I Was as Shallow as a Human Could Be

I Was as Shallow as a Human Could Be…

One of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever encountered in my time on this planet is that of Werner Erhard.

He’s always been a controversial figure, but in my experience the people who have the most critical things to say about him are those who know the least about what he really teaches.

His training and teaching on leadership are beyond any other attempts I’ve ever seen to make a difference in those who receive it.

Recently he said, “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 if we have had 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.”

I used to spend huge parts of my day going through the motions. Talking a big game, trying to sell myself and other people on my potential. Meeting people, gaining contacts, winning friends and trying to influence people. And it was all talk. Profound, poetic descriptions of my admirable intentions and my powerful commitments.

And it was all (now that I see it) just fear-based noise.

I see leaders and coaches today going through the same motions. Not all, of course, but many. The voices of fear-fueled ego bouncing off the meeting room walls. The sounds of significance! Please buy the dream of me! (Will Keiper wrote chillingly about an aspect of this in his post here “A Leader’s Hypocrisy, In a Word.”)

I like to keep these words from Werner handy on my desk in case I ever find myself slip-sliding back into the shallows where I try to win friends and influence people all day.

“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.”

I really don’t ever want to forget those words.

The Leader & The Coach by Steve Chandler & Will Keiper
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