Ruston Seaman in Conversation with John McKnight

My comments on the deeply touching and intensely relevant conversation on faith during the June 2, 2015 Abundant Community “on-line interchange”


What motivates our business behaviors?  Personal gain or higher purpose, greed or social conscience?  Or what percentage of each?  This suggestion may seem simplistic, but it brings up the importance of root-cause analysis in understanding leadership topics.  Are we to think religiously or materialistically?  That is the bigger question, and only going more deeply into thought will enable us to dialogue productively and in the end create a better world.  We need to stop superficial, cliché talk and dig much more prfoundly into destiny in order to make the difference that actually is a difference.

  • “Faith-and-gifts” versus “power-and-prevailing (winning)” are two prima facie conflicting (incompatible) worldviews.
  • They are grounded on a choice (ultimately a free, autonomous and responsible choice).
  • The questions of facts and truth are of a different order and require a separate style of analysis.
  • This gap reflects the (regrettably) often-bitter struggle between God and Atheism.  That paradox and controversy is never (that is the proper operative word) addressed seriously enough to reach a mutually satisfying resolution.
  •  Also, this rift has been a source of immense pain and cruel injustice throughout the tragic history of mankind.
  • The crucial topic of reconciliation (“synthesis” is a more generous term) is left undiscussed, creating at minimum abrasive feelings and dysfunctional communities.
  • The New Conversation is about the exact structure of this primary free choice, what it looks like, what it feels to be, what it is, from where it comes, what to do about it and with  it.  This work is known as “owning who you are.” Changing this conversation also changes lives.
  • And a life, thus changed, will create the future. Are you ready for this conversation? It’s all in your hands.


T.S. Eliot put it famously as follows:

“We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring   

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.”


Copyright © 2015 by Peter Koestenbaum Inc. Home page image Carol VanHook Images



About the Lead Author

Peter Koestenbaum
Peter Koestenbaum
Peter Koestenbaum, author, consultant and executive coach, has been called the most important philosopher of our time. After a thirty-four year career as a philosophy professor at San Jose State University, Peter has traveled the world consulting with major companies, local governments and individuals in high levels of responsibility. His clients have included the city of Palo Alto, Ford Motor, Volvo, Renault, World Economic Forum, IBM, SE Banken (Sweden), LG Electronics (South Korea), Aspen Pharmaceuticals (South Africa) and Wells Fargo. He is a frequent lecturer and has conducted seminars on leadership, strategy and culture building in more than forty countries and on every continent. A frequent presenter at the World Economic Forum, he spends much of his time in individual leadership coaching and in helping to set up companies along the lines of the Leadership Diamond ® principles.  He founded and serves as the chairman of Philosophy-in-Business ™ and the Koestenbaum Institute to bring leadership philosophy to business people globally. Peter was born in Germany and raised in Venezuela, arriving in the United States right after WWII. He went to school at Stanford, University of California–Berkeley, Harvard and Boston Universities, receiving his BS, MA and PhD degrees, all in philosophy. He also studied physics and music, and worked intensively with psychologists and psychiatrists applying philosophic insights to the healing arts. He has written numerous books on philosophy and business, among which are Leadership: The Inner Side of Greatness, The Heart of Business, The Philosophic Consultant: Revolutionizing Organizations with Ideas and Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World (with Peter Block). For a deeper appreciation of Peter and his work see Dan Nakaso's interview for the San Jose Mercury News at Contact information for Peter is on his website at

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