The Jensen Leadership Seminar

Well, I’m ALMOST DONE with my courses at RSM… I’m excited, in a way, to have completed another project in my life. However, this excitement and happiness is somehow clouded by the reality of the economic situation in the world these days. Everyday I get to read the news, Im constantly bombarded with notes about, unemployment, labor reductions, expectations of low opportunities for recent grads, etc. Call it Selective Attention if you will, the truth is that all this economic environment is not encouraging at all, at least to me.

All this got me thinking if this degree makes me sufficiently PREPARED to compete out there in the Concrete Jungles. I believe that NOT REALLY, all it did was to provide me with basic tools to somehow start with a little advantage over others. There’s a lot of people out there more experienced, more academically prepared, more savvy, more clever and more aggressive than I realize myself to be. Especially now that I’m aiming to change careers… 🙂 How exciting!

Anyway, having realized this, I found that RSM is conducting a Leadership Seminar from the 8th till the 12th of June. My first thought was… “ Ok here we go, again another pump up-motivational speaker trying to explain to us, which are the FUNDAMENTAL characteristics of Top Leaders, and How we can benefit by emulating their actions and behaviors”. However, being an extremely curious guy, I decided to find out more about this Jensen Leadership Seminar. Surprise!, it turns out that it will be delivered by a Internationally recognized Emeritus Professor from Harvard University, Michael C. Jensen, hence the name of the seminar. Im not an economics guy, but reading his profile it seems that Prof. Jensen is a highly respected individual among the Finance and Economics arena. So, my Primary Associations (Brand Management jargon :P) got trigered… Harvard = Top Education = Top Quality Seminar.

To add to my excitement, I also found out that accompanying Prof. Jensen, there was Prof. Kari Granger, from the United States Air Force Academy… wow! sounds pretty exciting!, I began wondering what type of seminar this was going to be. From the description I found it was an Ontologycal Model supported by a Transformational Learning approach. What does that mean???, basically, from what I understood, it is a seminar where by means of Experiential Workshops, attendees self-reflect on their Leadership Behaviors in order to break through their old ways of being a Leader and transform into a renewed and improved Leader. Didnt sound that bad.

But then, I also found out that supporting this seminar there were going to be two additional instructors,  Vanto’s Group CEO Steve Zaffron and some other individual by the name of Werner Erhard. Again, this God given curiosity of mine :). Decided to do some research abouth these two additional instructors. Turns out that Steve Zaffron is a well respected and recognized consultant that supports Fortune 500’s companies in developing Organizational Performance initiatives. World class coaching and consulting for this seminar!!? Why not!

Doing some research on Werner Erhard (probably some of you recognize the name, but let me remind you that I come from a developing country and wasnt really exposed to such names before 😉 ), I found that this guy was quite a Phenomenom in the 1970’s. He basically created an existential, cultural and psychological revolution with his innovative ideas about Self-Improvement. I had seen the Adam Curtis’ documentary “The Century of the Self” and got me delighted with all the knowledge on psychology of individual and of massess that was derived in those early decades. It turns out that some of the shocking scenes that I had seen were directly related to Werner Erhard (he featured also in this documentary). Hmmm interesting… moreover, investigating a bit further, found out that many people in goverment and in society got threatened by his unconvential methods (War on Terror jargon…) because they believed such movement challenged the order and Status-Quo in society. People linked him to Scientology and some other types of Cults, and, eventually, he had to flee the US. Only rarely he did public appareances to conduct workshops and seminars, but unluckily, the stigma of his personna remained there. Even when many people praised his work, many others criticized his methods as being brainwashing, and manipulative. Now this really GOT ME INTERESTED!          

Although there are divergent opinions about his work, I still dont want to be prey of prejudice, but rather, form my own impression and judgement about the guy and his methods. Furthermore, I believe that this is an interesting combination of perspectives regarding Leadership Development, namely, the Academical, the Military, the Corporate and the… Psychological!? BEST OF ALL: THE PRICE, ONLY 100 euros FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS.

Really what else could you ask for??? 🙂

Hope this seminar lives to my expectations…

I’ll keep you updated, unless I get brainwashed and abducted by some Somaly Pirate… 🙂

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