Why Möbius Band?
What’s the significance of the name of this website, “Möbius Band”?
A möbius band is a continuous loop that shares similarities with an ordinary circle––both have neither start nor end. But what’s unique about a möbius band is this: If you start on the front of the band and follow along until you return to that same place on the band, you’ll now be on the back of the band instead of the front. And if you continue going around another time, you’ll end up on the front of the band again. You can find this band in Roman mosaics as early as the third century, but it gets its name from German mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius, who “discovered” it in 1858.
A möbius band is the best illustration I know for the continuous nature of leadership development as Jesus envisioned it: leaders investing in leaders who invest in other leaders without end. It’s an ongoing process that’s built on the commitment of leaders at all levels to give priority, as Jesus did, to developing other leaders. Younger leaders become older leaders and continue the cycle. No formal program is required, so there’s little need for administration or funding.
The most familiar application of a möbius band is one that we see all the time but may not recognize: the recycle symbol. It was designed by a 23-year-old college student for the first Earth Day in 1970. Imagine each of those arrows as a leader investing in another leader.
Over two decades earlier, the B. F. Goodrich Company patented a conveyor belt in 1957 designed like a möbius band. So instead of just one side wearing down, the wear is spread over the entirety of the twisted belt. What implications do you see for developing leaders?
Kapp J Lehman: Endless Belt