Werner Erhard ..................Work and Ideas




Werner Erhard's work and ideas continue to inspire people to this day. This page is a collection of personal, academic and organizational websites and blogs by people engaged and enlivened by the work of Werner Erhard.


Werner Erhard in The Financial Times: "Erhard is the man who more or less invented the personal growth movement in California in the early 1970s and who coined the phrase, “Thank you for sharing.” ... "Erhard’s influence extends far beyond the couple of million people who have done his courses: there is hardly a self-help book or a management training programme that does not borrow some of his principles."

Werner Erhard speaks to Kennedy School students Recently Werner Erhard the founder of the conversation of transformation of life is the realm of the individual via language speaks about the world of Performance. What is distinct about what human beings are saying and what they are doing? Why do we not live the life we want to live? What causes performance of the individual? This talk sheds insight on these questions and more. Enjoy!

Werner Erhard in India November 2010: Werner Erhard delivered public lectures and also led a course titled “Leadership: An Ontological Model” for many of India's leading executives, presented by the IC Centre for Governance in Panchgani, under the sponsorship of MW Corp.

Werner Erhard in Northern Ireland: Werner Erhard developed the Ireland Initiative for the Mastery Foundation in 1999 in collaboration with Peter Block as a three-day conference to bring together a broad base of community leaders already working on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The Mastery Foundation continues to lead this course in places where religious differences are a source of conflict, including Northern Ireland and Israel.

New York Times Features Werner Erhard: "A lengthy feature in The New York Times has profiled the life and contributions of Werner Erhard, as well as noting Landmark’s leadership in the personal and professional training and development industry. In addition to summarizing Erhard’s career, the article discussed Erhard’s current work in the academic world, including a description of him by famous economist and Harvard professor emeritus Michael C. Jensen  as “one of the great intellectuals of the century.”

Being A Leader Course (Abu Dhabi): "My take home for today was something ‘throwaway’ Werner said. It just got stuck in my head and made so much sense. He said “Don’t be an Is’er”. I.e. don’t go around saying you know how the world IS and thinking you are right...What I saw in this statement was that actually everyone thinks they know how the world IS, but we have all interpreted the world in our own way...It occurs to me that this is a source of a lot of the world’s problems, people hang out with other people who agree with them about how the world IS, and butt up against people who don’t agree. Half of the disputes seem to be about people trying to be right about how the world IS and prove someone else wrong." 

Being A Leader Course (Abu Dhabi): "Today I witnessed first hand that the peak experience described by Maslow is something that Zaffron and Werner have not only mastered but can even give to others, pointing a way to it purely through linguistic phenomena. It’s out here they say, can’t you see it? You wonder what on earth they are going on about as people’s faces around you light up – then Bam you’ve got it too – your context changes and you can see what’s been right there in a new way. Its so simple when you ‘Get it’. There’s no voodoo involved but it takes a lot to let go of the conditioning that’s drummed into us from day 1."

Being A Leader Course Day 7: Hana Jay writes, "The conversation about integrity wakes me up. Integrity, as being whole and complete, is a matter of honouring one’s word – in a nutshell, that means doing things that you’d say you do and doing them on time, doing what you know to do, what you say, what you stand for, doing what others expect you to do. I could talk about integrity for hours and there’s so much more to it, but where I got struck was when one of the instructors said: the most important aspect of being out of integrity is the loss of yourself and this is often mistaken for the loss of  self-confidence. Now I’m fully awoken. And I start to think where I’m out of integrity most of the time."

In the Path of Light: Paramacharya Swami Parameshwarananda writes, "To truly be transformational leaders, to lead our own transformation and that of the planet, we are to arrive at and live in new perspectives about ourselves and the world.  We are to transform how we see ourselves and those around us, how situations occur to us in our life, so that we create freely and naturally as leaders individually and collectively...As Erhard et al. state: 'Being an effective leader is a product of the freedom to be, that is, the freedom to be appropriate to what is called for to be effective in the situation.  For a leader this is true authenticity.  And, that requires an unconstrained freedom to be — an expanded, indeed unlimited 'opportunity set' of possible ways of being when being a leader.'"

Being A Leader and The Effective Exercise of Leadership: This Leadership Course created by Werner Erhard and colleagues brings an ontological and phenomenological approach to the study of leadership. This group of colleagues has discovered actionable access to altering the way in which you occur for yourself in situations requiring leadership. This means you will naturally act as a leader without having to remember what strategies or techniques to apply. Rather, you will be left being a leader and exercising your leadership effectively as your natural self-expression in any situation and no matter the circumstance.

