Notes for Peter

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16 Responses

  1. Many years ago you were speaking at a conference for executives. An Admin Asst offered me her boss’s discarded ticket.

    Your brief, totally effective luncheon speech on cognitive dissonance changed – perhaps saved – my life. Thank you! It certainly got me through Civil Service.

    That and “don’t wave elipses at my sheep” became a family motto.

  2. Sadly, few philosophers have worked in management consulting and executive education. PK is an exception. His work on leadership is unique. It has a depth and clarity that is sadly absent in the voluminous literature on leadership. In brief, he helped me to see “courage” as the sine qua non dimension of personal leadership. He helped me understand that leaders “do the hard things first”. Indeed, helped me understand that courage is to leadership as gravity is to physics and that leaders do not run out of gas. Over the years (1992-2022), I drew on his writings and used his leadership diamond framework in my teaching in executive education at both Wharton and Vanderbilt. More importantly, he helped me to understand my own father’s deep courage, will, resolve, clarity, his spirituality, in his unwanted journey with cancer. See JohnPRyanSR. Here, I posted an audio copy of his book that I published. A book based on my father’s cancer journals. Thankful for Peter Koestenbaum as a fellow traveler and a mentor from afar.

  3. I got introduced to Peter by Doug Kirkpatrick and I am so grateful to be exposed to his work. He has a perfect balance of understanding human beings at a very deep level and what the business needs. It is a rare combination. I have underlined almost half of his book about Leadership which is always close by on my desk.

    I quote him every time I give a talk.

    He also makes me think of my dad being at the same age but never ever giving up on learning and helping others. His energy and his wisdom is impressive. I see him as one of the best examples of a very purpose driven human being. He has been an amazing inspiration in my work trying to humanize the workplace.

    I wish I could meet him in person and if not his legacy will live forever! I am absolutely sure about that. What a gift to our world.

  4. Finding Peter:
    My journey with Peter commenced when I was drawn to his book, “The Inner Side of Greatness.” Seeking deeper understanding and engagement. I personally met him during the inaugural Diamond Certification in April 2002 in Santa Monica, CA.

    From the early days of our acquaintance, I recognized the invaluable potential of Peter’s Diamond Philosophy. At Wells Fargo, I took the initiative to bring Peter into our fold, facilitating sessions with our leaders, and thus breathing life into the Diamond Philosophy within our organizational framework. Together, we laid the groundwork for a curriculum centered around the Diamond’s essential pillars: Reality, Ethics, Vision, and Courage, ensuring these principles permeated our leadership ethos.

    This philosophical groundwork didn’t just remain a corporate endeavor. Over the years, I’ve embraced the Diamond Philosophy as a personal and professional compass. As a professor, speaker, facilitator, and coach, it has been instrumental in guiding my clients – and indeed myself – towards finding purpose, meaning, and the freedom to choose direction, movement, and action. My co-authored publications, “The Great LeadHERship Awakening” and the Institute of Coaching’s “Leading with Humanity”, although written with other collaborators, are deeply imbued with Peter’s influence and the Diamond Philosophy – with a call-out and Diamond Diagram in my Chapter (#9).

    I was giving a presentation and was trying to find the words to explain the Diamond. To my glee, ChatGPT helped!

    “Imagine a diamond, like the shape on a playing card. Each corner of the diamond represents a different way of thinking or looking at things. Peter Koestenbaum, the genius behind this concept, believed that to be great leaders (or great at anything), we should oscillate between these four ways of thinking: Humanity (all about feelings), Reality (seeing things as they are), Vision (dreaming and imagining the future), and Courage (being brave). Koestenbaum advocated that by using the diamond, we could understand our emotions, perceive the reality, dream big, and then muster the bravery to actualize those dreams.”

    Peter’s teachings, though intangible, are a palpable presence in my everyday life. It’s been a while since our paths physically crossed, but he converses with me daily through his wisdom. His insights have reached far and wide – my friends, family, clients, and numerous others have been touched by our shared tales, experiences, and the tools derived from our collaboration. His unwavering generosity, sagacity, and courageous spirit have profoundly impacted me, and for that, I remain eternally grateful.

    Peter, you stand as a beacon in the vast ocean of philosophy and thought leadership. Through your Diamond Philosophy, and your presence you offer a compass that steers individuals, teams, companies towards a life filled with clarity, purpose, and profound understanding. I fervently hope that future generations unearth, appreciate, and adopt his teachings, recognizing them as timeless tools for navigating both personal and professional terrains. Your legacy, forged through dedication and insight, is an invaluable guide for me, and all who seek depth, purpose, and enlightenment.

  5. During my freshman year at San Jose State in 1970-1971, I took a Philosophy class from Peter. It was a large lecture hall, filled with 100 or more students. Sitting in that large lecture hall, I felt that Peter was talking directly to me. It was an amazing feeling that his presence kept me captivated in a subject that I did not know anything about. I am now 72 years old, and yet I still remember those lectures as if they were yesterday. Of all the professors I took classes from in those four years at San Jose State, Peter is the only one I remember vividly, in spite of the fact that I had no personal interaction with him. I am very grateful to him for that wonderful introduction to philosophy and a great start to my college experience.

  6. I heard Peter give a talk in 1980 and my life was changed forever. He told me I was a human being and not a problem to be solved. That if I argued with him, he would take my side. That I was a freedom and not a product of my history.
    When I connected him with organizations, their only reservation was that he was too supportive
    If there is a higher power, Peter is proof of concept.
    Thanks Doug for the beauty of what you have done here.

    1. Thanks for this heartfelt note, Peter Block! Your book with Peter “Freedom and Accountability at Work” was similarly life-changing for me. Building this website was not a chore, it was a pleasure. Thanks for all of your work in the world.

  7. Peter was an integral part of Ford’s Executive Development Center. His impact on a changing company was immeasurable. His lectures on ethics, particularly the give-and-take with his audience, were famous. The top 2000 managers at Ford came from all over the world to debate the company’s strategy, its competitive future, and their own role in earning followers. And Peter was right there with us all the way. I adored him.
    Nancy Badore, Founder

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