David Gruder, PhD, DCEP, is perhaps the world’s only clinical-organizational psychologist specializing in integrity development. Known as “The Integritizer,” he is the leader in transpartisan nondenominational strategies for solving the massive integrity deficits that have caused today’s vast social, economic, and political challenges. Dr. Gruder founded the “Integritize America Campaign,” an integrity stimulus plan for renewing personal, relationship and societal integrity so we can finally co-create sustainable solutions to today’s most challenging issues. His latest book, “THE NEW IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and our World,” is the world’s first step-by-step guide to attaining personal, relationship, and career fulfillment during difficult times without sacrificing ethics and integrity. 

Thank you for this interview, Dr. Gruder.  Can you tell us what you mean when you say you are perhaps the world’s only clinical-organizational psychologist specializing in integrity development?

This might sound strange in light of the massive integrity deficits damaging all layers of society, but I am unaware of any other clinical/organizational psychologists whose primary specialty is integrity development, enhancement and education. Given how pervasive integrity deficits are I should have a lot of colleagues with this specialty. Of course, perhaps the untold story about why I don’t is because integrity isn’t viewed as a particularly a marketing-sexy specialty. Even my publisher was initially reluctant to print The New IQ for this reason… until I showed him how integrity is the missing key to life fulfillment, love, abundance and societal repair, and that people love this practical approach to integrity. You see, the keynotes and training programs I do around the U.S., and indeed around the world, have revealed that a new “silent majority” exists today: people from across the political and faith spectrums who already know that integrity deficits are at the heart of all of today’s major problems. These folks have been waiting for a practical blueprint they can use to upgrade their own integrity and to facilitate integrity wherever they can potentially have influence. I believe that as this new silent majority starts speaking up, more of my colleagues will join with me to mobilize them into the force for good that these millions of people want to become.

In what way can we improve integrity within ourselves to improve our relationships? 

Great question. One of the secrets about integrity is that it is three-dimensional. What I mean is that most people don’t know that true integrity is one-third self-integrity, one-third relationship integrity and one-third societal integrity. Almost all of us focus primarily on one of these dimensions and neglect at least one of the others. For instance, I tend to most neglect my self-integrity, and in specific, my self-care. I am not alone in this, although there are also others who adopt the other extreme in self-integrity deficits: self-indulgence. In my case, I labored for decades under the delusion that self-care was selfish and that it had nothing to do with integrity. I focused on relationship integrity (honesty, doing what I say I will do, etc.) and societal integrity (doing my best to have a positive impact as a citizen, in my everyday actions, and with leaders with whom I have influence). The more depletion my chronic self-neglect caused, the less energy I had. The less energy I had, the more my heart closed down, and the more diminished my capacity for positive impact became. In other words, the more I ignored self-integrity, the more my relationship integrity and societal integrity suffered. My self-neglect ultimately depleted me so much that it contributed to the demise of my first marriage, necessitated my premature withdrawal from a crucial leadership role I filled, and resulted in a small colony of cancer cells being found in my prostate. I learned the hard way about the vital importance of self-integrity. I learned the hard way just how important self-integrity is for sustainable relationship and societal integrity. Part of why I wrote The New IQ was to help others avoid these integrity traps as well as the integrity traps that those who primarily focus on self-improvement suffer from.

Over the decades you have not only mentored local executives and politicians. You have also done training for high profile organizations such as an American Express work team and a group of World Trade Organization ambassadors.  Can you see progress because of the work you have done?

I am delighted with the results of the individual mentoring I have done with business executives, politicians, helping professionals, and other leaders. I have been moved to watch these individuals impact their organizations and their communities in wonderful ways because of the “integrity makeovers” I have done with them. What I particularly love seeing is the magic that happens when they stop sacrificing integrity or social responsibility to try to attain the personal and career fulfillment they seek. Working with organizations is more complex: the larger the organization the longer it takes for the ship to shift direction. For instance, the integrity-centered negotiation skills and synergy-oriented problem-solving training I provided to a group of ambassadors to the World Trade Organization was received with great enthusiasm and appreciation. However, until top leadership in a company, governmental body, or community organization signs on to embodying the principles of integrity-centered leadership and problem-solving, the folks I train can only do so much. They certainly do a much better job of role-modeling integrity, living their passion in their work, and maintaining their work-life balance. But, their capacity to facilitate organizational change is only as effective as top leadership is willing for it to be. This can, of course, be frustrating, until a tipping point is reached that forces leadership to either change or to leave. Nonetheless, the folks I have trained have told me they wouldn’t trade their integrity training for anything, despite the fact that they sometimes feel frustrated by their ability to see integrity deficits more clearly when they have a limited ability to fully correct them. I know that necessity will, in time, force top leadership in all walks of life to seek a better way. In fact, signs of this are already beginning to appear. When top leaders are ready to restore integrity-centered leadership, politics, business profitability, education, health care, and journalism, I and others like me will be there to assist them.

What do you believe is the hidden reason people are distressed by the economy and does your book, The New IQ, address that?

Beyond the obvious reasons people are distressed by the economy, their suffering indeed does have a hidden source: a faulty life fulfillment formula. For decades the life fulfillment formula our society has obsessively pursued has been “wealth + lifestyle = life fulfillment.” Now, just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with pursuing wealth or a desired lifestyle. Rather, what makes this formula faulty is what accompanies it: the belief that in order to attain wealth and lifestyle it is necessary to sacrifice integrity, people and social responsibility. Placing pressure on wealth and lifestyle to provide more than it is actually capable of providing by itself has created our culture of greed and entitlement. This obsession with wealth and lifestyle required us to substitute true capitalism with a devastatingly unsustainable economic system. No, not socialism – Debtism: borrowing extensively against an uncertain future in order to create an illusion of profitability and wealth today. The hidden reason people are distressed is because they intuitively know that our current economic crisis means the jig is up. They are realizing that the damage created by narcissistic greed and entitlement has finally caught up with all of us. They are panicking because if their life fulfillment formula has indeed been faulty, they have no idea what life fulfillment formula to replace it with. I believe that one of the reasons The New IQ has won five book awards is because it provides a sustainable life fulfillment formula that can actually succeed: one that appeals to people across the political and faith spectrums.

Thank you for this interview, Dr. Gruder.  Do you have any final words?

Yes. In the long run, it is actually good that our economy has crumbled. It is good that people are finally starting to see how unpatriotic the politics of polarization and ideological fanaticism actually are. It is good that more and more people are angry at the media’s refusal to provide true journalism rather than ideological spin masquerading as journalism. It is good that we a buckling from the weight of funding an outrageously expensive and fundamentally flawed approach to health and illness. It is good that companies are disintegrating because of having indulged narcissistic greed rather than creating socially responsible profitability. And, most of all, it is good that a blueprint for reconnecting integrity and social responsibility with life fulfillment, abundance and business success now exists. You will find that blueprint in The New IQ and the other resources for integrity-centered living, loving, working and serving that are available at www.TheNewIQ.com. I invite you to discover a sustainable formula for life fulfillment I invite you to become an integrity leader in your corner of the world. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Be Sociable, Share!