JMW: "JMW was born in 1982 when President and Founder Maurice Cohen launched a consulting division of the accountancy firm, J. Manning and Winnikis. Jerry Straus and David Spiwack joined Maurice in 1984 establishing their own firm – JMW. All three had first-hand experience of the impact of the breakthrough methodology of Werner Erhard and were keen to explore what contribution the ideas could make to the world of business. JMW’s first major client was IBM. The very first breakthrough project delivered a software product with half the people in half the time. Over the next year and a half, nineteen further projects were delivered at a saving to IBM of $100m, recognizing the impact of breakthrough methodology on individuals."

Jim Selman: As a coach, facilitator and consultant, Mr. Selman has made numerous breakthrough contributions to his clients’ capacity to mobilize people and build competencies in the areas of communication, relationship, business process design, coordination and executive leadership. Jim was privileged to work in education and research with some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of transformation and management, including Fernando Flores, Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, Richard Pascal, Werner Erhard and Ken Blanchard, among others. By the 1980s, he had co-founded Transformational Technologies, an operating network of over 70 consulting organizations in the United States and Europe, and introduced “coaching” as an alternative paradigm of management.

The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University: In this dialogue, CCARE’s founder and director, Dr. James Doty, will ask Werner Erhard about his life’s work and how compassion has played a role. This event is an hour-long dialogue followed by questions from the audience. The talk will be recorded and posted to CCARE’s YouTube Channel and website several weeks after the event.

Werner Erhard and Robert Reich: In this interview on February 2, 1988 Werner Erhard talks with Robert Reich about exercising creative leadership in society.

Beacon: Organizational Development: What is Integrity? There sometimes exist confusion between integrity, morality and ethics. When you are acting with integrity, you honour your word. It is neither whether you are good or bad, or what should or should not be. Werner Erhard et al suggest that in fact, integrity is far more than that. Integrity is actually a phenomenon in and of itself. Webster’s dictionary, defines integrity as a state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition. Integrity – being whole and complete is fundamental to being an excellent leader. There exists an atmosphere of trust when a leader’s word can be trusted and as such integrity is a necessary condition for workability, which determines the available opportunity for performance within a unit or organisation. That means operation or behaviour to increase effectiveness and agreed outcomes. Werner Erhard et al states: To the degree that integrity is diminished, the opportunity for performance (the opportunity set) is diminished.

On the Importance of Being in Great Leadership: Speaking of his cutting-edge approach to leadership, The Being A Leader And The Effective Exercise Of Leadership CourseWerner Erhard suggests an ontological or being perspective of leadership – “leadership as a natural self-expression” – being a leader in every aspect of your life.   It is becoming a natural expression of who you are and what you love. He captures this idea in the following: “I like to watch Nadal or Federer play tennis, and I don’t think that they are remembering how to play. I don’t think they learned something, and then remembered it. For them, the game is a natural self-expression, and as such they become extraordinarily powerful players.”

Executive Coaching for Unprecedented Results: Participants of the Being A Leader Course discover that leadership doesn’t always mean a position, a title, time, money, influence, or any of the traits typically “required” to be a leader or produce the results of a leader. Instead of more knowledge about leadership, people gain access to actually being a leader and effectively exercising leadership as your natural self-expression.

Werner Erhard, Life Is Not About The Self But About Self-Transcendence!: by Peter Haldeman (In The New York Times)

Werner Erhard's Leadership Work: I had the great fortune of hearing Werner Erhard speak last night. My husband and I took a course with Michael Jensen and Werner two and a half years ago in Canada on Being A Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership. Both my husband and I work in the field of leadership development, and so in order to be ongoingly empowering, we are always interested in our own personal growth and development, for the expansion of our own leadership capacity. I have been a student of many thought systems, and personal and organizational transformation is my profession. For over 35 years I have integrated the revelations awakened within me out of participating in work inspired by true leaders and great thinkers. Werner Erhard is one of humanity’s true leaders and great thinkers.

Werner Erhard Quotes: “Heroes are ordinary men and women who dare to see and meet the call of a possibility bigger than themselves. Breakthroughs are created by such heroes, by men and women who will stand for the result while it is only a possibility – people who will act to make possibility real." - Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard's Work is Discussed in Articles at the Huffington Post

Jackie-Warren Moore: Playwright and poet Jackie Moore writes, "My friend, Jean Briggs, always puts a positive spin on things. After we take a few minutes to bemoan what is happening in our world, Jeannie often says, "It is what you are listening for that you hear." She credits that wisdom to the early teaching of Werner Erhard.

Transformation of est Founder Werner Erhard: Washington psychotherapist Brad Blanton, a graduate of est and The Forum, incorporates many of Erhard's principles in his own work. When clients complete therapy, Blanton often recommends they enroll in The Forum.
"I'm a Gestalt therapist, and we're all coming from the same stream--Alan Watts, Fritz Perls and Martin Heidegger," says Blanton. "They were Werner's teachers and they were a lot of our teachers, too. Werner stands in company with a large number of very wise people...The people who run the training are worthy of great respect, whereas most of my colleagues, I don't have much respect for. It's been a heartening experience to find other people in the world who have some kind of idea where the ball is."

