Making A Difference
Werner Erhard's work and ideas continue to make a difference in the world to this day. This page contains personal, academic and organizational websites by people inspired by the work of Werner Erhard.
Warren Bennis: Warren Bennis did for leadership what Peter Drucker did for management. Each were there before there was a "there." Before Bennis there was no "field of leadership"; he helped build it and served as godfather to this new field of study, practice and art. Former Medtronic head and now Harvard Business School professor Bill George called him the "father of leadership" and that could work too... He worked with Werner Erhard, the founder of EST, a highly-popular personal development program of the 1970s. In 1979, Warren moved to the University of Southern California (USC) business school which remained his base. Former EST trainer Ted Long recalls, "I remember Warren very well… the thing I noticed most was how unpretentious he was. Clearly a leader in the field, yet around others he was a sponge, listening absorbing and never assuming he knew more then you did."
Putting Integrity Into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach (positive as used here does not mean something good or desirable, it means the way something actually is). by Werner Erhard and Michael C. Jensen, National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper No. 19986, March 2014. The NBER is the nation's leading nonprofit economic research organization. Twenty-four Nobel Prize winners in Economics and thirteen past chairs of the President's Council of Economic Advisers have been researchers at the NBER. The more than 1,300 professors of economics and business now teaching at colleges and universities in North America who are NBER researchers are the leading scholars in their fields.
Without Integrity Nothing Works: Huffington Post article by Tony Smith on the work of Werner Erhard and Michael C. Jensen. "Jensen and Erhard assert that if one is willing to be responsible for and acknowledge one's impact, fully, and clean up what they call "the mess" from revoking or breaking one's word, then we can actually restore integrity fully and completely..."
Creating A World That Works For Everyone: "Each of us now has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us. It will require courage, audacity, and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet. You have the power to fire the shot heard ‘round the world." - Werner Erhard
To Forgive or Not To Forgive: Jill Uchiyama writes, "The forgiveness work out there in the world is not new. Back in the 1970's and 80's, Werner Erhard was doing similar practices with thousands of individuals in the U.S. and in places where forgiveness is dependent on whole cultures moving forward, such as Northern Ireland."
Michael Zimmerman on Werner Erhard and Martin Heidegger: "I think Werner Erhard is a very powerful thinker, an authentic American genius who has drawn on a vast array of traditions and thinkers to put together his approach to transformation. This is not unusual among famous European and American intellectuals. For example, Martin Heidegger, the philosopher, was influenced by Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Kierkegaard, Niche and a host of other thinkers. When I teach Heidegger I explain some of these influences and I add that it was Heidegger who put a new spin on all of this. That’s why Heidegger is Heidegger. What is important to see here is that Werner Erhard put a spin on all of this that was original, that was impactful, that transformed people's experience of their lives in many ways. He’s a kind of artist, a thinker, an inventor, who has big debts to others, who borrowed from others, but then put the whole thing together in a way no one else had ever done. An in addition to this ability to bring together many different patterns of thinking, and types of activities and learning processes, Werner has a kind of incredible sharp mind, which enables him to discern patterns, and opportunities that are not seen by others. That’s Werner’s ability.”
The Art of Deep Listening: "Both Werner Erhard who created est, and Landmark who created The Landmark Forum talked about the 'Already Always Listening' human being always have in his trainings and how that stops us from fully being present. Pause for a moment and reflect how the voices inside you stop you from fully and deeply listening. Are you able to read this article with a quite and open mind? Or your own idea about what listening is and opinions about what you are reading now, creating a filter?"
Werner Erhard on Happiness: Happiness isn’t at the end of the rainbow. Happiness is at the beginning of the rainbow. Following the rainbow is happiness, not getting to the end of it.
Listening For The Future: "In this book the authors provide an accessible account based on the accumulated experience and insights of the Barbados group, Landmark and its forerunners and affiliates. Steve Zaffron "Zen Master in a business suit" has a long association with Werner Erhard, Landmark and Zanto. His younger colleague, Dave Logan, "Dr. Phil to the Fortune 500", took a more academic path and now divides his time between the School of Business at the University of Southern California and consulting in education and cultural exchange."
