Essay Example: Werner Erhard's Life Evaluation (1960-1972)

Published: 2022-04-29
Essay Example: Werner Erhard's Life Evaluation (1960-1972)
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Biography
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1921 words
17 min read

Werner Erhard was born in 1935 to a religious family in Philadelphia. His father owned a restaurant while on the other hand, his mother was a Sunday school teacher (Rhinehart, 2010). For one, Erhard was previously called John Rosenberg and it was not until after he abandoned his wife and children to move to St. Louis with his new wife Hans Erhard that he changed his name as we know it today (Bartley, 1988). As a young boy, Rosenberg was a very inquisitive child who sought to uncover a lot of the mysteries that he did not know about (Ore, 2011). Luckily, his parents were not very intrusive as to which religion their children should choose and in the end, Rosenberg decided to go by his parents' last religion, Christianity.

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Noticeably, Rosenberg had embarked on a journey of growth and development early in life. For instance, he had a wife at the age of 18 upon graduating in 1953 and as a 25-year-old in 1960, he already had four children (Erhard & Jensen, 2017). During the seven-year span, he had worked in various positions in different automobile companies such as Ford where he was a dealer. Erhard's life between 1960 and 1972 is characterized by a period of significant advancements and notably, high levels of creativity (Bartley, 1988).

Dr. Howard Gruber and Dr. Vlad Galveanu performed prerequisite researches and attempted to explain the concept of creativity. Dr. Howard Gruber embarked on explaining creativity through the constructs of "the network of enterprise" while on the other hand, Dr. Vlad Galveanu expounded on creativity through his theory of "distributed creativity". In his theory, Gruber insists the concept of creativity work and creativity (Gruber & Bodecker, n.d.). He differentiates the two in the sense that creativity is a means to achieve creative work (Haste, 2005). Admittedly, he goes on to posit that for every creative person, the creative process is usually met with repetition and continuous thinking (Haste, 2005). Although the two may sound monotonous, a concept that keeps on repeating itself assures the subject that they are indeed on the right path. Gruber goes on to compare continuous thinking with Isaac Newton who sat down and conceptualized the problem at hand which is why he managed to pull the concept of gravity (Bartley, 2008).

On the other hand, Dr. Vlad Galveanu used his theory of distributed creativity to expound the concept of creativity in human beings. Vlad explains that creativity occurs on two paradigms: First is in the individual paradigm and second is in the social paradigm (Glaveanu et al., 2013). When compared to Erhard, the individual paradigm of creativity is a point of insight that was well taught at Erhard Seminars Training (est) (Erhard et al., 2007). In the end, Werner Erhard comes out as a man marked by both bad and good decisions in his life. However as Howard Gruber explains in his theory of network of an enterprise, a creative person must get lost before he/she regains him/herself.

Erhard's Life Overview

Personal Background

Werner Erhard had a life worth envying for. This is however not to say that he had not experienced various troubles and were it not for his persistence, then he would not be the man that went on to beat milestone after milestone in the various roles that he took. Notably, Werner Erhard was first called John Rosenberg and was born in 1935 in Philadelphia at Pennsylvania (Bartley, 1988). John Rosenberg was born to a reportedly religious father who shifted religious beliefs from Judaism to Baptism and finally to the Episcopal Church (Bartley, 1988). As a young boy, Rosenberg had to undergo all these changes although later on in his life he attributes these as having contributed to his adaptability abilities (Ore, 2011).

Notably, Rosenberg's parents were not restrictive on the religion pathway that their children would follow (Bartley, 1988), with this, every child was allowed to follow the religion that they thought was suitable for them. Rosenberg chose to abide by Christianity, the last religion that his parents had embarked on. Once he was 18 years old, he decided to marry Patricia Fry, a fellow college student with whom he had graduated from College (Ore, 2011). His wife, Fry, went on to bear four children. His personal life was marked by a desire to succeed right from when he was young. In 1960, Rosenberg decided against what many would consider as being something that was completely of out of his stature, he abandoned his wife, Fry. Having borne four children for him, one would expect that a man as hardworking and ambitious as John Rosenberg would especially hold his family among all things dear. He, however, abandoned his family including his children and went on to marry June Bryde after which he moved to St. Louis (Bartley, 1988).

Rosenberg reportedly granted a divorce to his previous wife Fry in 1960 then changed his name to Werner Erhard, a name that he would go on to carry all his life (Bartley, 1988). Notably, the changing of his name was largely influenced by Ludwig Erhard and Werner Eisenberg, a German Economic minister and physicist respectively (Rhinehart, 2010). June also changed his name to be called Ellen Erhard Virginia (Bartley, 1988). Noticeably, Erhard's marriage with Ellen was marked by hurdles as a result of different scandals where he was accused of having affairs with actresses, and trainers of his various programs in his rigorous professional life (Ore, 2011).