Werner Erhard Audio Recording - The Possibility of Relationship: “People often don’t understand what is involved in forgiving. They think that if somebody does something wrong, and you forgive them, that is like saying that it was alright to do it that time ― but don’t dare do it again. But life doesn’t work that way; and it’s stupid or hypocritical to forgive someone on that basis. If somebody does something, you can be sure that he or she will do it again.

“That is why I prefer to talk about ‘making space’ and ‘completion.’ To the extent that forgiveness is involved, it is more like self-forgiving and self-acceptance. When you forgive yourself for something, you have to create the space for that thing to exist. For whatever you resist, and fail to make space for, will indeed manifest itself in you.

The Last 15 Years of Leadership: "How does one become a leader? Although human being have been studying leadership for millennia, the academic teaching of leadership to business people has only begun recently. Until the late 1970s, zero business schools and only three under-graduate schools in the U.S. taught leadership as a discipline: the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy. The first doctoral program in leadership was not established until 1979. Paradoxically, leadership is an ancient discipline and at the same time, a new discipline...Harvard Business School professor emeritus Michael C. Jensen and Werner Erhard began teaching a one-semester course in business schools, medical schools, and military academies with one objective: “Leave students who complete the course actually being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression.” They put aside what they knew about teaching leadership and used the courses and laboratories in which to experiment, test, and iterate on theories about what it takes to leave people being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression." Nate Rosenberg, Jr Published originally in the Fall 2016 Gaming & Leisure Magazine.

The Power of Possibility: "What are the future possibilities for each one of us, whether our future span of time is one, three, 10 or 50 years? Look at the power that is available to each of us. These ideas are taken from Werner Erhard’s theories presented in Peter Block’s book, “Community: The Structure of Belonging.”

The power of language: Have a conversation that you have not had before, one that has the power to create something new in the world.

The power of context: Nothing in our life will shift until we can question, and then choose once again, the basic set of beliefs that lie behind our actions.

The power of possibility: Possibility is a declaration, a declaration of what we create in the world each time we show up. Our thoughts and values are present in the world ‘each time we show up’.

Each day we live into the future. It is not just our past that shapes us. The future that one lives into shapes one’s being and action in the present.

The Last Word on Power: "Tracy Goss has long been closely associated with Werner Erhard...this book is an effective refresher and spur to action. A friend and I read the book at about the same time and immediately formed a mutual support program employing its ideas, along with structures from the courses I teach. We are getting exciting results. I recommend the book to anyone eager to transform their lives from survival to adventure." Tony Mayo

The Mastery Foundation: The Mastery Foundation grew out of a series of conversations in the late 1970s and early 1980s among Christian and Jewish clergy who had experienced a personal transformation when they participated in The est Training. Their interest was in finding a way to make that kind of transformation widely available to others in religious ministry and to the institutions of religion....The group requested that Werner Erhard develop a program designed specifically for this constituency.

Playing Big: Blogger Maz Iqbal writes, "I’d like to end this particular conversation with a quote from Werner Erhard. It occurs to me that it is worth listening – really listening to it – and then acting on it.  It occurs to me that acting on that which Werner is speaking, would be a great way to celebrate Christmas and being the New Year. Here is that quote: “People often don’t understand what is involved in forgiving. They think that if somebody does something wrong, and you forgive them, that is like saying that it was alright to do it that time – but don’t dare do it again. But life doesn’t work that way; and it’s stupid or hypocritical to forgive someone on that basis. If somebody does something, you can be sure that he or she will do it again. “That is why I prefer to talk about ‘making space’ and ‘completion.’ To the extent that forgiveness is involved, it is more like self-forgiving and self-acceptance. When you forgive yourself for something, you have to create the space for that thing to exist. For whatever you resist, and fail to make space for, will indeed manifest itself in you."

USC Marshall School of Business: The Marshall School was pleased to host Harvard University Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Michael C. Jensen, Werner Erhard, creator of transformational models and applications for individuals, groups, and organizations, and Steve Zaffron, CEO Landmark Education and Business Development, as our honored guests in the Marshall Distinguished Researcher Series for this past fall. Professor Jensen and his coauthors visited the school on Friday, November 16th. The authors were introduced by Distinguished Professor of Business Administration Warren Bennis. They presented their paper, 'Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics and Legality.'

Warren Bennis on The est Training: Warren Bennis, American scholar, organizational consultant and author, widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies says, "I think where the work of Werner really comes in handy is by getting people to understand we are not trapped in our silos and we do not have to conceal and play games we are in this because the reason we are together is to achieve a goal and I think what the transformative essence of Erhard’s work as applied to corporations is to make people more capable of taking risks and dealing with and opening up all those blinkered shutters that make up most of or organizational life. The substrate of all of est’s and Erhard’s work has to do with opening up boundaries within silos, opening up boundaries within oneself, with other individuals. That’s what its all about."