Werner Erhard: Nanyang Technological University - Singapore
WernerErhard.Is: A Site inspired by Erhard's Ideas & Applications: Throughout his career Werner Erhard has lectured at universities and organizations around the world, and his programshave been cited as having had a significant cultural impact. Currently Werner Erhard commits his time and intellectual effort almost exclusively to the academic world.
Integrity: The Gound on Which Leadership Stands: Elements Drawn from Integrity: A Positive Model That Incorporates The Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics and Legality. By Werner H. Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron
The Future Lab: "This post continues and completes the conversation on what it takes to be a leader (and for leadership to show up) from an ontological perspective as put forward and taught by Werner Erhard et al. There are three foundational strands to this model: ‘integrity’, ‘authenticity’, and ‘being committed to something bigger than oneself’."
Creating the Context to Achieve your Leadership Potential: Concordia University Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies
James C. Selman: Jim Selman, the founder of Paracomm Partners International, is a recognized leader and authority in the field of organizational transformation and culture change. Jim was privileged to work in education and research with some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of transformation and management, including Fernando Flores, Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, Richard Pascal, Werner Erhard and Ken Blanchard, among others.
The Heart of Innovation: 50 Awesome Quotes on Vision
Leadership as Your Natural Self-Expression Bret Moss: [I have] benefited enormously for 30 years from the innovations in personal transformation pioneered by Werner Erhard, founder of The Est Training and author of the technology of personal transformation.
Ana Maria Rivera: "Being a University Professor has been my passion for many years. I have been teaching continuously at graduate programs internationally, since 2003. I am honored to be one of the very few scholars in the world who teaches the course: BEING A LEADER AND THE EFFECTIVE EXERCISE OF LEADERSHIP, a course designed by Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, Kari Granger and Steve Zaffron, that combines Ontology and Phenomenology and delivers effectively on its promise: participants leave the course BEING leaders (as opposed to just knowing about leadership)"
The Choice is Yours – Being Responsible for Your Own Life: Critical thinker Werner Erhard’s pioneering ideas are stimulating academic conversations in leadership and integrity. Erhard believes, that everyone has to be given the opportunity to be responsible for your own circumstances. Being responsible is not about blaming others or feeling guilty. But rather, taking personal responsibility is about taking a stand that you are equal to your condition in life. If you are equal to the condition, if you can be responsible for your own life, you can do something about it. If you are the victim of your life, you really can’t do anything about it. Therefore, by taking responsibility, you are taking a stand that you have the power to bring about the life you want.
Leadership as Your Natural Self-Expression: Having benefited enormously for 30 years from the innovations in personal transformation pioneered by Werner Erhard, founder of The Est Training and author of the technology of personal transformation currently offered by the global leader in personal transformation education Landmark Worldwide, I have been successfully experimenting with ways to empower members of the Unification faith community by infusing a God-centered (Hebraist) approach into the already dynamic and highly effective Hellenistic methodology offered by Landmark. Millions of participants around the globe have benefited from the Est Training (offered until 1984) and the Landmark Forum. As Pastor Kazakos (who has done the Landmark Forum) remarks, for a person who is well-grounded in Divine Principle, Landmark is akin to adding Nitrous Oxide to an already impressive race car engine.
A New Model of Integrity: A look at the Integrity model in the context of recent elections in India - "As per the authors, Integrity is all about our word being whole and complete, both to ourselves and to others. What is the meaning of word being whole and complete, one may ask. It means “Honouring our word” which is keeping our word and in case we are not able to do so, be willing to be held responsible for clearing any mess caused by that. The Law of Integrity states that as integrity (honouring the word) declines, workability declines, and as workability declines, the opportunity for performance declines.’
