Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More




 The Walls Of Integrity*

Mumm Cuvée, Rutherford, California, USA

May 24, 2018



"When my integrity is lacking, I am clear that I just got to be a bit smaller as a person. That keeps me working on my integrity. And the thing about integrity is it's a mountain with no top."
... 
"The most important role models that you have are right in front of you."
... Michelle Obama

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
... Professor Albert Einstein

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
... also Professor Albert Einstein
This essay, The Walls Of Integrity, is the eighteenth in a group of eighteen on Integrity: It was written at the same time as


I play around people of high integrity. That's my modus operandi. To be sure, I didn't start out my life being this way - at least not intentionally. What happened was I gradually  noticed that in retrospect, people of high integrity were the ones around whom I was naturally gravitating. And if you play around me, more sooner than later you'll notice integrity is of the essence with me. I'm sorry, but that's not simply some opinionated righteous zeal  of mine which I impose on people like a religion. I'm basically just an ordinary dude, in many ways a simple, boring, timid kind of guy. But the people who know me well will confirm that what I also am is pragmatic  - which means I like it when things work, and I have a low tolerance for when they don't. And without integrity, nothing  works (that's vintage Erhard). That's  where it originates from. And for the purposes of this ongoing conversation, what I mean by "integrity" is "honoring your word"  - nothing more, nothing less.

It's true that if you're in the habit of running wild and woolly and squishy  with integrity, either because you're not familiar with integrity as a distinction and / or as a force of nature, or because you are and yet you still test it to see if you can get away with it  (spoiler alert: you can't), you may notice I'm firmer in this area than you might be comfortable with. But look: it's not dictatorial. It's I've finally figured it out: things work best with integrity. So I'm enthusiastic about you also noticing things work best with integrity. It's that  kind of firmer. I mean why bother  operating in a way that ensures things won't  work? It's stoopid! Why prolong the agony? Hello?

Imagine you're in a group (or you're hired by a company) in which integrity is paramount ie in which integrity is de rigueur  - and by that, I'm not merely implying that the group or company values integrity as a commodity (who doesn't?). No, it's rather a pointed reference to the fact that some companies will recommend that all their staff members should participate in the Landmark Forum, the flagship program of Werner's work, Panda Express  and Lululemon  to name but two of the better known giants. The results of their investments are not only demonstrably increased job-satisfaction, performance, and productivity, but also enviable stock price evaluations.

Flouting integrity in a work environment like theirs would incur immediate and dramatic pushback. It would be like walking into a wall. To function in groups like that, it would be naïve to expect the group to tolerate prolonged lapses into squishy integrity. Rather, to fit in well, you'd have to give something up. You'd have to let go of something in the way you construe integrity and its walls to work at work. The glass is half empty: integrity at work is restrictive, intolerant, and a spontaneity-killer. The glass is half full: integrity at work is miraculous, nurturing, life-sustaining, totally freeing, the bedrock  foundation for authentic complete and full Self-expression.

Drawing the veil back so that we get to see even more of the big picture, what would we have to give up to have our world itself  function with integrity? Isn't our world in a sense nothing more than just a very big company?  Because by now it's fait accompli  that if our world as just a very big company operated with integrity, it would be the way our world would work best. Tell the truth: could it be that because so many  of us (that's you and me and everyone else on the planet included) are in the habit of running wild, woolly, and squishy with integrity, it causes our world's symptoms to look the way they look ie to be in the exact state they're in? Maybe.

The compelling upshot of this is: until we get around to transforming the cause rather than ongoingly trying to change the symptoms (in which we continue to invest heavily, even though it's never worked), we should expect more of the same. While history has unflinchingly proved we've only been marginally successful changing the symptoms of our world, you and I have the clear and present choice to operate with integrity, which is our access to causing transformation to come to bear on it.


* To access Werner's papers on integrity, click here.

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Thank You.
, Michael Jensen, Steve Zaffron, Jeronima Echeverria, Sandra Carr, Kari Granger


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