Warren Bennis on Werner Erhard: "Werner was very interested in how to get people to restore and renew who they are as individuals to find out what they want and need...I found him educational in his imagination of how to help large numbers of people find out who they were and what they wanted to accomplish in life. He's a person who has added value to our society and is a powerful educator."

The est Training: This site was created by people who have a first hand experience of both Werner Erhard and the Est Training.   Between 1971 and 1984 the Est Training was enormously popular and made a very powerful impact on nearly 1 million people.  This site seeks to tell the story of the lasting impact of the Est Training, Werner Erhard and the nearly 1 million graduates of est on organizations, society, and the world.

A Forum To Share about The est Training: "Welcome to a reunion of ideas. Reminisce with others about a unique time in our culture and about the est Training that continues to impact our lives everyday. Studies of transformational programs that began with est show that 7 out of 10 people found the programs to be one of their life's most rewarding experiences. This blog is evidence of the enduring difference the program has made in people’s lives. This is a gathering place for you to share what the est training provided for you, your career, your family, friends, and communities, then and now. What did you create out of the est Training?"

Facebook: Werner Erhard and the est training on Facebook

Assessment of the Philosophical Significance of The est Training by Hubert Dreyfus: “In the course of the est training it became progressively clear to me that the experience underlying the training and the conceptualization of this experience have deep affinities with the phenomena presented and analyzed in Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time.”

“…It is directly manifest in the training that est embodies a powerful and coherent truth which transforms the quality of the lives of those who experience it. Moreover, this truth contains radically new insights into the nature of human beings.”

Werner Erhard & The Dalai Lama: On October 19, 1979, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama met in conversation with Werner Erhard at the First and Second Church in Boston...The tone of the evening was established in the simplicity of Werner's introduction: "I want to introduce you to a friend of yours—His Holiness the Dalai Lama." The Dalai Lama made an opening statement stressing the central importance of compassion in Buddhist thought and practice, noting that the message was simple, "but not so easy to practice." As he put down his papers at the end of what he called his "usual talk," he appeared to take in the audience individually and said, "People can be trained. People can train themselves to act with human compassion combined with wisdom."

Three Foundations of A Great Life: A Harvard Professor and Werner Erhard's 8 years of research, By Michael C. Jensen: "The three factors my colleague and co-author Werner Erhard and I identify as constituting the foundation for effective leadership can also be seen as the foundation for a high quality personal life. Those three factors are: integrity, authenticity, and commitment to something bigger than oneself. I wish I had been exposed to these themes when I was young. At 71 it is now clear that I could have avoided much personal drama and difficulty – most of which I created." Read More

Werner Erhard on The Hunger Project: "I'm not an expert on hunger and starvation," he begins. "The little bit of knowledge I've acquired in four years of study is small compared to the knowledge of the true world hunger authorities I've worked with, like Buckminster Fuller or Roy Prosterman. But I can see that — precisely because the impact of starvation on all our lives is so great — its existence is actually an opportunity ... to get beyond merely defending what we have, beyond the futility of self-interest, beyond the hopelessness of clinging to opinions and making gestures. In fact, in experiencing the truth underlying hunger, one comes to realize that the ordinarily unnoticed laws that determine the existence of hunger on this planet are precisely the laws that keep the world from working. And the principles of the end of hunger in the world are the very principles necessary to make the world work." - Mother Earth News, 1979

Humberto Maturana: (Spanish Language Website): English translation: "The first thing I did in America was to meet Erhard. Werner asked me to attend one of their workshops to make a report. The first thing I noticed was that the focus of these was to show people that they lacked consistency and were offered a solution that would allow them to regain that quality and take responsibility for themselves...Werner showed the attendees that they lacked integrity, and then showed them a method for restoring their integrity..."

The Washington Post: Werner Erhard, Still Making A Difference "While it is understandable that any book about the 1970s would include a reference to Werner Erhard and est, what was not mentioned was that, far from simply being an iconic figure of that era, Mr. Erhard’s ideas and work continue to make an enormous difference, and his seminars spawned an entire self-development and coaching industry. Today, Mr. Erhard consults and lectures at top universities and institutions around the world."

Werner Erhard Quotes: “It is important that you get clear for yourself that your only access to impacting life is action. The world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel or what you think, and certainly it has no interest in what you want and don’t want. Take a look at life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act.”

Hubert Dreyfus: In his Assessment of The est Training, Dreyfus writes, "The German philosopher Martin Heidegger, generally considered the most profound and original philosopher of the 20th centure, had a similar experience to the one elicited by est and struggled all his life to find an adequate language to express it...His fisrt and most famous attempt to articulate this experience is the formidable and unfinished philosophical classic, Being and Time (1927). His account parellels and illuminates the est approach...Both Heidegger and Erhard are wary of the attempts to convert the truth of experience into a system of beliefs...Erhard puts it aphoristically ("If you experience it, it is the truth. The same thing believed is a lie."

