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Werner Erhard
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Critical thinker contributing to the academic community, business, organizations and individuals.
Critical thinker contributing to the academic community, business, organizations and individuals.

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The quotes below are from the editor’s introduction of a chapter titled “Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model” written by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, and Kari Granger in the book “The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being”, 2012 (p. xxiv).  The book is edited by Harvard Business School’s Scott Snook (Senior Lecturer), Nitin Nohria (Dean of Harvard Business School, and George Baker Professor of Administration), and Rakesh Khurana (Dean of Harvard College, and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development).
 
“How does one teach leadership in a way that not only informs them about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders?  …this eclectic group of scholars argues for adopting a decidedly ontological approach to leadership education that promises to leave students actually being leaders.  Contrasting their ontological approach described as being and action as experienced "on the court" with more traditional perspectives where leadership is observed and commented on "from the stands," this chapter presents a rigorous theory of leadership education that begins and ends with the following bold promises to students:
“You will leave this course being who you need to be to be a leader.
“You will leave this course with what it takes to exercise leadership effectively.
“…by following a rigorous, phenomenologically based methodology, students have the opportunity to create for themselves a context that leaves them actually being a leader and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression."
 
The chapter described above by the editors is available for download here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1681682.

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We present a positive model of integrity that provides powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Our model reveals the causal link between integrity as we distinguish and define it, and increased performance and value-creation for all entities. And our model provides access to that causal link.

The philosophical discourse, and common usage as reflected in dictionary definitions, leave an overlap and confusion among the four phenomena of integrity, morality, ethics, and legality. This confounds the terms so that the efficacy and potential power of each of them is seriously diminished.

In this new model, we distinguish all four phenomena – integrity, morality, ethics, and legality – as existing within two separate realms, and within those realms as belonging to distinct and separate domains. Integrity exists in a positive realm devoid of normative content. Morality, ethics and legality exist in a normative realm of virtues, but in separate and distinct domains. This new model: 1) encompasses all four terms in one consistent theory, 2) makes the “moral compass” potentially available in each of the three virtue phenomena clear and unambiguous, and 3) does this in a way that raises the likelihood of those now clear moral compasses actually shaping human behavior.

This all falls out primarily from the unique treatment of integrity in our model as a purely positive phenomenon, independent of normative value judgments. Integrity is thus not about good or bad, or right or wrong, or what should or should not be.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=983401

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This presentation is based on our research program over seven years in which our objective has been to rigorously distinguish leader and leadership and to create a technology for providing access to being a leader and exercising leadership effectively (in short, a technology for reliably creating leaders). Our research program involves not only discovering the technology, but also to create a course that would be available to others to use, experiment with, research, improve on and innovate from. Our efforts thus required an experimental laboratory to discover what will enable us as educators and trainers to efficiently and effectively create leaders.

Dean Mark Zupan of the U. of Rochester Simon School Of Business provided us with a research/teaching laboratory during the five years (2004-2008) we worked there with students, alumni, executives, and faculty from various academic institutions. This laboratory allowed us to investigate leader and leadership as phenomena, and to create technologies for providing actionable access to leader and leadership. The course is now also taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy, was delivered in 2009 at the Erasmus Academie (Rotterdam), and a version of which is taught at the Erasmus University Law School. In June 2010 the course was taught at the Mays School of Business, Texas A&M University and in November 2010 in India under the auspices of the IC Centre for Governance and MW Corp. The course will be taught at the Dartmouth Medical School in June 2012.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1392406

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We present a positive model of integrity that, as we distinguish and define integrity, provides powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies.

Our model reveals the causal link between integrity and increased performance, quality of life, and value-creation for all entities, and provides access to that causal link. Integrity is thus a factor of production as important as knowledge and technology. Yet the major role of integrity in productivity and performance has been largely hidden or unnoticed, or even ignored by economists and others.

The philosophical discourse, and common usage as reflected in dictionary definitions, leave an overlap and confusion among the four phenomena of integrity, morality, ethics, and legality. This overlap and confusion confound the four phenomena so that the efficacy and potential power of each is seriously diminished.

We show that defining integrity as honoring one’s word, as we have defined “honoring one’s word”: 1) provides an unambiguous and actionable access to the opportunity for superior performance and competitive advantage at the individual, organizational and social levels, and 2) empowers the three virtue phenomena of morality, ethics and legality.

We also demonstrate that applying cost-benefit analysis to honoring your word guarantees that you will be untrustworthy.   http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1542759

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The Editors of the "Handbook for Teaching Leadership" say the following in their introductory chapter: “How does one teach leadership in a way that not only informs [students] about leadership but also transforms them into actually being leaders?" (p. XXIV)

The sole objective of our ontological/phenomenological approach to creating leaders is to leave students actually being leaders and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression. By “natural self-expression” we mean a way of being and acting in any leadership situation that is a spontaneous and intuitive effective response to what one is dealing with.

In creating leaders we employ the ontological discipline (from the Latin ontologia “science of being”, see Heidegger (1927)). 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. And ontology’s associated phenomenological methodology (explained in (2) below) provides actionable access to what has been opened up.

The being of being a leader and the actions of the effective exercise of leadership can be accessed, researched, and taught either:

1) as being and action are observed and commented on “from the stands”, specifically as these are observed by someone, and then described, interpreted and explained (third-person theory of), or

2) as being and action are actually experienced “on the court”, specifically as these are actually lived (real-time first-person experience of). As a formal discipline, the “on the court” method of accessing being and action (that is, as being and action are actually lived) is named phenomenology.

In short, an epistemological mastery of a subject leaves one knowing.
An ontological mastery of a subject leaves one being.

Of course the students themselves do not need to study ontology; they only require the access to being and the source of action that is provided by the ontological perspective. And, they don’t need to study phenomenology; they only need to be provided with the actionable pathway to the being of being a leader and the actions of effective leadership made available by the phenomenological methodology.

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1681682

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“Erhard, Jensen and 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. http://wernererhardquotes.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/the-handbook-for-teaching-leadership-knowing-doing-and-being/

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