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


Inner Circle

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

January 5, 2011



This essay, Inner Circle, was written at the same time as I am indebted to Charles "Chas" Walker who inspired this conversation.



I'm interested in complete work. In fact, when it comes to work, I'm only  interested in complete work.

I knew a guy who painted fences for a living. He did a pretty good job painting the fence. But when he was done, he left behind a mess of empty paint cans, dried paint brushes, and various boxes and paper bags spattered with paint. I pointed them out to him, and asked him whether or not he was going to clean up after himself, or whether he expected someone else to. Taken aback, he told me he was "only doing his job".

But that's exactly what he wasn't  doing.

He didn't qualify to be in the inner circle. That's not just because he didn't do complete work. Even if he did do complete work, even if he did clean up after himself, he may still not have qualified to be in the inner circle anyway. Doing complete work, while a very desirable qualification, isn't necessarily enough.

I'm interested in being on time. If you and I say we're going to meet somewhere, then I'm also interested in you  being on time. For some people, it's really difficult to be on time. Their relationship with time  has no integrity.

A girl I once dated was always  late - to the point where it put our friendship in jeopardy. She asked me "How do you always be on time?" - as if I've got a secret about being on time which she wanted me to share with her. "It's no secret" I told her. "How you always be on time is don't ... be  ... late.".

But she didn't get it - probably because she tried to make it mean  something.

She didn't qualify to be in the inner circle. That's not just because she couldn't be counted on to be on time. Even if she could be counted on to be on time, even if she didn't be late, she may still not have qualified to be in the inner circle anyway. Being on time ie being count‑on‑able to be on time, while a very desirable qualification, isn't necessarily enough.

The qualification for being in the inner circle is your word can be trusted. Complete work doesn't necessarily qualify you to be in the inner circle. Being count‑on‑able to be on time doesn't necessarily qualify you to be in the inner circle. When your word can be trusted so I can give my word, based on your word, to others - that's the qualification for being in the inner circle.

People in the inner circle also do complete work and are on time.



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