Werner Erhard, Leadership: "Professor Michael Jensen and Werner Erhard, two extraordinary thinkers, engage in a conversation that explores groundbreaking access to being a leader and to the effective exercise of leadership as one's natural self-expression" in their talk, 'Creating Leaders:
A New Model - Ten Years On' for the Sands Leadership Lecture Series at the University of Rochester Simon Business School on February 5, 2014.

Creating Leaders: (Harvard Business School Faculty and Research): "The ontological model of leader and leadership opens up and reveals the actual nature of being when one is being a leader and opens up and reveals the source of one's actions when exercising leadership."

Creating Leaders: An Ontological / Phenomenological Model: "This course in developmental production is a collaborative work between Werner Erhard, Professor Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron, and Professor Jeri Echeverria (and past contributors Allan Scherr and Kari Granger). The course is a leadership laboratory where instructors work with the participants to create direct access to the ways of being, thinking, planning, and action required to be a leader and to exercise leadership effectively – in any situation, and no matter the circumstances."

Bill George, Harvard Business School Professor: "Leadership matters.  Whilst there are many ways of grappling with leadership, I value the ontological lens and in particular the ontological model of leadership that has been developed and is being taught by Werner Erhard et al." 

Werner Erhard - Biography: Evolution of a leading thinker, Werner Erhard, his ideas, research and writing. Werner Erhard's life is best understood through his ideas and their application to people's lives.

Integrity is the Foundation of a Great Life, Great Leadership, and a Great Organization: defining integrity as honoring one’s word as oneself provides individuals and organizations with the ultimate competitive advantage. One example of an approach to organizational performance we endorse is the work of Michael C. Jensen, Jessie Isidor Strauss Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School. Mr. Jensen, along with Werner Erhard, spelled out this approach to organizational performance in the white paper titled “Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality – Abridged

The 17th Karmapa: His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa performed the ancient ceremony of the Vajra Crown during five presentations in four U.S. cities to more than 10,000 people in 1977.

Idea Connection Blog: Thought-provoking quotes about creativity from leading writers, scientists, thinkers and artists - “While most managers spend their time attempting to predict the future accurately - and while that’s valuable – the best managers are able to generate a future which was not going to happen otherwise – that is, a future which was not predictable.” Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard - The Heart of The Matter: Simply Ontological Blog

Coaching - When Results Matter: Dr. Franzi Ng in her blog on awareness and choice says, "Werner Erhard is the father of everything that now calls itself self-help or personal growth. He is considered by many to be the first life coach. Werner Erhard is the founder of the ground breaking est Training (Erhard Seminars Training) that attracted many celebrities and hundreds of thousands of participants in the 1970s... thanks to his collaboration with Harvard professor Michael Jensen who was instrumental in revolutionizing the field of Finance in the 1970s, it is now possible again for people like me to have access to his sharp mind, relentless love, powerful example and revolutionary thinking."

Werner Erhard speaks to Kennedy School students:"Recently Werner Erhard the founder of the conversation of transformation of life is the realm of the individual via language speaks about the world of Performance. What is distinct about what human beings are saying and what they are doing? Why do we not live the life we want to live? What causes performance of the individual? This talk sheds insight on these questions and more. Enjoy!"

Werner Erhard Popularized Transformation and Personal Growth: Werner Erhard introduced the idea of transformation in the early 1970s through his est courses which also opened people’s minds to the possibility of their growth and potential. According to a coaching colleague, Erhard’s work, along with other thinkers of the time, was “an interesting blend of philosophy, psychology, sociology, spirituality, and life affirming wisdom—which perfectly prepared me for becoming a coach”. - Vikki Brock

Mother Earth News, 1978: "Werner Erhard tells audiences that sometime soon 'some opportunity to do something to end starvation on the planet will cross your path.' And he urges that everyone open his or her eyes to the variety of actions that can be taken ... by contributing time and money to The Hunger Project, or supporting those who are directly involved in the cause, or fasting one day each month, or working with other anti-hunger organizations, or offering his or her own skills and knowledge to starving people.

"Soon there will be over 100,000 people enrolled in The Hunger Project ... people committed to causing the end of hunger and starvation in two decades," Werner declares. "We have no idea what a group of 100,000 aligned people can do, and I say that any attempt to predict it limits it. So I only predict miracles.

"Twenty years from now, when we're looking back at how hunger and starvation ended, It won't look as if miracles happened. Everyone will know how it happened. They'll point to events that were pivotal, that made a difference. There will appear to be an obvious relationship between what was done and the logical consequences of what was done. The weather got better ... there were bigger crops ... this government changed ... the president said that ... the government did this ... and it all resulted in the end of starvation on the planet. In retrospect, that's how miracles always appear to happen."

