Landmark Graduate Uses Distinctions for Advocates

Posted in: Uncategorized Started by

Landmark Graduate Uses Distinctions for Advocates

Sustainability guru, Adam Hammes, was interviewed on how the distinctions from programs led by Landmark Worldwide have shaped his advocacy and projects.  The interviewer is Mike George, who is co-owner of Cafe Gratitude in Kansas City and a student of transformation.  Mike has taken the Forum, the Advanced Course, the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, multiple seminars, Communication: Access to Power, the Introduction Leaders Program, the Wisdom Course, and Being a Leader led by Werner Erhard in Costa Rica.  For a time, he was even training to become a consultant for the Wisdom Division of Landmark Worldwide.  Warning: Language!

Story vs. What Happened

Adam shares:

  • How distinguishing his story from what actually happened is often the first step as a means for him to apply many of the other distinctions of Landmark to have a break-through in advocacy
  • A story from his time with Kum & Go when he got angry and almost quit his job
  • A story from a recent crowdfunding blunder with “A Garden for Every School” that could have cost their team

Genesis of Identity

Adam shares:

  • How two of the three parts of his book, “Stress-Free Sustainability,” use genesis of identity as a framework for evolving one’s own emotional stage of advocacy and then influencing others to move from Contempt to Curiosity to Commitment
  • How genesis of identity is subtle, yet powerfully shapes his ability to make a difference in the world
  • A story about being 6 years old and learning of his infant brother’s brain damage and how that shaped his identity, caused trust issues, and problems with authority

Losing Possibility

Adam shares:

  • How possibility as an experience wasn’t available to him as a young boy, and only became a concept that provided some relief in college
  • How even today he carries possibility as a concept and believes “anything is possible,” yet it takes something to generate possibility as lived experience
  • Why belief in possibility is essential for social and environmental advocates, and without it there doesn’t seem to be much point
  • A story how he lost touch with possibility after the Forum by not “going for it” in his vision for a dream job, and what it took to eventually reconnect with that possibility

Running Rackets

Adam shares:

  • How distinguishing a racket is no fun because you have to “tell on yourself” and it can be easy to convince yourself not to share it once distinguished – but you need to anyway!
  • A story how he cleaned up a racket he ran on the crowdfunding platform help desk and his videographer, and what a difference it made
  • A story how he cleaned up a racket he ran on the board of directors for Urban Ambassadors, the grassroots sustainability non-profit he founded, when his term as president was up and he transitioned off

Empty and Meaningless

Adam shares:

  • How he worries that people, especially those who have not taken the Forum, misunderstand “empty and meaningless” and think he doesn’t care about anything
  • How he sees it related to Buddhism and meditation
  • How “empty and meaningless” does not lead him to inaction, but actually spurs him to do more to make a difference
  • A real struggle (you hear it in the conversation) to explain why he still does what he does every day
  • Why Pema Chodron and the path of the Bodhisattva inspire him in advocacy
  • What vast freedom “empty and meaningless” can provide when someone is stuck

Acceptance or Being With

Adam shares:

  • How his fiance’s own experience overcoming an eating disorder has inspired him to view compassion
  • How people move from Contempt (apathetic or actively opposed) to Curiosity to Commitment
  • Why he sees acceptance as the same as “being with” just as things are, and just as things aren’t
  • That his childhood level of acceptance was actually a form of not really giving a sh** about people
  • Why he struggles today more accepting other advocates who have actually accomplished quite a bit, often more than himself
  • Why he doesn’t believe in 30-second elevator pitches
  • A story about a CFO that he just couldn’t figure out, until he had a breakthrough in connecting on something very personal
  • A story about a VP of IT that he had to work with on a United Way campaign to realize how they could become a sustainability champion
  • His perspective that all human beings can find something in common and build from there
  • How the Dale Carnegie method can be manipulative, and ineffective in advocacy
  • Why most people are spending time trying to influence the wrong people, and its selfish and wrong – move on or let someone else do it!

Adam was recently highlighted in a story on Landmark Worldwide News for his book and his project “A Garden for Every School.”



Adam Hammes is the executive director of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum, a consultant, author, and motivational speaker. He specializes in helping businesses and sustainability professionals with environmental and social performance.

Check out Adam's new book on Amazon, Audible and Kindle: Sustainable Business in Iowa.

Like this content? Enter your email below for additional Chapter Cheat Sheets from Adam’s new book and more...