Learning as Leadership owes the creation of its unique methodology to an incredible teacher of our times and pioneer in the field of Personal Mastery, Claire Nuer (March 20, 1933 – March 26, 1999). Claire’s training in this field was not drawn from an academic background, but rather her own personal life experience. Surviving the Holocaust left her with an unshakeable commitment to be a constructive force in the world; overcoming terminal cancer led her to study the field of human potential and inspired her to teach others that we do not have to wait until we are faced with a crisis – such as disease, divorce, or bankruptcy – to reclarify our deepest goals and aspirations and to change our behavior, communication and relationships with others.
Claire profoundly touched the lives of those who knew her. She was an extraordinary facilitator, and her effectiveness came not only from her knowledge, intellect or extensive reading, but from her unwavering honesty with herself and others. She designed this methodology based only on what she experienced and practiced herself. She left this same spirit and commitment with the faculty at LaL: to only teach what we practice.
Claire worked with CEOs and management teams from around the world, including top leaders from business, academia and medicine, representatives from such companies as Shell Oil, AT&T, Fairchild Semiconductor and Visa International. She insisted on including spouses, families, and teenagers in her programs, creating a microcosm of society and lessening the fragmentation of home and work life so predominant in our culture. As part of her commitment to co-creating a context for humanity, she created and participated in numerous programs on conflict resolution, post-Holocaust dialogue and international peace panels, culminating in the Turning Point Project, a series of gatherings which brought together over 300 people in Auschwitz, Poland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.
Claire was a Member Consultant of the Society for Organizational Learning, which developed from Peter Senge’s organizational learning work, and a Fellow and Trustee of the World Business Academy. In 1996 she was admitted to the select Goldner Holocaust Biennial Symposia “The Road to Responsibility in the Age of the Shoah” at Wroxton College in England.
The Nuer Foundation was founded in her memory.