Continuing Education: "I participated in the Landmark Forum and I highly recommend everyone to attend this. It is hard to explain exactly what the Forum is without actually going through the three days yourself. What it promises is a whole new world of possibilities and the ability to make a quantum breakthrough in any of the most important areas of your life...and it did not disappoint... The Forum was first recommended to me by a childhood friend with whom I had done some pretty extensive and rough traveling around the US. As someone who had dropped out of high school in ninth grade, not many would have placed him on their ‘most likely to succeed’ list. However, he now earns about half a million dollars a year running his own business. He not only credits Landmark education as essential to his business success, but also to his happy marriage and relationship with his children. He is just one of many who have gone on to accomplish great things after attending the Forum...If you would like to have new possibilities for your relationships with friends and loved ones, a life free of fear and the kind of life you have always dreamed of, then the Landmark Forum is a must. Of all the education I have undertaken, the Forum probably represents the best value."
How ‘The Wiz’ was inspired by est: Diana Ross and Joel Schumacher, the star and scriptwriter of the 1978 musical mega-flop, were both influenced by Werner Erhard’s teachings. Released in 1978, The Wiz — an African-American take on The Wizard of Oz — featured some of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century.
Chuck Palahnuik: "My experience with doing [Werner H. Erhard’s self-improvement training] EST [was that] a lot of people who had a vision, who were empowered by EST — including myself — then went off to become the person they dreamed of being."
Werner Erhard: A Breakthrough In Individual and Social Transformation (pdf)
Werner Erhard Biographical page at Simon Business School, University of Rochester: Werner Erhard is an original thinker whose ideas have transformed the effectiveness and quality of life for millions of people and thousands of organizations around the world. While popularly known for the est Training and the Forum, his models have been the source of new perspectives by thinkers and practitioners in fields as diverse as philosophy, business, education, psychotherapy, third world development, medicine, conflict resolution, and community building. He lectures widely, and has served as consultant to various corporations, foundations, and governmental agencies. Erhard was acknowledged in Forbes Magazine's 40th Anniversary issue as one of the major contributors to modern management thinking, and is a recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award.
Werner Erhard at the Marshall School of Business: USC Marshall Distinguished Researcher Series
Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network, by Jonathon D. Moreno, Bellevue Literary Press, NYU School of Medicine: Part biography and part cultural history, this well researched book begins with J.L. Moreno’s Viennese background and the beginnings of his important work, including the development of the concepts of “psychodrama,” the now-familiar combination of therapy and theater, and “sociometry,” the study of social relationships and a precursor to contemporary social-network analysis. The following is excerpted from the book, "Erhard Seminars Training, known as est, epitomized the Great Crossover. In the 1970’s, as hundreds of troubled hospitalized patients were daily being released from their involuntary commitment in vast institutions, hundreds of normal people were voluntarily entering hotel ballrooms in the hope of transforming themselves. The attraction was a handsome and charismatic young man named Werner Erhard, who had undergone his own “transformation”. The word has a nearly technical significance for Erhard, who uses it to refer to his realization that what stood between him and his completeness as a human being was within his control. A critical part of the training, as practitioners refer to it, is freeing oneself from the past, accomplished by “experiencing” recurrent patterns and problems rather than repeating them, where “experience” again has a technical significance. To fully experience the pointless repetition of old, burdensome behaviors is to 'experience them out'."
Werner Erhard, Erasmus Academie: Rotterdam Leadership Seminar
Werner Erhard - Ideas and Applications Facebook Page
Werner Erhard Still Making A Difference - The Washington Post: While it is understandable that any book about the 1970s would include a reference to Werner Erhard and the est Training, what was not mentioned was that, far from simply being an iconic figure of that era, Mr. Erhard’s ideas and work continue to make an enormous difference, and his seminars spawned an entire self-development and coaching industry. Today, Mr. Erhard consults and lectures at top universities and institutions around the world.
WernerErhard.is: A site inspired by Werner Erhard's ideas and their applications.