Non-Dual Thinking: There are Things We Dont Know: There is also a wonderful quote by Werner Erhard: “There is something I do not know, the knowing of which could change everything.” I love this quote because it completely shifts my narrow, limited parameters and clears the way for something much bigger. I already know what I know. What I don’t know is what you know. And that is surely a much more interesting and evolved path. If we can acknowledge that in the grand (and not so grand) scheme of things, we only have limited information, that we know only a fraction of what there is to know, and that there is an infinite amount that we don’t know, it opens up a huge world of possibility, acceptance, and understanding. From Tiny Buddha, simple wisdom for complex lives, by Jonathan Lareau

The Handbook For Teaching Leadership, Knowing Doing, and Being: "How does one teach leadership in a way that not only informs students about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders?"... Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen and Kari Granger "anchor this collection by taking dead aim at the BE component.  In a highly provocative chapter titled 'Creating Leaders', this eclectic group of scholars argues for adopting a decidedly ontological approach to leadership education that promises to leave students actually being leaders."

Werner Erhard - Ideas in Conversation: This website contains video segments of Werner Erhard interviewing well known experts on topics ranging from finance to creativity.

Public Intelligence Blog: Integrity-Without It Nothing Works II: Werner Erhard and Professor Michael C. Jensen discuss their positive model of integrity that links integrity and personal and corporate performance. They address integrity in a developing academic paper, whose primary purpose is to present a positive model of integrity that provides a powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies.

Huffington Post - Life Coaching: “Though life coaching took off 20 years ago as an industry, its roots are firmly planted in the human potential movement of the '70s and early '80s, back when the New Age really was new. At that time, two diverging trends merged -- one exemplified by personal development programs like Erhard Seminar Training ("est") and the other typified by new business models of productivity based on books like "In Search of Excellence," published in 1982 and co-written by Peter Drucker and Tom Peters.”

The Daily Love: Mastin Kipp quotes Werner Erhard, “You don’t have to go looking for love when it’s where you come from.”

Things I Don't Understand: "Written and directed by independent filmmaker David Spaltro, Things I Don't Understand is a thought-provoking drama of young people on the edge, seeking desperately to grab a foothold. Like other recent films, it asks the hard questions: who am I, why am I here, what is the meaning of life, and what happens when we die?... Kudos must be given all around, especially to Ryman and Folsom for their superior performances and to David Spaltro who once again establishes himself as one of the most promising of the younger directors. In the end, it becomes clear to Violet that the key towards discovering meaning in life is to accept who you are and to understand that “knowing is much different than believing.” As Werner Erhard put it, 'If you experience it, it's the truth. The same thing believed is a lie.'"

"Context is Decisive" - The Customer Blog: "Context shapes content (phenomena including thoughts, feelings, behaviours) and yet it is invisible to us most of the time.  We only tend to see the hidden context when things break down dramatically – think of the financial crisis (before, after).... What does Werner Erhard mean when he says that “The context is decisive”?  One way (and it is only one way) of thinking about context is to think of it as ‘playing field’ rather like a soccer pitch (complete with all that goes with it including the goals, line markings etc), a rugby pitch, an ice hockey rink…By saying “The context is decisive” Werner is pointing us towards the fact that a soccer pitch calls ‘a game of soccer’ into being.  A rugby pitch calls ‘a game of rugby’ into being.  A chessboard calls a ‘game of chess into being’.  Yet he is saying more than that and to convey that I need to dive into a real life example...." Read more

Possibility, Transformation, Leadership: Blogger Maz Iqbal writes about his take on Werner Erhard's distinction that "Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame or guilt.  All of these include judgments of good and bad, right and wrong, or better and worse.  They are not responsibility. Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience your Self as cause in the matter……  Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with the situation from the point of view, whether in the moment realised or not, that you are the source of who you are, what you do and what you have.  This point of view extends to include even what is done to you and ultimately what another does to another.  Ultimately, responsibility is a context – a context of Self as source – for the content, i.e., for what is.”  

Linked In: “The platform for executives and academics interested in unprecedented performance” - "Financial Times Interviews Werner Erhard. Great Editors notes on his contribution to Empowerment, Integrity, and Access to being a Leader."

Life By Design: History will likely remember Werner Erhard as an important 20th century self realization artisan who’s work shifted the paradigm for personal and global transformation.

Est (Erhard Seminars Training): A Reunion of Ideas - A place to read and post shares and stories about what was created in people's lives out of their experience of The est Training.

Werner Erhard and est: a collection of writings, photos, and videos about est

Werner Erhard Foundation: a collection of articles on the history and influence of the Werner Erhard Foundation

Erhard Seminars Training Reunion: In 1971, in a hotel ballroom in San Francisco over 35 years ago, transformation burst on to the national stage. Werner Erhard and his est Training brought to the forefront the ideas of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility – and over the next decade, over a million people “Got it”.

