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




Werner Erhard's ideas impact people as much today as they did when they were first introduced over forty years ago. Below are websites and blogs by people in various academic, business and non proft fields whose results in the world have been inspired by the work of Werner Erhard.


Valerie Harper: Fearless, Funny and Footloose: Battling incurable lung cancer, the celebrated TV star proves, with grace and humor, that each day is worth living to the fullest... Harper admits to having low moments. "There are times when I cry. I'll sit in the chair and feel the depression, let it seethe. Then it starts to go away, and I find myself laughing, saying, 'Well, that was dramatic.' " A self-described agnostic, she attributes her ability to cope largely to est (Erhard Seminars Training), which she received in the 1970s from human-potential-movement proponent Werner Erhard. "Est taught me that you should live in the joy of life, not worrying about the future," says Harper. "And it taught me that I am part of everything."

Peter Gabriel: “The analogy is of a boat in dangerous water,” Gabriel once said in a talk on est. “Would you rather be in the hold bitching about the captain or standing at the helm with the power to change direction? [. . .] Be authentic about who you are, how you feel. We spend so much of our lives not actually being who we are, but who we imagine we ought to be.” 

Growing Leaders in a Changing World - Part 1: This Conversation on Leadership in which Werner Erhard was one of the panel of experts highlighted both the challenges of modern leadership development, and the legacy of the preeminent leadership scholar, Warren Bennis.

Growing Leaders in a Changing World - Part 2: This Conversation on Leadership in which Werner Erhard was one of the panel of experts highlighted both the challenges of modern leadership development, and the legacy of the preeminent leadership scholar, Warren Bennis.

Huffington Post - 10 Lessons - An Entrepreneur's Journey: Poonacha Machaiah has over 20 years of global experience as a successful serial entrepreneur and business leader in Fortune 100 companies. Poonacha is among the new breed of emerging social entrepreneurs who are using approaches from the commercial world and employing technology to tackle social and environmental problems. He writes that Werner Erhard and Michael C. Jensen’s four principles (Being A Person or an Organization of Integrity, Being Authentic, Being Committed to Something Bigger than Oneself, and Being Cause In the Matter of Everything In Your Life ) have served as his personal compass.

Robert Fuller: Dr Robert Fuller was educated as a physicist at Princeton and taught at Columbia University. His social activism grew in the following decade, and in 1977 he co-founded the Hunger Project with Werner Erhard. In 2017 Fuller discusses what he calls "rankism." "Rankism is the degradation of those with less power or lower rank,” defines Fuller. He explains that it’s somebody “using the power of their rank to humiliate or disadvantage those they see as nobodies.” In general, it’s an abuse of power – and Fuller calls it “the mother of all the ignoble isms.” "It can be one individual putting down another individual, or it can be one whole group claiming superiority to another group...Bullying is an example of what I call rankism, which is the pulling of rank for self-aggrandizement...By giving rankism a face — his own scowling, mocking face — President Trump has unmasked it..Bullying, belittling, derision, corruption, harassment, and self-aggrandizement — these are all manifestations of rankism.”

Living Outside the Box: How Landmark Forum Provides a Road Map to Personal Transformation: Landmark was founded in 1991 by a group of people who had worked with Werner Erhard, a pioneer in the field of personal development and transformational models. Landmark’s training is an outgrowth of Erhard’s work in the field. Erhard founded Erhard Seminars Training, better known as est or EST,  in 1971: the company offered popular personal growth training seminars in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Book of Est Training- Werner Erhard’s legacy in printed form:"I read The Book of est out of curiosity and as a kind of soft lament for not having gotten to take the training (as I was 5 years old when it ended). Throughout my training in holistic healing and consulting, I have been heavily influenced by Werner Erhard’s philosophy and approach."

Werner Erhard in The Huffington Post: Jinny Ditzler writes about 7 Steps to Being a Kinder Person. Her item #3? "Be interested, not interesting. I heard this wisdom decades ago from Werner Erhard, one of my earliest teachers. Being genuinely interested is a high level of caring and compassion. These words from the ancient philosopher Plato have recently been popular sharing material -- and no wonder."

The est Training - A Reunion of Ideas: 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.

Creating a unique experience that taught one psychiatrist to embrace and appreciate life in ways he’d never imagined… Werner certainly does not need another accolade. His life’s work speaks for itself. In some small way, this is my tribute. The year was 1973 and I was about to begin medical school in Philadelphia. EST was far from main stream and essentially unknown in Philly. Nick, a friend from NYC excitedly called me about this experience he’d had and I just ’had to do it’. Nick and I had been to Europe that Summer and I knew him to be a really cool guy with his head on straight. Without much questioning, I enrolled and went to New York for ’the training’.

