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


Werner's Work In Academia

Napa Valley, California, USA

New Year's Day, January 1, 2016



"If you're going to be a leader, you're going to have to have a very loose relationship with this thing you call 'I' or 'me'. Maybe that whole thing in me around which the universe revolves isn't so central! Maybe life is not about the self but about self-transcendence."
 ... 

"Admiration is the opening bid to enrollment."
 ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Werner's Work In Academia, is the sixth in a group of six written on New Year's Day:
  1. Orion
  2. Clean, Well Lit Quarters
  3. External Tank
  4. The Magical Breakfast Burrito Assembly Line II
  5. As Your Natural Self-Expression
  6. Werner's Work In Academia
in that order.



This is a great photograph - and I do mean 'great'.

I could write a book on the presence and the posture
alone.

Its focus is also interesting: intended or not, it rivets
attention.
Werner Erhard with Friends
Werner's work, it could be said, brings the element of being  to knowing, in the context of education. Pointedly, graduates of Werner's Leadership Course for example, come away certainly knowing  about leadership ie versed in the phenomenological  realm of leadership. To be sure, many courses offered at academic institutions purport to offer the same result ie they imply they deliver the phenomenological realm of leadership. Graduates of Werner's Leadership Course, on the other hand, also come away being  leaders ie they gain access to and master the ontological  realm of leadership. Very few if any other leadership courses can even begin promising this result.

Perhaps the nearly five decades of delivered results of Werner's work weren't articulated quite this way until now, that is until the advent of the Leadership Course. I assert, however, the work has always  done this - and as it's evolved, this aspect of it has been revealed  rather than added on.

When I attended college at UCT ie the University of Cape Town, I came away with a degree, and knowing a lot of stuff. That's the point of going to college, really: to learn, to memorize facts and information, and then hopefully to apply them gainfully later to a career. In other words, all that knowledge I gained was meant to be applied directly to what I did  (and would do  from then on), and therefore indirectly to what I would then have  as a result of what I did. But the element of who I am  in the matter of what I did and in the matter of what I had, was left unexplored. This being  of it, it would seem, was left up to me to muddle through in life, as best as I could.

What inspires me about the possibility of Werner's work being newly offered at (which is to say, being included in the curricula of) respected academic and business institutions* is secondarily universities like Harvard and Yale and Stanford and UCT offering the Leadership Course - and that's an enormous opportunity right there. Primarily it's the possibility of respected academic and business institutions offering their students access to being, in addition  to offering them the more traditional access to knowing. We may not be ready for this, but if we tell the truth about it, there's an open abyss  between knowing about medicine, and being  a doctor, yes?

In the last job I had before I founded Laurence Platt and Associates, I was a systems' analyst for Pacific Bell, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States. My responsibilities included interviewing prospective new hires to see if they had what it takes to be competent programmers. Some of them had high hopes for a career in "tech". Some of them had college degrees in computer science. As a parent who established college funds for my own three children, I've realized exactly what those interviewees' parents had to sacrifice to make this available. And yet  ... none of it  guaranteed they had the creative je ne sais quoi  it takes to be  a successful programmer. Others had no computer education at all, yet I could tell immediately  they were the future whizz kids  to whom I ensured we offered jobs.

To the ones who knew  about programming, I couldn't necessarily add "being  a programmer". But to the ones who displayed a natural creative penchant for being a programmer, I could easily add programming knowledge later. To being, you can add knowing. It's a lot harder the other way around. These days, the implication of Werner's work in academia is the Leadership Course being made available at respected academic and business institutions from which, as I said, graduates come away not merely knowing about leadership but actually being leaders. Imagine the idea applied across the board to all  higher education: graduates of college programming courses will come away not only knowing about programming but also being  programmers - in other words, graduating with their hands and feet on the ontological and  the phenomenological levers and dials and pedals of computer science. Now that  would be a heretofore unheralded breakthrough in delivering higher education.
Werner's work in academia, which is to say the rapidly gaining momentum of acceptance of and demand for the Leadership Course by many respected academic and business institutions worldwide, marks the onset of this breakthrough, not just for leadership and computer science studies but for any / all higher education offerings.


* For a list of respected academic and business institutions worldwide where Werner's work has been presented, and is currently being presented ongoingly, please click here.


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