In 1983, Erhard ended his second marriage and surprisingly, he rejoined with his previous wife, Patrick Fry, and undertook to continue taking care of his family and start financing his children's education (Bartley, 1988). In the end, Erhard presents the life of a man who has made arguably big decisions that worked both positively and negatively in his life. However with a successful professional career as described below, one is forced to look more into what was ideally different in this man as much as he had made appropriate career-worthy decisions, his personal life is dotted with instances of rapid change and largely unpopular decisions such as abandoning his family.

Educational and Professional Background

Erhard was a largely ambitious person whose career is seen as being more of success in as far as economic prowess and achievements are concerned. As a teenager, Erhard who was then called Rosenberg attended Norristown High School where he gained what he called a basic background on which the cognitive abilities of his adulthood were based on (Erhard, et al., 2007). His graduation from Norristown was in 1953 (Bartley, 1988). Fast forward to 1960, the 25-year old Erhard had reportedly worked as a dealer in automobiles for various automobile companies such as the famous Ford. The first instance where Erhard is given his first main role that marked a strong beginning for his professional career was when he was chosen as a manager for Chevrolet, an automobiles company (Erhard & Jensen, 2017). Luckily, he was successful in this course and went on to improve the company's market share and in addition, gained credibility to his name (Ore, 2011).

Erhard got another job in various automobile companies upon moving to St. Louis with his reportedly new wife. Notably, he had an interesting growing process as he started by selling Encyclopedia-Biographies from door-to-door before moving to advertising jobs and finally, he managed to secure middle management jobs (Rhinehart, 2010). In the course of his family, Erhard participated in various courses including mind dynamics, an earlier form of Scientology, transactional analysis intensives and Esalen; this contributed a lot towards advancing not only his creativity but also an entrepreneurial streak (Rhinehart, 2010). Between 1962 and 1981, Erhard pioneered various job positions as explained earlier: In 1963 he was appointed by the Parents Magazine for Cultural Institute as a Vice-president; 1970 he worked in the advertising segment of Grace & Company; In the same year he was chosen by the Grolier Society as a division manager; he founded est in 1971; in 1981 he founded the Werner Erhard and Associates (Ore, 2011).

Est entailed the training programs that Erhard had discovered upon his experience in the professional industry as well as his willingness to encourage organizations to ensure success in whatever business they dealt with. This was one successful enterprise that even went on to be referred to as a cult (Bartley, 1988), an accusation that Erhard battled against. Erhard's experience was on demand that he was even called upon by Mind Dynamics who wanted him to join them. He refused the offer and went on to continue developing his programs to such an extent that they became of high demand in the United States (Bartley, 1988). One credibility that his training programs were associated with was the ability of his graduates to actively involve themselves both in the workplace as employees and in business constructs. They were seen as being actively informed and creative, a talent that is vital not only in the 20th century but also to date (Rhinehart, 2010). This was one of the reasons as to why critics of est started to refer to it as being a cult. This is especially because some graduates referred to it as being over exploitative and demanding in such a way that it stripped them if their souls. This was tough for Erhard that upon advice from his family, he sold his company in 1991 but retained a copy of his curriculum that had been the basis of his success.

Dr. Howard Gruber's Theory of Network of Enterprise

Statement of Theory

Dr. Howard Gruber was born in 1922 and is especially credited for his works on creativity. As a young man, Howard's interest in human development led him on a journey to Geneva where he undertook to learn about human development from Jean Piaget, an epistemologist who largely did his studies on cognitive psychology with children (Gruber & Bodecker, n.d.). As a student of psychology who went on to be a professional on the same, Howard is remembered for his extensive studies into what is known as the psychology of creativity.

Apart from his various interests, one most notable factor about Howard was his special interest in the works of Charles Darwin, the pioneer of evolution as an explanation of the origin of human beings. He used the works of Darwin and Piaget to foster his teachings on creativity and assert that when it comes to the network of an enterprise, one's mind had to venture out of reality in a bid to discover remarkable things (Haste, 2005). This gave rise to his theory on the network of enterprise (Haste, 2005). According to Howard Gruber, the theory of enterprise was an essential regiment towards explaining the constructs of creativity. With Howard, he tends to describe creativity as being "humanity at its best" (Gruber & Bodecker, n.d.). Notably, Howard presents cognitive development even in creativity as being a state of positive change from structure to structure (Gruber & Bodecker, n.d.). This he uses to mean that in order for one to achieve the goal of being creative, they must have had subsequent growths that have contributed towards achieving the final accomplishment. In his course, he seeks to find out the uniqueness of creativity as opposed to the general or universality in it (Haste, 2005). This he explains through the prerequisite developments of both Charles Darwin and Jean Piaget in their works.

Another instance of Howard's studies is when he expounds on movement. With regards to the life of Darwin, he explains movement as being a situation of demystifying the past and state of direction that works on making implicit, explicit (Gruber & Bodecker, n.d.). Howard used this perception among others to explain that in the course if creativity, one had to lose him/herself then find him/herself a...

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