Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Big Man:

Leader Of Leaders

Sonoma Valley, California, USA

September 26, 2014

This essay, Big Man: Leader Of Leaders, is the thirteenth in an open group on People: I am indebted to Warren Bennis who inspired this conversation.

Some people are tall. Some aren't. It's not better to be tall than it is to be not tall - or vice versa, for that matter. In any case, being tall isn't a matter in which we have much choice. Our height's a given. It's what's so  (and consequently, by the way, it's also so what). It's just the way it is. Then there are those people who aren't tall but who appear to be tall. You know the kinds of people I'm talking about. We all know people like this. Whatever it is about them, whatever it is they be  and / or do and / or say, gives them the appearance  of being tall, even if they aren't. They have the quality I call stature.

If you look up "stature" in the dictionary, you'll see it does mean "height", and it also means "reputation and importance based on achievements".


Personally I'd prefer the dictionary definition for "stature" to say "reputation and importance based on authenticity"  rather than "reputation and importance based on achievements".

But that's a subject for another conversation, possibly another conversation for The Laurence Platt Dictionary, on another occasion.


This guy really does have stature - in both these senses. The dictionary should have his photograph next to its definition. He's tall, to be sure. And the thing is even if he wasn't tall, he would appear  to be tall because of this quality, because of his stature. It's this quality he radiates. When people who have this quality, walk into any room, you know the way everyone turns around to see who just came in? ... and they don't know why  they turned around? And when they turn around and see him standing there, he's not trying to capture anyone's attention, yet he's capturing everyone's attention anyway by doing nothing, such is his naturalness and real power.

The next thing I notice after his height and stature, is the shock of his snow white head of hair. I don't mean "shock" like his hair is wild. It isn't. It's elegant even if it's long. I mean "shock" like it grabs my attention. His clothes are elegant too (yet casual and relaxed), and carefully chosen. So now I'm quadruple-grabbed  (if you will) by him: by his height, by his stature, by the shock of his snow white head of hair, and by his elegance. And then  (as if that's not enough) ... he starts speaking.

He's not the guest speaker (at least, not in this instance). This is just a seminar, and he's sharing at the microphone - standing up and sharing, just like everyone else does in turn. I listen him on a number of occasions during various sessions. I'm clear he's not just a one hit wonder. He's the real deal. What he's giving any time he opens his mouth ie every time  he opens his mouth, is his whole entire being:  fully present, and never anything less. The way he speaks, the rich timbre  of his voice, gives us access to the being he presents, even before it's the vehicle for that about which he's speaking. And in that about which he's speaking, he's a world renowned authority (and a generous  world renowned authority, to boot), around whom it's nothing less than a tangible privilege (not to mention the sheer good fortune) to be.

It doesn't matter what he shares. OK it does, of course, matter what he shares, in terms of being discriminate: there are very tight ground rules in place which keep all sharing within the agreed upon context of the seminar. But for the impact, for the bringing forth of who he really is, for demonstrating how facile he is (therefore how facile we can be) with presenting the Self, it really doesn't matter what he shares: his is always, no matter what he's sharing, the full on  total presence. He's amazing this way, utterly amazing. And the way he's always naturally being, is merely the proof of, is merely the evidence of ie is simply a demonstration of what he's sharing.

You can't not  see why he's been regarded as a titan of the work for a long, long time, and why Werner's been consulting with him for longer than with most. He is (as everyone can tell, even if they're not specifically informed) a global pioneer in the field of leadership ie in being a leader. Watching who he's being while he's speaking, dispels all doubt there could be confusion between ie draws a razor's line between being  a leader, and merely touting leadership theories about how  to be a leader.

A Big Man  in the truest sense of the phrase, a Self-taught leader of leaders, he's more than discovered what it is to be  a leader rather than merely compile qualities of existing leaders to copy (where he comes from is waaay  beyond the tired old "success leaves clues"  school of survival thinking). Rather, he's discovered what it is to be a leader in a way which is patently getable for everyone, and which, when re-created, gives the experience of leadership directly as if by osmosis. It's an amazing, extraordinary quality, an extraordinary ability, an extraordinary gift.

It's no surprise his is an extraordinary legacy, a big legacy, a legacy befitting a big man, a leader of leaders.

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