David Gruder hopes to spark a revolution with his new book "The New IQ." By helping people restore and upgrade their personal, relationship and leadership integrity, Gruder claims we can begin to solve the problems that plague our society and the world in general.
Gruder considers our democracy to be in profound trouble due to a lack of integrity. He calls it an epidemic and is worried that the problem is systemic and pervasive.
"We are locked into a hypnotic trance about more equals happy," Gruder said. "We have massive problems with people who are overworked, in debt and obese." Gruder feels that our understanding of what could create fulfillment has been distorted to the point where we've lost integrity with ourselves, our relationships and with our responsibilities as a society.
Inspired by a painful divorce and the traumatic events following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Gruder has set out to bring integrity back. He intends to make it sexy, personal, practical and profitable by showing how integrity and life fulfillment are completely inseparable.
Gruder defines integrity as being in alignment with three core drives: authenticity, connection and impact.
"Authenticity translates into self integrity, connection translates into relationship integrity, and impact translates into societal integrity which collectively he directly correlates to long term happiness," he said.
What is it that qualifies Gruder to speak on integrity you might ask? Gruder said that he's confronted his own lapses and through traumatic experiences has become aware of aspects of integrity that neither he nor anybody he knows has understood to have anything to do with integrity.
He claims that anybody who does a background check on him will find that there are no skeletons in his closet. Although he admits that he has had some powerful lapses that fall outside of what people normally think of as problems.
The book, which won Best Health and Wellness book at the recent San Diego Book Awards, is filled with self-disclosure about Gruder's own struggles. He said he knew when he was putting the book together that unless he was transparent, he had no business writing the book in the first place.
"I'm not putting myself out there as someone who is holier than thou," he said.
As for who epitomizes integrity, he lists, Oprah Winfrey, Ladanian Tomlinson, Sidney Poitier, Queen Noor of Jordan and Steven Cubby. As for who does not, he named Mahatma Ghandi saying that Ghandi was a one-dimensional version of integrity that no longer works in today's world.
"It's not about self sacrifice, it's about living at the intersection of me, we and us all," he said.
Gruder points out that the one thing that does trump integrity is survival. He believes that we start to sacrifice one for the other all the way back in childhood. He said that rightly and legitimately so, survival is more important that integrity.
Religion is a double-edged sword, which has played a dual role he said. Spiritual principles that are at the root of the world's major religions are principles that call us towards deeper integrity, but at the same time on a practiced level they have also contributed to the opposite effect.