Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three Levels of Integrity

My mention of The Landmark Forum in the last post resulted in a thread where Navigator asked me to present the three levels of integrity. Landmark Education does a better job of explaining their programs, so go to their place if you want more information about them.

Regarding the three levels of integrity as I was trained by my mentor (a different program with different licensing but related material).

Level One Integrity: Doing what one says one will Do.
Level Two Integrity: Honoring one's Word as oneself.
Level Three Integrity: World sees one as one's Word.

Each is an absolute prerequisite for the next. Forget about level two until the first is completely handled. Without the first two cemented, to even think about the third is ludicrous. Few operate at the third level.

A full grasp requires substantial training and development. I will explain.

The first is the easiest to understand. You make and keep promises with extraordinary rigor and immediately take action when the inevitable and rarer than you think change in circumstances eliminates the possibility of keeping a commitment. Speech acts exist to manage the conversation effectively.

Speech Acts: Request, Promise, Accept, Decline, Revoke, Demand, Invite, Assert, Promise to Promise.

Every time a person says s/he will be home by four, will call or send an email, will get back to you by Thursday, run 5 miles three times a week, whatever, a promise is made.

Accept a Request, and you've made a Promise. At the first level, you keep it, period. Yes, circumstances shift. When they do, one cannot communicate fast enough to Revoke and make a second Promise that can be kept. If it is not possible to Promise immediately, Promise to Promise when it becomes possible. If someone makes a request you know you will not do, Decline at once. That you explain or make an excuse is neither relevant nor necessary.

I can't tell you how many bitch fests I have cut off with, "Do you have a request?"

"Bitch gripe moan, waah, waah, ..."
"Do you have a request?"
"Fix my computer so it networks okay."
"I will have it fixed by tomorrow night."

No, a broken promise with a great excuse does not equal a kept promise.

The second (Landmark graduates will understand) level is a WAY OF BEING. To operate at the second level, one must have the mindset that one is indeed one's word as identity. You honor your word as yourself. Your word is what you are, NOT your thoughts and feelings.

You SAY you are going to run 5 miles MWF at 6 AM. When the alarm goes off, and your thoughts and feelngs say "Stay in bed" they are irrelevant. You said you were going to run, so you will. There is nothing to think about. When I was completely disintegrating in front of God and everybody trying to lead LDP Group 7, getting torn to shreds by Errol, do you think my thoughts and feelings or what I wanted is what kept me at the front of that room? My thoughts screamed, "You're worthless." My feelings were sheer terror. I wanted to die. My word said I would be trained to lead the LDP.

At the second level, you ARE what you say.

Operating at the second level, people think a little more about what they say.

People can go sideways in this conversation. We talk about this for half a day - several hours. It is not a piece of cake to fully comprehend. A guy once told me he operated at the second level of integrity and I broke out laughing, "No you don't, not even remotely, not even the first level. What time did you get here?"
"A little after four."
"When did we say we would meet?"
"Oh come on! What's a few minutes?"
"The difference between making and breaking a promise."

He got all offended, "That's not reasonable."
"Reason's got nothing to do with it."

Operating at the second level requires substantial maturity in the distinctions.

The third level of integrity involves what the rest of the world sees in the person. How does the person show up in the world? Operate at the second level over time, and the world starts to get that you indeed are what you say.

Ghandi BECAME freedom for India. Nelson Mandela BECAME the end of apartheid. Martin Luther King BECAME his dream. They cannot do this if they are what they are except when it's difficult or they have a tummy ache or it gets scary or dangerous. The world cannot get that you are freedom for India if you only are when you get to sleep in.

The three levels of integrity is an advanced conversation. I just stuck your toe in the water. If you want to see something incredible, buy a small notebook and make it an appendage. Keep of log of all committed speaking. The first promise that goes on page one:

I promise to record every speech act I make into this notebook and review it every day to record the outcome of each one.

I went to Landmark's web site just for fun, and the video offers some terrific material. I highly encourage you to go to the "See it in action" part. You get to see real course leaders including Zaffron (occurs vs is). "The context is decisive" is also well done. I used $45 in "Something Else." I forgot all about the cathedral example. Those people are course leaders, the real deal. I am talking about something infinitely beyond teaching. For practical reasons, the videos are almost all course leader speaking. In the real course, participants talk a LOT more than the videos suggest. Also, the videos are very neat and tidy.

In the real deal, the room is less well dressed and way less happy. When it starts, the course leader speaks into a group containing the scared, nervous, defiant, angry, uptight, EVERYTHING. That's why the course is so difficult to lead. If you have what it takes to lead a Forum, there is no course beyond you. To lead anything, just learn the content and you're there.


Anonymous The Navigator said...

Thanks so much. This post was a huge contribution to me. I really appreciate it. I had never heard of this before. If Landmark teaches this, I didn't take the program where they do.

Thinking about it, I suddenly realized something about your blog. On many occasions you have said you would post something. Last spring you said you would post "Something Else" as certain people expressed doubt.

You did exactly what you said.

Just the other day you said you met Cigar Man, but didn't have time to post. You said you would post about it on the weekend. You did.

These last two posts have illuminated A LOT for me. Now I find it even more insane, just completely surreal and stupid beyond the pale, loss for words, just disgusting IDIOCY that all TREO had to do was let you do your job.

A pearl before swine. Snell even looks like a pig.

2/12/2008 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog never ceases to amaze. What a great post. Very thought provoking. The thought of doing that notebook is really confronting. That I am afraid to think of what would show up tells me something before I even do it. Why the fear? I already know.

I have a question though. People in very demanding positions have such intense schedules that it is a bit ridiculous to expect them to be on time for every engagement. It's just not possible. To say that top executives or elected officials are not operating with integrity because they arrive late to appointments just doesn't make any sense. That's not the reality.

Meetings run over all the time. Are you saying Ghandi or MLK were never late to a meeting? You obviously know what you are talking about, so I am not arguing. I am trying to understand.

2/12/2008 8:48 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


I cannot deliver the LDP on a blog. Your question comes up EVERY time when this is discussed.

The answer involves the recognition and the flexibility and creativity possible when you speak. You don't have to say "I will meet you at four."

You have every right to say, "As an elected official or other position, my schedule is not entirely my own, and I will make every effort to be there at four. I REQUEST you be there and available at four in case I can get there that soon. I PROMISE to be there between four and five."

Then get your butt there between four and five.

You could also say, "I have no commitment whatsoever to punctuality and will get there when I feel like it. If you're there, great."

The position has consequences, but you are being your word.

The discussion takes hours. For our purposes here, just know that at the end of the discussion, common sense is not violated.

2/13/2008 10:00 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...


Navigator, like x4mr, you are a good person and a functionalist who believes the world is basically good.

You think right prevails over wrong, competence over incompetence, and so on.

You read what Liza writes but it does not sink in.

TREO does not care about the community or helping anyone. x4mr could have been pulling babies from burning buildings. It did not matter what he did. He could have trained 100,000 and quadrupled the salaries of every one he touched. So what?

It is about suits looking good and padding their pockets, period. TREO wanted SAIAT's money. They could take it, so they did.

Someone like x4mr cannot be on the playing field with such people. He drives them crazy by producing results and making a difference for others. Liza gets it.

2/13/2008 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

X4MR, you must have had your ear to the door when Raytheon was holding training at the old place. This is just the stuff they teach. They don't walk it, just talk it.

2/13/2008 12:22 PM  

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