Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard

Introduction

Werner Erhard is an original thinker, author and lecturer in the area of responsibility and self-improvement. In 1971 he founded est which offered a two-weekend (6-day, 60-hour) course known officially as The est Standard Training. In 1984 he replaced the est training with "a more modern, briefer, rigorous and philosophical program" called The Forum. In 1991 Erhard sold the intellectual property of The Forum to a group of employees, who later formed Landmark Education, who continue to operate this program as Landmark Forum.
His programs focused on personal Responsibility , Integrity and leadership. One of his key influences was Martin Heidegger, although he brought his own original treatment to sharing and building on his ideas.

The Forum

Erhard talks about the Forum creating freedom from the self that limited them. There is a belief and there is a believer/believing.

I considered the training to be a brilliantly conceived Zen koan, effectively tricking the mind into seeing itself, and in thus seeing, to be simultaneously aware of who was doing the seeing, a transcendent level of consciousness, a place spacious and undefined, distinct from the tired old story that our minds continuously tell us about who we are, and with which we ordinarily identify.

The Four Ways of Being

The Four Ways of Being on Which Great Leadership, a Great Organization, and a Great Personal Life Are Built

1. Being Authentic

Being authentic is being and acting consistent with who you hold yourself out to be for others, and who you hold yourself to be for yourself. When leading, being authentic leaves you grounded, and able to be straight with others without the use of force.

2. Being Cause In the Matter of Everything In Your Life

Being Cause in the Matter is a stand you take on yourself in relation to life – a stand is a declaration you make, not an assertion (not a statement of fact). Being Cause in the Matter is viewing life from, and acting from the stand “I am cause in the matter of everything in my life”. Being willing to view and deal with life from this perspective leaves you with power. You never deal with life from the perspective of a victim.

3. Being Committed to Something Bigger than Oneself

Being committed to something bigger than oneself is the source of the serene passion (charisma) required to lead and to develop others as leaders, and the source of persistence (joy in the labor of) when the path gets tough.

4. Being A Person or an Organization of Integrity

In our model, integrity for anything is the state of being whole, complete, unbroken, sound, in perfect condition. For a person and any other human entity (e.g., a human organization) integrity is a matter of that person’s word or that organization’s word being whole and complete – nothing more and nothing less. Integrity is required to create the maximum opportunity for performance, and quickly generates trust

“At cause” in the matter of our lives

Being “at cause” seems similar to my notion of being a “meaningful participant”

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