You Don’t Alter What You Know, You Alter The Way You Know It

A CONVERSATION WITH WERNER ERHARD about The est Training, philosophy, “enlightenment,” authoritarianism and legitimate authority, arrogance, leadership, and vision.

The Network Review, Volume 1 Number 4, September 1983

From their base at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, members of the Center for the Study of New Religious Movements have been exploring ways to evaluate the confusing array of activities they define as spiritual, self development, or consciousness oriented. A continuing seminar at the Center has worked on criteria which lay people and professionals can use to discriminate between harmful and helpful conditions in groups pursuing such activities.

Werner Erhard and 17 members of the seminar met in April 1981 to discuss some of the distinctions between authoritarianism and legitimate authority. The conversation covered other topics as well, and the seminar leader, Dick Anthony, later commented that it was “one of the important turning points in our meetings.” An edited transcript of the interview is scheduled to appear in a book, Spiritual Standards for New Age Groups and Therapies, due to be published next spring. While The est Training is not a therapy or a religion, the conversation between Werner Erhard and members of the seminar clearly applies to the issues raised by the book, and to everyday living.

Read the rest of this entry

Handbook For Teaching Leadership

The Editors of the “Handbook for Teaching Leadership” say the following in their introductory chapter:

“How does one teach leadership in a way that not only informs [students] about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders?” (p. XXIV)

The sole objective of our ontological/phenomenological approach to creating leaders is to leave students actually being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression. By “natural self-expression” we mean a way of being and acting in any leadership situation that is a spontaneous and intuitive effective response to what one is dealing with.

In creating leaders we employ the ontological discipline (from the Latin ontologia “science of being”, see Heidegger (1927)). The ontological model of leader and leadership opens up and reveals the actual nature of being when one is being a leader and opens up and reveals the source of one’s actions when exercising leadership. And ontology’s associated phenomenological methodology (explained in (2) below) provides actionable access to what has been opened up.

The being of being a leader and the actions of the effective exercise of leadership can be accessed, researched, and taught either:

1) as being and action are observed and commented on “from the stands”, specifically as these are observed by someone, and then described, interpreted and explained (third-person theory of), or

2) as being and action are actually experienced “on the court”, specifically as these are actually lived (real-time first-person experience of). As a formal discipline, the “on the court” method of accessing being and action (that is, as being and action are actually lived) is named phenomenology.

In short, an epistemological mastery of a subject leaves one knowing. An ontological mastery of a subject leaves one being.

Of course the students themselves do not need to study ontology; they only require the access to being and the source of action that is provided by the ontological perspective. And, they don’t need to study phenomenology; they only need to be provided with the actionable pathway to the being of being a leader and the actions of effective leadership made available by the phenomenological methodology.

THE HANDBOOK FOR TEACHING LEADERSHIP, Chapter 16, Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria, Rakesh Khurana, eds., Sage Publications, 2011
Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper 11-037
Barbados Group Working Paper No. 10-10
Simon School Working Paper Series No. FR 10-30

 

 

 

Werner Erhard Foundation

The Werner Erhard Foundation was established in 1973 to provide an opportunity for individuals to express their commitment to significantly altering what is possible for humanity. Its mission was to foster and support catalytic projects that would provide far-reaching breakthroughs in fields related to both personal and social development. The foundation brought together individuals from around the world to contribute to and participate in ground-breaking work in the area of human achievement and transformation.

In the nearly 20 years of its operation, the Werner Erhard Foundation granted approximately $4 million for research, scholarly endeavors, and voluntary action. It was the foundation’s privilege to support more than 300 outstanding individuals and organizations from a variety of disciplines. Working in many diverse fields and surroundings, these recipients made a profound contribution to human thinking, growth, and achievement. The work of transformation and personal responsibility was brought to the former Soviet Union and the Werner Erhard Foundation launched projects such as The Hunger Project, The Mastery Foundation, and the Youth at Risk Program, which continue to be vital and active today.

 

Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard is a critical thinker who has influenced the academic community worldwide with his revolutionary ideas first expressed in The est Training. He introduced the 20th Century notion of transformation and has had an enormous impact as a thought leader, humanitarian and business man. Currently retired from business, Werner Erhard devotes his time to speaking, publishing his ideas in academic papers and developing courses and other materials for Universities such as Harvard, Dartmouth, and Erasmus.

Curriculum Vitae

Werner Erhard 2009Werner H. Erhard is recognized world-wide as a business, management, and humanitarian leader, with an esteemed record of accomplishment and achievement at the highest levels of U.S. national policy, international peace, reconciliation and development efforts, and leadership and management theory and practice. His creation of innovative ideas and models of individual, organizational and social transformation have impacted such diverse fields as business, education, philosophy, medicine, psychotherapy, developing countries, conflict resolution, and community building. Erhard is a recipient of the 1988 Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award in honor of his “notable effort to end the starvation and hunger suffered by millions throughout the world” and is a Knight in the Sovereign Order of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem for his lifelong dedication to helping those in need. Werner Erhard’s international accomplishments include peace and reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland, business leader training as part of the U.S State Department’s Russia / U.S. Project, and a life history of contributions to impoverished regions of the world, to include Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, Mexico, Cambodia, Mozambique and many others.

