Four Ways of Being that Create the Foundations of A Great Personal Life, Great Leadership and A Great Organization -- PDF File of Powerpoint Slides

69 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2013 Last revised: 28 May 2014

Werner Erhard


Michael C. Jensen

Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: September 12, 2013


We argue here that the four ways of being we identify as constituting the foundation for being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership can also be seen as the foundations not only for great leadership, but also for a high quality personal life and an extraordinary organization. One can see this as a “value free” approach to values because, 1) integrity as we define it (being whole and complete) is a purely positive phenomenon, 2) authenticity is also a purely positive phenomenon (being and acting consistent with who you hold yourself out to be for others and who you hold yourself to be for yourself), 3) being committed to something bigger than oneself is also a purely positive phenomenon (that says nothing about what that commitment should be other than it be bigger than oneself), and 4) being cause in the matter as a declaration of the stand you take for yourself regarding everything in your life is also a purely positive phenomenon.

We apply these principles to the Goldman Sachs’ experience with its Abacus Mortgage Backed Securities Scandal in which Goldman violated 7 of their 13 Goldman Business Principles. In addition, Goldman paid a $550 million fine to the SEC, a record at that time.

Background: This address is based on our leadership research program (conducted with Steve Zaffron and Kari Granger over the last ten years). That research is designed to discover what it actually takes to create leaders – that is, to leave participants at the end of the course being leaders and effectively exercising leadership as their natural self expression.

Access to the full 1045 pages of the slide-deck textbook and other material used in the Leadership Course at entrepreneurship@UBC, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, CA in June, 2013, is available at:

Keywords: Ontology, Authenticity, Committed to Something Bigger than Oneself, Integrity, Being Cause In the Matter

Suggested Citation

Erhard, Werner and Jensen, Michael C., Four Ways of Being that Create the Foundations of A Great Personal Life, Great Leadership and A Great Organization -- PDF File of Powerpoint Slides (September 12, 2013). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 13-078; Barbados Group Working Paper No. 13-01. Available at SSRN: or

Michael C. Jensen (Contact Author)

Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc. ( email )

7858 Sanderling Road
Sarasota, FL 34242
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305 675-3166 (Fax)


Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
Negotiations, Organizations & Markets
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305-675-3166 (Fax)


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

B-1050 Brussels

Paper statistics

Abstract Views