Being A Leader: articles, videos, and academic papers related to the Being A Leader And The Effective Exercise Of Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model course, and its contributing authors and instructors, and their colleagues.
Werner Erhard Speaks To Kennedy School Students: Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) School post about Werner Erhard
The Century of the Self and The est Training: This post corrects misquotes and misconceptions related to the BBC television series: "The BBC and Adam Curtis, “Producer of The Century of the Self,” have confirmed that footage used in “The Century of the Self” to depict the est Training is in fact footage of a totally unrelated different program, called “Exegesis.”
Werner Erhard Interviews Al Neuharth: Al Neuharth (1924-2013) was the founder and senior advisory chairman of the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy. The Freedom Forum funds and operates the Newseum, the First Amendment Center and the Newseum Institute. Neuharth was chairman of the Freedom Forum from 1986 to 1997, and was a trustee of the foundation and its predecessor, the Gannett Foundation, from 1965 to 1999. He was founder of the nation’s most widely read newspaper, USA TODAY, and former chairman and chief executive officer of Gannett Co. This interview with Werner Erhard took place on July 11, 1987 and was broadcast via satellite as part of the Saturday Satellite Seminar Series on the Business of Money.
Werner Erhard and The est Training: 1984 video about the nature of transformation, the phenomenon of being and The est Training with reporter John Daly.
The Vital Importance of Empathy and Kindness: "Is kindness born of empathy fundamental to cultivating customer loyalty and employee engagement?
I say it is. What kind of kindness am I speaking about? I am speaking [about] what Werner Erhard refers to as “ruthless compassion”.
Werner Erhard Foundation: "The purpose of the Werner Erhard Foundation was to encourage and support research, communication, education, and scholarly endeavors in the fields of human well-being and transformation, both individual and social."
Werner Erhard's Ideas: "Werner Erhard is an original thinker whose ideas have transformed the effectiveness and quality of life for millions of people and thousands of organizations."
Werner Erhard's Ideas and Applications: "This Facebook page is dedicated to Werner Erhard's ideas and methodology. It covers what shaped and led to his thinking and the immense contribution Werner has made to other thinkers and the world."
Documentary: A friend emailed a link to this documentary a few days ago. I watched this today... Erhard was at the forefront of self-discovery and growth in the early 1970s and 80s.
How The Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture and Quantum Revival, by David Kaiser: "The est backed physics conferences developed into a robust annual tradition. The second meeting, held in January 1978 on quantum gravity, attracted such luminaries as Stephen Hawking...The 1979 meeting on phase transitions, focusing on how quantum theory can describe the shifting boundary between order and disorder at the atomic scale, such as ice melting into water, likewise spurred important results. Participants at the meeting thanked Erhard and the est foundation for facilitating inspiring discussions in an article published in the prestigious Physical Review Letters. And so it went: every year for a decade, the est foundation's physics conferences attracted star after star of the physics firmament."
Robert W. Fuller: "I knew a number of high achievers in mathematics, physics, politics, and the arts, and I wanted to know if attaining enlightenment would be helpful in such fields. If enlightenment is indeed a state of exceptional lucidity, it ought to affect the quality of the work done by those who’ve attained it. To check this out, I read widely...and I attended talks, seminars, workshops, and retreats with a variety of teachers...[including] Werner Erhard."
How Important is “Context” to Becoming Who You Want To Be? An R. Buckminster Fuller inspired game about making money and sense at the same time: "Werner Erhard, the person considered to have introduced the concept of ‘empowerment’ into business rather than ‘management’, as he discusses the importance of ‘context’"
The Path of Awareness: "Werner Erhard pointed to two states of mind in which life was lived. One he called “unconscious awareness” and the other “conscious awareness.” The aim of the est Training was to assist an individual to move from the one to the other. He would draw the two sets of words on the black board, the first below the second, and then draw a line between the two. He would then talk about the differences between life lived below the line and life lived above it. Below the line was unconscious awareness and unexperienced experience, and above the line was conscious awareness and experienced experience." -posted by Steve Beckow
Werner Erhard - On Happiness: "Happiness is almost not worth talking about because the instant you turn happiness into a goal it isn’t attainable any more. In other words, happiness isn’t something you can work towards. It isn’t something you can put someplace and overcome barriers to get to and so it makes a kind of difficult subject to talk about.