Quotations from Werner Erhard: The place to find quotes by Werner Erhard such as, "Heroes are ordinary men and women who dare to see and meet the call of a possibility bigger than themselves. Breakthroughs are created by such heroes, by men and women who will stand for the result while it is only a possibility – people who will act to make possibility real." or "You and I want our lives to matter. We want our lives to make a real difference, to be of genuine consequence in the world. We know that there is no satisfaction in merely going through the motions, even if those motions make us successful, or even if we have arranged to make those motions pleasant. We want to know we have made some impact on the world. In fact, you and I want to contribute to the quality of life. We want to make the world work." -Werner Erhard Quotes

Huffington Post: Marjorie Hope Rothstein, blogger with Huffington Post, writes, " 'Getting It,' had already been introduced by Werner Erhard in the seventies with his est program. "est", short for Erhard Seminars Training, also Latin for 'It is,' offered intensive communications and self-empowerment workshops. Their purpose was 'to transform one's ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself.'"

Conversation Among Masters: Werner Erhard, Jim Selman, Robbe Richman, Fred Johnson presented talks at the CAM 2012 stage in San Antonio - Werner Erhard (est founder) did a full day on discovery and mastery, with neuroscience overlays.

Conversation Among Masters - Part 2: A continuation of Suzi Pomerantz' thoughts and notes from her experience with Werner Erhard's presentation at the CAM 2012 talks in San Antonio, Texas.

Werner Erhard: Historical articles, interviews and videos about Werner Erhard, transformation, the est training, leadership, performance and integrity.

Werner Erhard and Executive Coaching: In October 1987, Werner Erhard hosted a satellite broadcast with famous sports coaches of the time. The discussion purpose was to identify the uniform distinctions of coaching, regardless of the subject being coached. Jim Selman moderated the discussion and documented the outcome in an article called “Coaching and the Art of Mangagement” in 1989.

Werner Erhard - Neuroleadership: Werner H. Erhard was invited to deliver the keynote speech, "How Language Shapes the World," at the NeuroLeadership Summit at the UCLA Faculty Center in Los Angeles in October 2009.

How Language Shapes Our World: Lisa Rubinstein writes, "Where are you? While this seems like a fairly innocuous question, the answer holds a world. In his keynote speech at the Neuroleadership Summit in Los Angeles, Werner Erhard, one of the great contributors to modern management thinking, challenged us to distinguish how language shapes our world."

Werner Erhard: The Man Behind The Forum: Werner Erhard's innovative ideas have stimulated academic conversations at many Universities, most recently in the areas of integrity, leadership, and performance.

Jeff Bridges Works To End Hunger: From the days of doing Werner Erhard’s est Training and co-founding the End Hunger Network, which, among other things, put on the first Live Aid concert, to his role in 2010 as national spokesman for No Kid Hungry Campaign.

Werner Erhard Popularized Transformation and Personal Growth:Werner Erhard introduced the idea of transformation in the early 1970s through his est courses which also opened people’s minds to the possibility of their growth and potential. Werner Erhard’s work, along with other thinkers of the time, was “an interesting blend of philosophy, psychology, sociology, spirituality, and life affirming wisdom"

The Five Principles of Personal Transformation: Huffington Post writer Jinny Ditzler acknowldeges Werner Erhard's impact on her passion to provide people with a simple path to personal transformation.

Lynne Twist: "Everybody has milestones and epiphanies. Mine came in the EST training which I took in 1974 with Werner Erhard. It just revolutionized my life. I really came to understand that I could turn my life over to making a difference. That experience led me to be in the right place at the right time when The Hunger Project was born. I heard Werner Erhard say for the first time at a big meeting that he was taking a stand to end world hunger. My whole body started to shake, and I knew that that was why I was born, that that was what I came here to do. It was impractical because I was a very busy young mother, but it was a calling so remarkable that I could not deny it, and so I went with it."

Werner Erhard’s Ideas Used To Deal With Upsets: We’ve all had to deal with difficult people, like a tyrannical boss or an annoying coworker. And we have all have faced difficult situations like losing a job,  having a child in trouble, or losing a loved one. How we deal with it says much about who we are. The author of this article offers suggestions on how to deal with upset, and includes a video from the 1973 episode of The Tonight Show with Werner Erhard and John Denver.

Werner Erhard’s Ideas at Work at Panda Express: Fast-food Chinese food chain Panda Express encourages utilizing the work of transformation and possibility in their management teams.

Green Faucet: The Three Laws of Performance, which was written by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan and inspired by Werner Erhard, is noted here as a useful tool to access a winning psychology.

Investors.com: Article on changing markets and business models that cites Three Laws of Performance, "Changing a company's business model these days involves identifying a need that consumers didn't even realize they had," says Steve Zaffron

John Wooden: Leadership In Coaching: In October 1987, Werner Erhard hosted a satellite broadcast with famous sports coaches of the time. The discussion purpose was to identify the uniform distinctions of coaching, regardless of the subject being coached.

