Ontological Coaching Is Dying
May 8, 2022
The field of Ontological Coaching is dying. I’d say transformational coaching but now everybody calls themselves a transformational coach yet most coaches calling themselves that are not doing anything transformational. The people doing transformational work, tend to NOT call themselves transformational coaches. So I just prefer using the academic term since it’s a bit unsexy. I’m sure at some point that word will become a fad though too. In fact, I’m nearly sure it will be if nothing changes in the trajectory of this field.
Value Investing & Ontological Coaching
When I first started learning about investing, I was able to seek out mentors, have people take me under their wing, and found an incredibly supportive community. Of course, I still had to put in the work and still had to be wired to do this (99% of people won’t do the work). However, people were willing to help me when I needed it.
In the world of ontological/transformational coaching that was NOT the case. When people ask me how I learned how to do what I do, I tell them – the hard and stupid way.
Starting From Scratch
After spending a few years in the transformational world, I’d have people all the time tell me I should lead programs. I knew I was just as capable, if not more so than most people, but I couldn’t stand the incompetence and political correctness that had seeped into the culture I was in. So I started leading my unofficial “introductions”. I registered OVER 400 people over the next few years. No commissions. No thank you’s. No acknowledgments. Did it for my own training and development in making a difference with people.
At the same time I read over 700 books spanning across nearly 10 years. A lot of these books were in the fields of philosophy, psychology, eastern mysticism, religion, history, autobiographies, and anything I could get my hands on.
Warren Buffett & Werner Erhard
If I want to learn something, I always look to go to the source and learn from the best whenever I can whether they are dead or alive. When I wanted to learn about the insurance industry, I reached out to Tony Nicely who was running GEICO. When Warren Buffett wanted to get a job in investing, he went to GEICO offices on a Saturday and knocked on the door until Benjamin Graham would meet with him and told him he’d work for him for free. When I wanted to learn about investing, I went straight to Buffett. I learned that Warren Buffett had read every book on investing in the Omaha public library when he was a kid and started reading the shit he read. Then, I read all of his letters including his partnership letters and asked him directly about what he’d be doing if he was managing smaller sums of money. When I wanted to delve more in the world of ontological coaching, I started going back and reading the shit Werner Erhard had been influenced by. Whether it was learning about Albert Ellis or reading and learning Spiral Dynamics. I just wanted to have something get in from 20 different angles so I could start making my own connections and really make it my own vs just regurgitate some shit.
While I was doing all of this, I would start conducting trainings. I had no clue how effective any of it was going to be. I just essentially modeled the BE-ins from the pre-EST days when Werner would throw shit at a wall and see what stuck and replicated it and did it my way. Did that for 2 years. I’d put people in a room, and go from morning until sometimes 2 or 3 in the morning with just a few meal breaks. I’d do whatever it took to get the result. During every break I’d make notes. After 2 years of taking notes and reflecting, I started to get more and more polished.
Discovering Tribal Leadership & Launching Granite State Capital
When I started leading Tribal Leadership, I was one of the few people to ever learn to teach this work and be certified to lead. The vast majority of people who have been trained to lead this work, talk to the talk but don’t actually deliver the work effectively. No different than most people who want to become Forum Leaders don’t ever effectively lead one single Landmark Forum. And most people who pick up a book on Warren Buffett, never achieve a great investment track record (I’m at a ~14% annualized return since 2005).
When I launched my investment company, I had a personal track record that outperformed about 98% of professional investors in the world.
When I launched my coaching and consulting business. I was already leading effective programs and when I would do anonymous surveys, 97.5% of Landmark Graduates felt working with me was more powerful than the work they did at Landmark to make an impact on their life. I had no formal training.
And the no formal training part is why I say I did it the “hard and stupid way”.
The 5 Minute Timer
There was NOBODY willing to train me. NOBODY willing to take me under their wing. I worked with one FORMER Landmark Forum Leader (who I will not name), but this guy was literally less at the source of the distinctions of the Landmark Forum than I was. I could tell the guy had never read a fucking Heiddeger book in his life and would throw in neuroscience terms to give himself more credibility. Was about as bullshit as when guys like Deepak Chopra started using “quantum mechanics” terms yet clearly know nothing about quantum mechanics, just makes them sound more profound and mystical.
After 7 months of working with this moron (and his business partner who was just as incompetent), all they had me doing was pressing a 5 minute timer and telling me “I wasn’t ready yet to announce the homework assignments”.
While this is clearly an extreme example, this is the spirit of all the shit I’ve had to deal with from these righteous assholes. They are the IBM of this industry, and when they die out, they will take this entire industry with them if nothing changes.
Over the years, I kept running into people who were clearly good at what they did but since I never officially led a Landmark Forum or led any of the programs from the 1970’s, I was always seen as less than or too inexperienced.
I’ve had several clients who are VERY highly trained and developed who have said the only times they have had as powerful experience is with working with Werner directly. 100% of people who are Tony Robbins graduates of his 6 day Date With Destiny have told me working with me has been more powerful and impactful.
The ONLY person who ever saw my gifts was a former EST trainer who I reviewed the Advanced Course with. On the Tuesday night evening session, when he asked who wanted to share, it went from me sharing to us co-leading, to me leading the Tuesday night evening session for about a half hour.
It’s a shame. I’m sure I’d be even better at what I do if someone had taken me under the wing. If someone was willing to treat me as their partner and not as less than. It’s amazing the arrogance I’ve experienced from this field. And it’s not just arrogance but stupidity. I’ve done all this with limited resources, no organization, and nobody who has been in the business for decades to work with me. Every time I have asked, they all talk a big game, tell me they want to get me involved…and to this day…not ONE single person has ever shown me their world. And that speaks volumes.
More Collaboration, Less Righteousness
What we need is LESS of this righteous bullshit and more people connecting, collaborating, and talking. LESS people in their silos. MORE people sharing and learning from each other.
If this doesn’t happen, there will be no next generation of transformation. It will be just a bunch of people regurgitating techniques or little bits, and nobody at the source of any of this. Give that 2 generations, and it’s gone.