Terry Cliett knows he has big dreams for the future of his business.
“What I want to do is change the world,” said Cliett.
While Cliett admits how lofty this sounds, he knows it all starts with a person’s core values and how that person’s interactions with others create a ripple effect that reaches out to more and more people. This philosophy is what drives the work he does at InCorVa.
Cliett started InCorVa in 2004 to focus on teaching the importance of integrity and core values to his clients. The business moved into its current location at 101 Chase Court in 2008, but Cliett’s work on developing his trademark curriculum, The Integrity Project, dates back to 2002.
“I was actually asked by some prison inmates to develop a program that would help them stay out of prison, and I developed this program and field-tested it in the Department of Corrections,” said Cliett.
Since then, The Integrity Project curriculum has been used to teach people of many stripes, including current and former inmates, people referred from the court system, pastors, both for-profit and non-profit organizations, and individual citizens interested in improving the course of their lives. The curriculum has also been used to teach groups in a corporate setting how they can use the principles of integrity to improve their interactions with their co-workers. Cliett stresses that the principles of integrity are an important basis for anyone, regardless of where they are coming to him from, and that even the most sincere people need reminders to help keep them on track.
Cliett notes that most people think of integrity as “doing the right thing even when nobody’s looking,” but that this does not get to the bottom of what integrity actually is. An important part of his curriculum is to first define what the word itself means.
“Integrity is the quality or state of being good, whole, complete, solid, sound and dependable,” said Cliett.
Graduates of The Integrity Project must develop their own plan of action to get to integrity. They must also list three accountability partners who will help them reach these goals and stay on track with their personal discipline.
Cliett developed this curriculum himself, drawing heavily on his background in ministry and his certification in the John C. Maxwell leadership program to help him. The Integrity Project program includes a DVD series, led by Cliett, and student book. The coursework can be taught in small class settings of approximately 10 to 20 students at the InCorVa offices or can be done as off-site presentations to larger groups according to the preferences of the organization who is seeking instruction.
Said Cliett, “The courses that we offer here are fully mobile. I can do any level of training anywhere.”
To create the ripple effect he desires for his programs, Cliett has plans to train others to teach his curriculum. Early next year, InCorVa will host classes where people can get certified to teach the same things that Cliett does.
“We’re expanding out the people that we’re touching and helping,” said Cliett.
In addition to The Integrity Project, InCorVa currently offers three other curriculum options. Last year, Cliett added a Life Planning course to help people to understand how their actions affect themselves and others and how to plan for life goals.
“It walks you through the process of looking at who you are, looking at where you’re going, looking at who you’re affecting, and then developing a plan to get to your dream.”
InCorVa also offers a course, titled “Better Boundaries,” taught by David Self. This course helps people improve their family dynamic. Special focus is placed on communication within the family.
Cliett and his wife Sandy also teach marriage enrichment retreats and conferences at various local churches. The InCorVa staff is rounded out by LeeAnne Allen who handles all registrations and appointments. Cliett hopes to be able to add a marketing person to his staff in the future. He is currently seeking someone interested in volunteering to help with this aspect of the business with the potential of eventually being fully employed at InCorVa.
Over the years, Cliett has worked with a diverse population of people, and he said he is continually rewarded by the feedback he gets from his courses.
At the heart of it all is integrity. Cliett sums it up very simply.
“If you don’t want a coffee cup with a hole in it, you don’t want to drive on a car tire with a hole in it, you don’t want to cross a bridge with a crack in it, then you don’t want to work with a person with a breach in their personal integrity.”