Now, 43 years later, reflecting back on my life, that Summer defined so much of what I was able to become and make a difference to the world around me.

What is an accomplishment? A successful 27 year marriage with two great, fearless kids who are also making a difference in their world? Caring for patients and watching their lives change course for the better? Helping bring new medical treatments to market? Lecturing to thousands of fellow physicians about the connection between emotions and health? Creating (directly or indirectly) over 2000 jobs, many of which gave employees new opportunities to better their lives?

I have often reflected on the ’cosmic joke’ and the power it gave me and others as I passed the message on about the freedom of choice. The experiential part of ’the training’ permeated my work and opened me up to a richer more fulfilling life of professional and personal adventure.

We live in a World that could not have been anticipated 43 years ago. Time, however, has not changed the human challenges and fundamental issues.
What we learned, what we experienced is as relevant today as then.

Thank you Werner for creating a unique experience that taught one psychiatrist to embrace and appreciate life in ways he’d never imagined. And, thank you from the countless numbers of people I was able to touch, and will never know that much of that power came from a two weekend experience a young man took before entering medical school.

Murray H Rosenthal DO FAPA

Help Yourself: A Play by David Wayne Reed: Reed's show-slash-seminar takes its inspiration from the human-potential movement that spanned a couple of decades. Erhard Seminars Training (est), which began running weekend workshops in the 1970s and later evolved into Landmark Education — "Create a future of your own design," Landmark's website reads — may be the best-known. Today's est site claims: "Werner Erhard and the est Training brought to the forefront the ideas of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility ... and over a million people 'Got it.'"

Transform Your Life in Just Over 3 Days? Really?: By Becky Killoran - "Becky Killoran was sceptical when she heard of a course that promises just that but went with an open mind. Now anything is possible for her. - 'Have you ever heard it said that “when something seems too good to be true, it probably is”? That was my reaction when I heard an intensive three-day and one evening-long course will “bring about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of your life (link is external)” directly causing “the freedom to be absolutely at ease no matter what the circumstance (link is external)” and “the power to be in action effectively in those areas that are important to you (link is external)”. But, having put my scepticism aside and completed it just over a week ago, my doubts have been completely banished. Landmark Worldwide, the global personal and professional training and development organisation that offers the course, has made a profound difference to my life and enabled me to create previously unimaginable possibilities.'''

Empowerment: "If you are empowered, you suddenly have a lot of work to do because you have the power to do it. If you are unempowered, you are less dominated by the opportunities in front of you. In other words, you have an excuse to not do the work. You have a way out. You have the security of being able to do what you have always done and get away. If you are empowered, suddenly you must step out, innovate and create. The cost, however, of being unempowered is people’s self-expression. They always have the feeling that they have something in them that they never really gave, never really expressed. By simply revealing the payoffs and costs of being unempowered, people have a choice. They can begin to see that it is possible to make the choice to be empowered rather than to function without awareness. Empowerment requires a breakthrough and in part that breakthrough is a kind of shift from looking for a leader to a sense of personal responsibility. The problems we now have in communities and societies are going to be resolved only when we are brought together by a common sense that each of us is visionary. Each of us must come to the realization that we can function and live at the level of vision rather than following some great leader’s vision. Instead of looking for a great leader, we are in an era where each of us needs to find the great leader in ourselves." -- Werner Erhard - posted in the blog Freedom Vidya

Building Indigenous Capability: Building Indigenous Capability (BIC) is a 100% Indigenous Australian company working toward a strategically aligned and partnered position for contributing to a paradigm shift in current thinking and action in how to achieve Closing the Gap on Indigenous disadvantage and Reconciliation in Australia. The design and delivery of their services has been influenced by many and varied sources, including ‘Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model’, by Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, Kari Granger, from THE HANDBOOK FOR TEACHING LEADERSHIP, Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria, Rakesh Khurana (eds), Sage Publications, 2011

Werner Erhard - On Happiness: "Happiness is almost not worth talking about because the instant you turn happiness into a goal it isn’t attainable any more. In other words, happiness isn’t something you can work towards. It isn’t something you can put someplace and overcome barriers to get to and so it makes a kind of difficult subject to talk about. The thing which I think needs to be talked about is at the other end of the spectrum, the barriers to realizing happiness. The barriers to realizing happiness are a lot of very unhappy things. And they are the things which almost nobody talks about because very few of us are willing to confront those things." - quote by Werner Erhard as shared by The Happy Learner

The Coaching of Werner Erhard: The Source of Executive Coaching: "Werner Erhard founded est in 1971 and “The est Training” became a major cultural phenomenon of the 1970s, with hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic graduates around the world, including leading academics, for example Harvard Business School’s Michael Jensen and MIT’s Warren Bennis, and many celebrities such as John Denver, Valerie Harper, Ted Dansen, and Raul Julia. Tiger Woods’ first and most important coach, father Earl Woods, credits est with preparing him for the task. In 1991 some employees of est, including Werner’s brother and sister, bought the rights to much of the material and formed Landmark Corporation. Werner Erhard left the public eye while continuing to train executive coaches..."