The thing which I think needs to be talked about is at the other end of the spectrum, the barriers to realizing happiness. The barriers to realizing happiness are a lot of very unhappy things. And they are the things which almost nobody talks about because very few of us are willing to confront those things." - quote by Werner Erhard as shared by The Happy Learner
The Coaching of Werner Erhard: The Source of Executive Coaching: "Werner Erhard founded est in 1971 and “The est Training” became a major cultural phenomenon of the 1970s, with hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic graduates around the world, including leading academics, for example Harvard Business School’s Michael Jensen and MIT’s Warren Bennis, and many celebrities such as John Denver, Valerie Harper, Ted Dansen, and Raul Julia. Tiger Woods’ first and most important coach, father Earl Woods, credits est with preparing him for the task. In 1991 some employees of est, including Werner’s brother and sister, bought the rights to much of the material and formed Landmark Corporation. Werner Erhard left the public eye while continuing to train executive coaches..."
Sustainability, Equity, Development: A Quest for Context and Meaning - "Werner Erhard's technology is probably the most powerful ever developed for completing the past and gaining more powerful relationships with the traumas that shape one's view of reality."
What Does It Really Mean To Take A Stand: Sustainable Action Leadership - "We sometimes think of taking a stand as making a declaration for or against something, forming a resolution or perhaps choosing a side. Werner Erhard distinguishes taking a stand from all of these. He defines taking a a stand as: 'A powerful way of being that can enable an individual to have an impact in the course of humanity.'"
Creating a Working America, an America That Works: "In 1980, Werner Erhard, a man I regard as extremely prescient, said: 'We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family....We can choose to make our love for the world be what our lives are really about....Each of us now has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us....It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet.' (Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, February 1980.) I am convinced that Werner was absolutely right and that it lies within our power to create a world that works for all of us – and, what is more to the point, an America that works for all of us.
Reflections on The Landmark Forum: In 2005 I took the Landmark Forum. It was an incredible three-day workshop. The Landmark Forum is an extension of the est seminars from the 1970s. Durning the Landmark Forum I learned to not fear what other people think of me.
Further Reflections on The Landmark Forum: The philosophical perspective of the Forum takes its inspiration from the brilliant work of Werner Erhard
ワーナー・エアハード: Werner Erhard website in Japanese
SSRN-Barbados Group: Prawf'sBlog: Where Intellectual Honesty Has (Almost Always) Trumped Partisanship -- Albeit in a Kind of Boring Way Until Recently -- Since 2005
Jane Self: Jane Self's background as a journalist led her to write a book in 1992 about Werner Erhard and 60 Minutes Her investigative work required extensive traveling both nationally and internationally to research court documents and interview family members, former and current employees and participants.
Being Judgmental Costs You More Sales Than You Know: "I consider myself a very lucky person as I was privileged to participate in what was then known as the quintessential inquiry into to the nature of what it meant to be a human being. This was a 60 hour intensive look into the nature of who I was and at my relationship to others. In 1975 I was inspired to do this work and was fortunate to spend a good deal of time contributing back my services. I did the 'est' Training, as it was called then, a world class work of art created by Werner Erhard. It is my view that Werner Erhard opened the doors for millions to seek greater discovery."
Peter Gabriel speaks about Werner Erhard and the est Training: "It taught me all sorts of things, of which one was to be responsible for your life and who you are---don't blame others, don't be a victim....The other thing is to be authentic about who you are, how you feel, and what's going on...It's about being real. We spend so much of our lives not actually being who we are but who we imagine we ought to be."