Transformation - A Look Back at The est Training of 1980: by Richard A. Catalina, Jr.

This Is It: est, Twenty Years Later: Eliezer Sobel, "The purpose of the est training was to "transform your ability to experience living [my emphasis] so that the problems or situations in life that you are trying to solve or are putting up with will clear up just in the process of life itself." What would shift was how we experienced things, not the things themselves. Life would be exactly the same after the two-weekend course as before. The same bills would need to be paid, we'd be dealing with the same issues and problems. But we would experience them differently, "be with" them in such a way that they would essentially solve themselves, or at the very least be seen as "opportunities."

Dynamic Professional Women's Network: "Long ago at the EST training (given by Werner Erhard in the 70’s), I learned that, as humans, the creation of what we want goes in this order: BE, DO, HAVE..."

This Is Still It: est, Thirty Years Later: Eliezer Sobel "Werner Erhard was the founder of the est training, the original, two-weekend crash course in consciousness, popular during the 1970s, that became the prototype and inspiration for many human potential workshops that continue to this day....In the end for me, it was not about the teacher, but the teaching, and the teaching was sound: The passionate, full life we yearn for is not waiting for us somewhere, someday, in the future. In the very moment we truly relinquish waiting — for anything — we awaken to the extraordinary beauty and mystery of this: our life as it always already is."

Perspective - Thank You Werner: "Last night I watched “Transformation: the Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard.” The film included scenes of the est training in San Francisco from the early 1970s and recent interviews with Werner, as well as with former well-known participants, observers and critics. I “did the training” in early 1972 when Werner Erhard was still leading most of it. I also took several graduate seminars, the six-day course and a seminar leaders training program with him, so the film was very much déjà vu – and it brought home to me the enormity of Werner’s impact not only on my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others, but on the fabric of our culture today."

Dorothy Rosenberg: by Jim Tsutsui, "Dorothy volunteered her time with an organization called Prison Possibilities, which took the est Training behind bars to the criminals in California’s penal system.... I was very excited to dine with her and a handful of others... The dinner discussion went from reminescing about the early days of Prison Possibilities with these “little-old-ladies” working with hardened criminals behind prison bars, to the joy of tending her rose gardens back home. I regarded Werner, her son, as a major influence on my life, and someone who had reinvented the possibility that human beings were and are from the 1970's and on."... Here is a comment left on Jim's post: "I personally met dorthy in the year that the forum was presented at the buena vista correctional facility, as i was an inmate there doing 50 years for a crime commited when i was young, it sadded me to find out today that she as passed away she was a mother to as all at the facility. but her encourging words stay with me even today, i was released 2 years ago and am now going to college at ccd. and continue to remember the wonderful people i met and lent me a hand to help turn my life around, i know that gods will look at you all and issue the blessings that you all deserve."

The est Training, 1978: "Back in 1978, it was a whole new world for me.  I was out on my own and in my first real adult (I thought) relationship.  Think about 1978.  Think about the fashion, the music and the culture.  Our Hippie leaders were no longer relevent and as a generation we were left to our own devices...When I look back from 2011, I recogize some of the principles of EST are still with me and are commonplace in today's social structure.  The concepts about personal responsibility, accountability, truth and honesty are a part of my personal fabric.  Staying in the moment comes easily to me and therefore I believe I experience life more fully.  The realization that I alone have the power to change any given situation, or how I respond to it, is second nature.  These are tools I use each day."

Jerome Downs - The Difference an Individual Makes: by Jim Tsutsui: "Great thinker, inventor, Buckminster Fuller, in his book Critical Path, predicted that there was a small window of opportunity that humanity had to have this “experiment” called “Humanity” succeed or fail. Jerome’s work in Asia has greatly widened this window of opportunity. As China grows to be the world’s largest financial and military super-power, Jerome’s work has brought progress to human development to catch up with this financial and technological progress. Without their “humanity” great powers cannot realize the success of all. Jerome’s life was and IS dedicated to Werner Erhard’s vision declared in 1979, 'A World that Works for Everyone with No One and Nothing Left Out.'”



Werner Erhard
Werner Erhard, founder of The est Training,(est)







werner erhard speaking

Werner Erhard


Erhard Seminars Training - Werner Erhard

Photos of Werner Erhard and the early days of the est training


Werner Erhard 2008

Werner Erhard in 2008



Werner Erhard leading training

Werner Erhard leading a course in the Soviet Union



Werner Erhard breakthrough foundation

Werner Erhard in 1976



Werner Erhard and Gonneke Spits

Werner Erhard and Gonneke Spits and the Neuroleadership Summit 2008


flyer for Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard

Read about the documentary on Werner Erhard



















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