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.

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.”

A Shot Heard Round The World

The Context for Creating a Transformed World: A World that Works for Everyone

“Sometime around now – it may have happened five years ago or fifty years ago – but sometime around now, the rules for living successfully on this planet shifted.  We can no longer hope to live meaningful, purposeful lives using the rules of a you or me world.  It’s becoming clearer and clearer to those who will look that in order to live successfully on this planet, we must discover and live by the rules of you and me.” – Werner Erhard

Thousands of people came together to participate with Werner Erhard in the birth of a context, to discover for themselves ways to take advantage of what was previously unthinkable: that we as individuals have the unique opportunity to make a difference in creating a world that works for everyone…

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“The truth is not found in a different set of circumstances. The truth is always and only found in the circumstances you’ve got. – Suffering is a function of the notion that ‘this is not it.’ ” – Werner Erhard

THIS IS IT- AN INTERVIEW WITH WERNER ERHARD, by Eliezer Sobel, New Sun Magazine,  December 1978

Werner’s life and work is the subject of William Bartley’s recently released book, Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, the Founding of est, published by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. The book is unusual in that it is not so much a story, but an experience. On the surface, it is the history of Werner Erhard; one step in, and it’s a biography of the Self, the story of each of our own inner unfoldment.

New Sun: I’d like to know what you feel is the single most important thing a human being can learn in life?

Werner Erhard: The problem with the answer to that question is that it depends on where the person is. I think that until you know that life does not work you’re unprepared to know anything else. And yet that’s not the most important thing to know. But it might be the first thing to know.

NS:  That it’s not all right the way it is?

Werner Erhard: No. I didn’t say that. I said that life doesn’t work. What I mean by that is whatever it is that you think is going to make life work, it isn’t going to make life work. People think that when they get educated that that’s going to solve all their problems and handle things; or when they get married, or when they get divorced, and so on. People think there is something that is going to make things work, and nothing makes things work. The fact of the matter is that there isn’t anything that’s going to make anybody happy.

NS: Okay … and with that realization begins the search? Or ends the search? What comes next after that realization?

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Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard, a documentary by Robyn Symon.

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