The Kings Vision
An interview with Les Sinclair
I met Les Sinclair eleven years ago, back when Los
Angeles was still a developing community with the
San Diego Center. Ill never forget hearing
his Australian accent in a circle of men.
I remembered him talking about his name at that
time. He spoke again about it in our
My full name is Leslie. In Australia and
the U.K. its a proud mans name which
means strength. My father and great
grandfather are named Leslie, or Les. Australian
people pronounce it more like Lez.
As a young actor at 20th Century Fox, where he
was under contract, there was much discussion about
using the name Leslie
already there was a
Leslie Howard and a Leslie Nielsen
Aussie stayed with Leslie Sinclair.
For some reason mostly women took the name
Leslie on in this county,
Sinclair noted. I was always a little bit
embarrassed in the U.S. because it tends to be a
girls name. I wanted to be a guy, a man. But
now Ive come to embrace the name. I believe
Im honoring my fathers and my heritage with
So meet the ManKind Projects Leader Chair.
Hes in charge of all the certified men who
lead The New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA).
Many men might ask, who in the world could
step into the shoes of Don Jones as Leader
Chair? Well, Im here to tell you that
Leslie Sinclair can. Les adheres to Jones
admonition to not only create a container on a
weekend, but to inspire it.
Also, I experience Les as a man who can stand in
a grounded unflappable place while demonstrating an
amazing amount of passion and conviction.
Theres a balance of softness and hardness in
this mans energy that is easy to trust.
Ill tell you why Im still
passionate around the ManKind Project
its my vision of leadership. A generation
from now I can foresee where the halls of congress
have New Warriors who have gone through our
program, men who walk their talk, who are
accountable for choices they make, where law-makers
are New Warriors. There will be men who have gone
through the NWTA who are passionate around being
men of integrity. My vision is that we will make
that happen where men that are in leadership roles
in government, the army, or the private sector,
will be New Warriors who will have an influence on
men in the world. I know we influence people; there
are endless stories. Men go home and people around
them say youre different. They
are different. Our trainings provide a wake up to
life, a new way of being a man, a way of
reinventing ourselves. Leadership is about deciding
Im not going to be a destructive man
anymore, Im not going to be a tyrant
Im going to be a man of love, compassionate
with strength. A man without a well balanced
warrior quadrant is nothing but a savage, a
mercenary. What I believe is in my mission: I
co-create a compassionate, authentic, enlightened
society by facilitating transformational change and
modeling servant leadership.
You should hear these words directly from Les
his energy is very moving.
Actually, considering Less Hollywood
background, formerly a producer, its doubly
amazing he has remained so grounded over the years
I told Les I saw him as a man who doesnt
seek the limelight, but knows how to handle it. If
youve ever seen the video, Les was the man
who got MKP exposure on the Donahue show many years
back with a panel that included Joe Laur, Phil
Bozanowski, David Hallowell, Ken Druck, Jim Coleman
and co-founder Ron Herring.
That opportunity came about as a
magnificent accident, he recalled. I
called up the producer of that show, someone I had
previously worked with while I was producing The
Merv Griffin show. I had recommended Mark Gerzon,
whod written a book, to be on Donahue.
[See Gerzons interview in July 04s
issue.] Pat, the woman I knew, asked how I knew
Mark. I told her that we were in a mens
movement. She asked what does mens
movement mean? I told her there was a growing
interest with men who wanted to connect with other
men and release their pent up feelings. There was a
movement toward being better men. She said she was
fascinated and wanted to do a show on
that. I said, okay, Ill try to get you
some people to be on the show. I contacted
John Lee and Robert Bly, and some other Gurus in
the so called mens movement, but
nobody returned my call
which I thought was
interesting. So as Im trying to set up key
players to be on the show, Pat called back and said
that Phil was going on vacation and she needed to
fill a couple shows. She wanted me to come in and
actually host the entire show, myself! You know,
Im a behind-the-scenes guy, but she said
I think you could do it. And I thought,
maybe I could do it
maybe we could put
together a panel and show them how an I-Group works
with the check in
The next thing I know
were light-speeded up and scheduled to come
in 10 days later. I called around and got the men I
thought were articulate and represented New Warrior
What the men did not know is that the producers
of the show had set them up to fail, after all, the
studio was full of women
and TV likes
While we were in the green room, the
warm-up lady told the audience that we were back
stage doing something weird with smoke
(sage) and that if anyone in the crowd thought they
were wimps or anti-female to go after them.
Dont pull any punches with these
guys, he said. So when we came on stage, Ed
Fell, who was there in the audience, was crouching
down in his seat
just knowing that we were
going to get lambasted.
Then the cameras came on.
I began by saying that all across America
there were men who meet in groups like this where
we check in with our hearts
and the women
were cheering us on asking where did you guys
come from?! Weve been looking for you
forever! During the show, the producer came up to
me and told me she was going to keep the cameras
rolling and get two shows out it. At the very end,
Phil Donahue came out and said you guys are
absolutely terrific. We took pictures with
him. It was certainly a magnificent
So much for conflict!!
The video has been a great marketing tool for
men to enroll others. The tape is still being
Its a bit dated, Sinclair
quipped. Im not as young and gorgeous
as I used to be
I had a bit more hair then
and I was 15 pound lighter.
I laughed a lot with Les as we talked. Hes
And what about going on Oprahs show?
I did ask Oprah. I did. She said
no, shes already covered.
Sinclair knew Oprah from her early days on
television in Chicago.
I went to her show with Brian Muldoon, and
we sat in the audience. Just before the show opens,
Oprah comes up to me and says, Les, this is
not about you today. The show was about men
who didnt pay their spousal and child
support. It was pretty awful to hear how
unconscious men avoid their responsibilities. I
dont think well ever be on her show.