-from wernererhard.net/cv.html

 

Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model

Abstract of Creating Leaders: An Ontological Model

The Editors of the “Handbook for Teaching Leadership” say the following in their introductory chapter: “How does one teach leadership in a way that not only informs [students] about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders?” (p. XXIV)

The sole objective of our ontological/phenomenological approach to creating leaders is to leave students actually being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression. By “natural self-expression” we mean a way of being and acting in any leadership situation that is a spontaneous and intuitive effective response to what one is dealing with.

In creating leaders we employ the ontological discipline (from the Latin ontologia “science of being”, see Heidegger (1927)). The ontological model of leader and leadership opens up and reveals the actual nature of being when one is being a leader and opens up and reveals the source of one’s actions when exercising leadership. And ontology’s associated phenomenological methodology (explained in (2) below) provides actionable access to what has been opened up.

The being of being a leader and the actions of the effective exercise of leadership can be accessed, researched, and taught either:

1) as being and action are observed and commented on “from the stands”, specifically as these are observed by someone, and then described, interpreted and explained (third-person theory of), or

2) as being and action are actually experienced “on the court”, specifically as these are actually lived (real-time first-person experience of). As a formal discipline, the “on the court” method of accessing being and action (that is, as being and action are actually lived) is named phenomenology.

In short, an epistemological mastery of a subject leaves one knowing.
An ontological mastery of a subject leaves one being.

– Werner Erhard, Independent
– Michael C. Jensen, Harvard Business School; Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
– Kari L. Granger, Sunergos, LLC; Center For Character and Leadership Development

Making A Difference

 

What does it mean to make a difference in the world?  Most people think it means to leave behind a city with your name on it or some great organization.  What makes a difference is to make a difference in people’s lives. We don’t allow ourselves to think that the world could work for all of us. That’s a radical kind of thinking.  It’s been my experience that you can make a difference and in fact that you do make a difference.  And we are always choosing.

Lunch With The FT: Werner Erhard

Excerpts from: Lunch With The FT: Werner Erhard

“Erhard is the man who more or less invented the personal growth movement in California in the early 1970s and who coined the phrase, ‘Thank you for sharing’.”

“Erhard’s influence extends far beyond the couple of million people who have done his courses: there is hardly a self-help book or a management training programme that does not borrow some of his principles.”

“I’m not the first person to struggle to grasp his ideas. Erhard tells me that paramilitaries in Northern Ireland had a bit of trouble too, but when they did get it they disarmed as a result. He also worked with members of the first Russian parliament in 1993, who were apparently even slower getting the point than me.”

“Erhard is an autodidact. Jensen is an emeritus professor at Harvard Business School. Together they are writing academic articles and touring the world’s best universities.”

“What got the two started on this [integrity] was not the usual stuff about corporate scandals. It was reflecting on how their own “out-of-integrity behaviour” had stunted their own performance and damaged themselves and others around them. After seven years of research the upshot is a (somewhat impenetrable) model that links integrity, morality, ethics and legality into a single system that promises great benefits for everyone.”

Lucy Kellaway is the FT’s management columnist

Read the full article in the Financial Times

Financial Times on Werner Erhard and Michael Jensen

FINANCIAL TIMES, April 28, 2012

Excerpts from: The only way is ethics: Andrew Hill on where Erhard and Jensen are coming from

“Werner Erhard and Michael Jensen look an unlikely pairing but their leadership teaching fits into a broad stream of business education and research about ethics and integrity. ”

“In ‘A Positive Theory of the Normative Virtues’, the draft introduction to their forthcoming book, they write that their desire to confront their own “personal contributions to the mess generated by out-of-integrity behaviour” was one trigger for their research. But it was the Enron scandal of 2001 that prompted business schools to refocus attention on this area. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 gave this effort new impetus, as management schools realised they had to bear some responsibility for the bad corporate behavior of their alumni. ”

“Jensen and Erhard’s latest work shifts the emphasis away from external incentives and structures to leaders’ internal motivation, encouraging self-examination and personal action. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of this approach, managers seem to have an appetite for it. Another eminent Harvard professor, Clay Christensen – one of whose HBS classmates was the disgraced Enron chief executive Jeff Skilling – is about to publish a book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, offering advice on how to build a successful life and career that avoids ethical compromise. The 2010 Harvard Business Review article on which it is based is one of the best-read in the journal’s history.”

Andrew Hill is the FT’s management editor

Werner Erhard and Michael Jensen’s book on integrity is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press

Read the full article in the Financial Times

Werner Erhard on The Tonight Show

The Work of Werner Erhard & Associates

“I am committed that there is something about which human beings are unaware, the awareness of which would transform life for human beings.” – Werner Erhard

“In 1971 the first est training took place in San Francisco, by 1980 that had experience rippled out to 375,000 people living in 103 countries around the world and that is really what the work of Werner Erhard & Associates begins with.”

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