The Hidden History of Coaching: Written by Dr.Leni Wildflower, Ph.D.:"Without Carl Rogers and Werner Erhard coaching would not exist." - This book provides an answer to the question 'What are the roots of coaching?' This answer contributes to addressing the follow-up questions 'What are the theoretical underpinnings of coaching?' and 'How can the underlying theories shape the practice of coaching?'

European Mentoring and Coaching Research Conference: Our aim is to introduce you to some unknown names, to refresh our collective memory of familiar names, and to encourage an exploration of how these ideas have contributed to our current coaching culture. We will cull ideas and quotes from a large range of voices, including Carl Jung, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Roberto Assigioli, Julio Olalla, Allen Ginsberg, Wilfred Bion, Richard Bandler, John Grindler, Kurt Lewin, Werner Erhard, Wilhelm Reich, Victor Frankl, Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck—and more.

Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership: In his autobiography, thought leader Warren Bennis describes his friendship with Werner Erhard, "The man I came to know was an impressive autodidact. He was especially knowledgeable about theoretical physics, largely as a result of friendships with such distinguished thinkers as Nobel laureates Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann."

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: This book by Steve Chandler quotes Werner Erhard, "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."

The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Cullture, Society, and Politics: by Bruce J. Schulman, " Werner Erhard established est, the first and most influential self-motivation training seminar. It became phenomenally successful in the late 70's. Country pop singer John Denver "got it." Sitcom actress Valerie Harper got it and testified on television that est had changed her life."

The Path of Awareness: "Werner Erhard pointed to two states of mind in which life was lived. One he called “unconscious awareness” and the other “conscious awareness.” The aim of the est Training was to assist an individual to move from the one to the other. He would draw the two sets of words on the black board, the first below the second, and then draw a line between the two. He would then talk about the differences between life lived below the line and life lived above it. Below the line was unconscious awareness and unexperienced experience, and above the line was conscious awareness and experienced experience." -posted by Steve Beckow

Food For The Soul:
“There is no thing that’s going to make a person happy. You have to bring happiness to life. You don’t get happiness out of life. What is there to be happy about? Nothing. When you can be happy about nothing. Just be happy. You know “I am happy” – those words are sacred. It’s like a declaration, it’s like a place from which I come, it’s like a stand I take upon myself. It’s not I am pretending to be happy, it’s not I am acting happy. No. I am happy!”

Sustainability, Equity, Development: A Quest for Context and Meaning - "Werner Erhard's technology is probably the most powerful ever developed for completing the past and gaining more powerful relationships with the traumas that shape one's view of reality."

What Does It Really Mean To Take A Stand: Sustainable Action Leadership - "We sometimes think of taking a stand as making a declaration for or against something, forming a resolution or perhaps choosing a side. Werner Erhard distinguishes taking a stand from all of these. He defines taking a a stand as: 'A powerful way of being that can enable an individual to have an impact in the course of humanity.'"

Michael Jensen and Werner Erhard's Talk on Integrity: The Harvard Law Corporate Governance Blog - In 2009 Professor Michael C. Jensen and Werner Erhard presented a paper on integrity that they co-authored with Steve Zaffron. at Harvard Law School’s Seminar in Law, Economics, and Organization.

Werner Erhard speaks at 2009 NeuroLeadership Summit: The theme of the 2009 Neuroleadership summit was 'toward integration'. Speakers included Warren Bennis, Werner Erhard and Daniel Siegel.

Benchmarks for Workplace Goals: "Many years ago I took EST -- Erhard Seminar Training -- a personal growth workshop held on two consecutive weekends. It was intense, challenging and confrontive, but produced amazing results."

Does Positive Energy + Positive Results? In order to create a new future, we need to resolve our past

Jane Self: Jane Self's background as a journalist led her to write a book in 1992 about Werner Erhard and 60 Minutes Her investigative work required extensive traveling both nationally and internationally to research court documents and interview family members, former and current employees and participants.

Being Judgmental Costs You MoreThan You Know: "I consider myself a very lucky person as I was privileged to participate in what was then known as the quintessential inquiry into to the nature of what it meant to be a human being. This was a 60 hour intensive look into the nature of who I was and at my relationship to others. In 1975 I was inspired to do this work and was fortunate to spend a good deal of time contributing back my services. I did the 'est' Training, as it was called then, a world class work of art created by Werner Erhard. It is my view that Werner Erhard opened the doors for millions to seek greater discovery."

Purpose and Aliveness: Akash












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