Phil Donahue was a very conscious guy. He did a
great deal to wake up people. Now most of the
daytime shows are like Jerry Springer. They get the
lowest common denominator for an
So much for trying to win the world over all at
once, what about healing the world one man at a
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Les said that as men and
leaders in our own lives we need to be the change
we wished to see in the world.
I asked Sinclair if he had a Kings vision
or particular style of leadership,
especially on an NWTA.
Leadership is about a man walking his
talk: it is about setting an example so others can
follow. If no one is following you, then you are
not leading very well! Being a leader requires that
we do our own work with the shadow in
order to bring forth our light.
I like the sage advice from out Native North
Americans, when you make a decision, ask what
impact it will have seven generations into the
future. There is a blessing and burden to
being a leader. It is a blessing to inspire men to
reach their potential and to tell them that they
are not inherently broken. The burden often takes
us away from our wives, partners and kids. So
heres what I say to the leaders: get your
life in balance. Get it in balance. If its
out of whack it will show up on a weekend. If I am
out of balance in some aspect of my life its
going to be transparent.
For me as a Leader In Training (LIT), I gotta
tell you, this is the kind of leader I will
What were doing is initiating
men, he continued. Were
initiators of men. An initiation is a beginning of
something. Its starting something to help men
wake up to life, wake up to being conscious men and
having conscious choices. This is what
accountability is, being aware of the consequences
of our choices. A good choice is beneficial, a bad
choice often hurts people. My hope is that we teach
the importance of accountability. If you chose to
be late and men had to sit waiting for you,
youre unconscious. Wake up! On an NWTA we
show men the end result of him being asleep and not
caring about other people.
Is accountability important for leaders?
The leaders have to model it
to model it. I cannot go to a weekend and be
effective as a leader when my life is a mess.
Its about our essential character. The nature
of our character determines our fate.
(As a writer and dramatist, I like it when
anyone makes a reference to ancient wisdom coming
from Aristotle one of the first to
understand the catharsis involved in true drama.
The protagonist is described as the man with the
fatal flaw in his character whose story is acted
Leadership is about inspiring others to do
it, Sinclair added. Its the
reason I got involved in the Global Support Team
(GST) to foster leadership outside in the
international world. Its been a joy for me.
The GSTeamsters (as I call them) gets together
regularly on a monthly bridge call with men from
around the world. The international community has
different problems than those in the U.S.
Were primarily focused on mentoring
issues. Theres been a surge of interest in
this work from Hispanics, particularly an interest
for an NWTA in Mexico. This requires
Sinclair was quick to add that
leadership was not simply about being
certified in MKPI.
We have a need for community leadership.
There are all kinds of different ways men can be
leaders, with the lodge, as elders, as center
all passionate men are invited to
lead our growing communities. Its very
important for a man to step into his
As a full certified leader, Les said it was his
obligation to train men to replace him
If I can influence a hundred men,
its going to have a ripple effect
those men will do their job in influencing other
Les has influenced his nephew, Paul Sinclair,
the youngest co-leader in The Project. Recently Les
bought a condo in Las Vegas, in part to be closer
to his family.
Les Sinclair was there for me when I was
initiated in 1995 in San Diego. At the time, the
certified leaders ran the community. They
controlled everything from top to bottom.
I LOVE control, Sinclair declared.
I like to be in control, but I cant be
in control of everything. A good leader will
delegate and say, hey mate you can do this
and Ill help you. I also LOVE to then
watch the man blossom. There are many different
styles of leadership in MKP. Theres the one
who plans ahead in a company way to get the troops
over that hill ... someone with attention to
detail. Then there are the charismatic types that
say lets charge over that hill and
youre coming with me. Both leadership
Sinclair honored the men who have sat in his
position as Leader Chairman, including Rick
Broniec, Jim Coloumbe, and Don Jones.
And what kind of leader is Les Sinclair?
I just came off a weekend in Canada. My
intention was that I wanted to be authentically me
on the weekend. I love rituals. I like doing that,
in part, because my whole approach to life is that
this is my performance. Im not holding back
for a dress rehearsal. I put everything Ive
got into each day. I do it now, not hold back for
This is a leader who I see holding the true
kings vision, while still being accessible to
More than being a leader, Sinclair said he was
most proud of the two girls hes reared.
His older daughter Emily just won an Emmy as
producer of Extreme Makeover The Home
I joke about being their Dingo
Dad, he said. I call them my
I believe Less love is genuine. I can hear
it in his voice, and it touches my soul.
I love mentoring men, he concluded.
I love giving men permission to turn on their
own switch to be magnificent. I love going up to a
man on the weekend and tell him hes doing a
good job. Men go to the weekend from their ordinary
lives where they can do something extra-ordinary
and excellent. They can do little jobs with great
attention. It comes off as magic that men create.
Nobody comes to the weekend asking how can I
screw up the weekend but asking how can
I be the best? Men want to be their best.
Its up to the leadership to inspire them to
be their best. I cant do it alone. I need
everybody. I need them and they need me. Its
a synergy of energy. Its a container that we
build to transform lives.
© 2006 Reid Baer
* * *
The fame you earn has a different taste from the
fame that is forced upon you. - Gloria
Reid Baer, an
award-winning playwright for A Lyons
Tale is also a newspaper journalist, a poet
with more than 100 poems in magazines world wide,
and a novelist with his first book released this
month entitled Kill
The Story. Baer has been
a member of The ManKind Project since 1995 and
currently edits The New Warrior Journal for
The ManKind Project www.mkp.org
He resides in Reidsville, N.C. with his wife
Patricia. He can be reached at E-Mail.
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