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


Leading Edge

Judd's Hill, Napa Valley, California, USA

December 11, 2012



"Power doesn't come from knowledge. What people know doesn't make them powerful. It's being present to what you're dealing with that gives you power."
 ... 
"I do not put what I think I know from my learning and experience as a lens between me and what I am dealing with. I keep what I know, so to speak, above the space between me and what I am dealing with so that it shines some light on what I am dealing with rather than being a filter."
 ... 


Werner's work, it's said, is "on the leading edge".

Immersed in an inquiry about this so-called leading edge, I find myself asking two questions:

 1)  exactly what is on  this leading edge?

and then

 2)  exactly where  is this leading edge?

Having been around Werner for almost thirty five years, first as just another self-righteous skeptic then as a friend, and having observed and experienced the leading edge he brings forth ongoingly, there are a slew  of answers to the first question "Exactly what is on  this leading edge?". In my view this slew is simplified by collecting it into two areas: transformation / possibility and leadership. So the answer to the first question "Exactly what is on  this leading edge?" is "Transformation / possibility and leadership.".

On the leading edge of transformation / possibility, Werner makes available proven, count-on-able methodologies for bringing forth transformation / possibility of the individual ie personal transformation  / possibility, as well as transformation / possibility at the level of group, as well as transformation / possibility at the level of society, as well as transformation / possibility at the level of humanity. These methodologies don't require practice. While they've been studied, studying them isn't a precursor  to having them work. They're certainly not to be believed  - in fact believing them may even impede them. Rather, participants in Werner's programs come away with direct access  to transformation / possibility ie with their hands and feet on the levers, dials, and pedals of transformation / possibility - whether understood or not.

In addition, participants in Werner's programs discover their responsibility not just for themselves (as has been widely misrepresented in over-zealous, biased commentary of the so called "Me  decade"): they also discover their responsibility for their relationships, their responsibility for their family, their responsibility for their groups, their responsibility for society, indeed for humanity as a whole.

On the leading edge of leadership, Werner's work has successfully focused with laser-like accuracy  on sub-areas of integrity, performance, and mastery. This isn't merely studying  leadership - like "What actions do great leaders take, and how do we emulate them?". Rather, people participating with Werner with his work on leadership come away being leaders. This isn't merely moralizing  about integrity - like whether or not bad people don't have integrity and good people do. Rather, people participating with Werner with his work on integrity come away with access to integrity. This isn't merely analyzing performance - like "What actions do high performers take, and how do we emulate them?". Rather, people participating with Werner with his work on performance come away as high performers. This isn't merely defining or setting up tests to quantify mastery. Rather, people participating with Werner with his work on mastery come away applying mastery.

Furthermore Werner's work with leadership is starting to show up in the language of global business and finance  conversations. Can you begin to imagine the ramifications of our government (any government, actually) in integrity with its finances? (our  finances, actually). Werner's work continues to receive wide acclaim in the business world for providing authentic breakthrough thinking which reinvigorates tired old business paradigms. His voice is also receiving a new, ever wider reception in academia, being hosted by Harvard University and many other fine institutions of learning.

Now, exactly where  is this leading edge?

When I got  this for myself, I said (literally, to no one in particular ... laughing out loud):  "It can't possibly  be so simple?!".

This leading edge is right in front of me - like the tip of my nose ... only more interesting. This leading edge is out here  in front of me where Life as it's really lived  shows up, where the game  as it's really played, happens.

This leading edge is open to creation - which is to say it's open to being created. By definition, this leading edge isn't created  yet, yes? If it were  already created, it would be of the past. If it were of the past, it wouldn't be the leading edge. For it to be the leading edge, is has to be of the future. For it to be the leading edge, it has to bring forth that which is yet to come. Being on the leading edge isn't simply riding up front in the locomotive's cabin of the train. Being on the leading edge is getting out here in front of the train and laying new track  (as Werner Erhard may have said).

So the answer to the second question "Exactly where  is this leading edge?" is "Out here right in front of you.". That's it. Out here  right in front of you. That's why it's called the leading  edge.

If you're skeptical of these two ways of looking at the leading edge, try on both of them for size in the two collected areas of transformation / possibility and leadership (and in leadership's sub-areas of integrity, performance, and mastery) in both the business world as well as in academia to see if they hold up to scrutiny.



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