Actor Barry Williams: The actor who played Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch credits Werner Erhard's est training with helping him become "grounded" after ending his role as Greg Brady of the Brady Bunch at age 19.
I got It! Did You?: Blogger Kaybeth Jensen writes: "'I Got It' in 1980, in a Hilton ballroom in Houston, Texas, where I took the Erhard Seminars Training, or as some of you may know it, EST – Latin for 'it is.' ... The purpose of the est training was to 'transform your ability to experience living so that the problems or situations in life that you are trying to solve or are putting up with clear up just in the process of life itself.' What shifted was how I experienced things, not the things themselves. The est training presented the possibility that it is possible to experience life by engaging with it exactly as it is, unfiltered by our likes and dislikes, our preferences and aversions, our strongly held beliefs and opinions about how life should be."
Life By Design: “History will likely remember Werner Erhard as an important 20th century self realization artisan who’s work shifted the paradigm for personal and global transformation.”
Integral Options Cafe: Creating Leaders, An Ontological Model: "The sole objective of our ontological 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. - from abstract of paper by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen and Kari Granger"
Mark Jacobson, Artist, credits est Training’s influence: A significant influence on Jacobson was Werner Erhard and his EST training in the 1970’s, of which Jacobson said, “His model of how the mind works hit me like a baseball bat and I experienced Zen. Thirty years later I get it and lose it, over and over.”
Werner Erhard - Coaching: Janet Harvey, president of the International Coach Federation, was quoted in a New York Times article about the growing practice of Life Coaching, in which she traces the development of coaching to the early 1970s Human Potential Movement and credited the teachings of Werner Erhard’s “est Training,” the popular self-motivation workshops he designed and led in the ’70s and early ’80s.
A Quote from Werner Erhard on Being OK: "If you could really accept that you weren’t ok, you could stop proving you were ok. If you could stop proving that you were ok you could get that it was ok not to be ok. If you could get that it was ok not to be ok you could get that you were ok the way you are. You’re ok, get it?" - Werner Erhard
Werner Erhard - As quoted in the blog juntamng: “One of the things I am really sure about is nothing will make you happy. Very few things I am really sure about. That is one of things I am really sure about. Nothing will make you happy. It may give you give you a jolt. It may make you gleeful but it isn’t going to make you happy. What does that mean nothing will make you happy.....You have to bring happiness to life. You don’t get happiness out of life. What is there to be happy about? Nothing. When you can be happy about nothing. Just be happy. You know “I am happy” – those words are sacred. It’s like a declaration, it’s like a place from which I come, it’s like a stand I take upon myslf. Its not I am pretending to be happy, it’s not I am acting happy. No. I am happy!” – Werner Erhard
Lightening Up and Letting Go - The est Training: "People who didn’t do the training talked long oppressive hours and about participants not being allowed to pee. People who did the training talked about huge, positive transitions in their lives.While the training was amazing the best part of EST was yet to come. People got hyped up and experienced presence in the training but the real revelation of EST was revealed in continuing education courses after the training...The EST Training made a bunch of us fearless and unstoppable. At one point Xerox commissioned a study to find out how EST got more and better work out of volunteers than they could get out of they employees no matter how much they paid them."
E-Club of The West: Integrity: Without It Nothing Works: "There is some confusion between the terms integrity, morality, and ethics. How do you differentiate them? - These three phenomena are widely understood to provide standards of 'correct' behavior, but people generally get them mixed up. The primary differentiation I make between them is to distinguish integrity from morality and ethics..."
Werner Erhard Quotes: It's often been noted how futile it is to hunt butterflies. Once you've captured them, they've lost the very quality they had which made you want to own them in the first place: their freedom.
So it is with Werner Erhard's quotes. By writing them down they are taken out of the domain of transformation ... it's only an approximation to his up close and personal, face to face transformation he constitutes in them when he speaks them.... Theses quotes need no setup nor introduction. Transformation is each and every one of them.