for granted, it brings that mental awareness that, “We need to do something here.”

That’s the same thing with all these other aspects, whether a person’s from a different culture, religion, or walk of life. It brings that awareness. We need to remember that our customers or the people that we deal with are from all these walks of life. That only helps us be better leaders and businesses. I imagine that is a big part of what you’re looking at when you search for candidates, Marian.

My message to all leaders is taking care of yourself is important. There are four categories of people that we all need to have in our lives. The first category of people is the divine connectors. People that will connect you to opportunities, but they may not have the solution for you. We all need them. The second category is people of influence. People with one signature can skyrocket or make a profound difference in your life. They could be political, economic, social, or any of those areas of influence.

The third category that I love talking about is the exceptionally gifted talent or people who can get the job done. It’s not about the cousin, the relationship, or whatever. These are people that are going to make your life enjoyable because you’re not going to have to repeat the same thing 100 times. They’re going to fly. If you say 1 thing, they do 5 more.

The last category is the most exceptional and difficult. They’re probably endangered species. They’re better than gold. It’s called burden bearers. These people will carry your burden. They will be with you no matter what. If you get arrested, they will stand by your cell and say, “I’m with you. I’m bound by a covenant with you. I’m going to help you get through this. I endorse you.” Hopefully, that’s your closest, your spouse. If you have ten of those people in your life, you’re the luckiest person in your generation.

PSF 31 | Leading With Care

Leading With Care: Measure your success, not just in terms of your financials, but on how many of those four categories you have in your life. It starts with you. Ask yourself, “Who am I, and what are my categories?”


Measure your success, not in terms of how well you prosper in terms of your financials, but how many of those four categories do you have in your life? In order for those people to show up in your life, the key is to start with you. Ask yourself, “Who am I for the people around me? In which category am I a divine connector? In which category am I a person of influence for people? For who am I exceptionally gifted? For who am I a burden bearer?” Be a destiny helper for everyone around you. The world will organize itself in a way that you get all your destiny helpers to help you fulfill and have a victorious life. Live a life full of passion and greatness.

What a powerful message. Thank you, Marian. A lot of our readers are probably wondering more about this and want to ask some questions. Marian, how can your organization help our readers out there and a little bit about how they can contact you and the services you provide?

Thanks for this question, Sam. If you’re a leader who cares and you would love to advance your organization, turn it around, not just have necessarily a moderate growth, but make a difference to the world and care about your people and the communities, we would love to help. The secret sauce is we get passionate about ourselves. Whenever we believe and are passionate about a leader and the mission, there are no barriers that we will not go over.

We can talk to people that are at the absolute top edge. We know how to engage with them. We know how to attract them. The key here is if they believe and want to do something great, not only for themselves but for the world and communities. We would love to help. They can get in touch with me either via LinkedIn at Marian M.P. Temelkov or send me an email at [email protected]. I’m happy to share some best practices, at least, or maybe even help them through the different services of executive search leadership relations or strategic succession or on your diversity at work.

Marian, you work with all types of companies all over the globe. Is that right?

Yes. I’m having a follow-up with San Francisco and I had a lot of calls and engagements throughout Europe and Asia. Typically, morning is Asia, midday is Europe, and the US comes towards the evening for me, but also, we have people and representatives around the world from San Francisco all the way to Asia.

Marian, it’s been quite a pleasure. This conversation has been so enlightening. I appreciate your time here. This is a powerful message for leaders to hear across the globe. Leading with care is critical in our lives and all that we’ve gone through and are continuing to struggle with in the past few years. Thank you for this important message.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you for all the work that you do. Thank you for inspiring so many people and I hope we’ve at least inspired one person. Thank you for taking the time. It’s been an honor. I appreciate the work you do. I wish all your readers a fantastic week. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and everyone around you.

Thank you everyone for joining us here on the show. We’ll see you next time. Once again, thank you so much, Marian. Take care. We’ll talk soon.

Thank you so much.


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About Marian Temelkov

PSF 31 | Leading With CareMarian is the founder and CEO of Dynamis Group – a global executive search company specializing in strategic placements, M&A, and leadership audits. He has successfully completed placements in over 50 countries around the world, driven by his philosophy of ‘seeing people not for who they are, but for who they can become. Marian is also spearheading a neurodiversity program and technology to support building truly inclusive and empowering workplaces.
Marian is an advocate and champion in conscious leadership and care culture and co-founded the Leaders Who Care platform to increase awareness and transformation of C-Suite executives. He invites leaders who care from every corner of the world to share best practices, embrace success & failure, and share ideas on a conscious leadership approach. He is also a supporter of women empowerment and co-founded the Samodiva Leadership events.
Besides creating a significant impact on existing leaders, Marian truly believes in grooming the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs. To support his mission, Marian co-founded the Leader Academy and for over 20 years, he has invested in creating academies, spaces, and communities for future leaders to help them discover a purpose-driven career or establish mission-driven companies.
Marian is also an investor and thought leader in projects supporting sustainable initiatives across the world by facilitating the development of technologies solving environmental issues and investing in Think Tank for ESG.
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