Dr. David Gruder is a renowned thought leader in Integrated Wellbeing, with expertise spanning personal, business, governance, society, and strategic integrative self-development. As a 12-award-winning bestselling author and speaker, Dr. Gruder has made significant contributions to fields such as leader effectiveness, enterprise success, and culture architecture. His innovative approach, which is available through Integrity Culture Systems and The Center for Enlightened Self-Sovereignty, focuses on fostering self-sovereignty that serves us all. MysticMag has the privilege of chatting with David.
Your mission is to make happiness sustainable, collaboration productive, integrity profitable, and society healthy. Can you tell us more about how you work towards achieving these goals through Integrity Culture Systems and The Center for Enlightened Self-Sovereignty?
I specialize in three key areas: making collaboration productive, making integrity profitable, and making society healthy. Let me break down what I mean by each of these areas. When it comes to collaboration, I often find that most people are only familiar with coercion and compromise as their options. However, there is a third alternative: collaboration. Unfortunately, many people lack the necessary skills for effective collaboration, which results in good intentions but ineffective action. I am here to train groups, organizations, and businesses in the mechanics of productive collaboration.
Moving on to integrity, while it’s a widely supported concept, defining and putting integrity into action can be challenging for many. This is where accountability procedures come into play. Accountability is often misunderstood and associated with coercion and punishment, rather than growth. By introducing step-by-step accountability skills that foster growth, businesses can make integrity profitable. Additionally, vertical integrity is crucial, where individuals in a company have clarity about their personal purpose, how it aligns with the value they contribute to the company’s success, and their company’s value to its customers or clients as well as to society.
Lastly, making society healthy is a driving force behind my work because I believe that our society is at a critical turning point. My work in this area has received awards in categories such as culture change, conscious business, leadership, and current events in politics and society. Divisiveness and polarization are symptoms of a transition between epochs, where a new version of humanity is emerging. We must awaken people from societal and personal spells to achieve spiritual self-sovereignty, where we recognize the importance of higher love and wisdom in shaping our individual and collective future. Through providing training in specific step-by-step skills, I aim to contribute to a healthier and more harmonious society.
You emphasize the importance of aligning personal values and passions with success. How do you help individuals and organizations bridge the gap between their core values and their desired outcomes?
One crucial aspect often overlooked in both organizations and individuals is the translation of values into guiding principles for decision-making. Values are admirable intentions, but they need to be transformed into principles that provide a framework for translating values into actionable decisions. By bridging this gap between core values and desired outcomes, individuals and businesses can ensure that their decisions align with their purpose. It is essential to regularly assess potential decisions based on their compatibility with the organization’s purpose, vision, mission, values, and guiding principles. Failing to do so results in decisions that are disconnected from their intended purpose, leading to a range of problems and challenges.
In today’s society, many people feel the need to sacrifice personal integrity or work-life balance for success. How do you help individuals and organizations break free from this mindset and find a version of success that aligns with their values?
Breaking free requires recognition of the flawed happiness formula that was widely adopted in the 1950s, known as the American dream. This formula, which spread around the world, equates happiness with excessive consumerism, permeating global consciousness. This is a spell we need to overcome, individually and collectively. Doing this entails discovering a version of success that aligns with higher personal values and challenges the conventional notion of happiness.
To do so, we must appreciate our innate human nature. We are endowed with free will and we are social beings. Living in accord with these two pulls requires navigating the inherent tension between personal freedom and collective wellbeing. By aligning success with our values and integrating personal freedom and collective wellbeing, we can redefine success in a healthier way. This new perspective acknowledges that the pursuit of happiness involves acting in ways that benefit ourselves, our cherished relationships, and the groups we are part of, so we can foster collective wellbeing alongside personal fulfillment.
Can you share some examples of how your step-by-step implementation procedures have helped leaders, enterprises, and causes walk their talk and achieve success without compromising integrity or social responsibility?
In their motivational and inspirational talks, many speakers often focus on telling people what to do, such as addressing the influence of their inner critic and its impact on their success. However, this approach falls short in providing practical guidance on how to accomplish these changes. Some speakers touch upon the conceptual level of “how,” such as recognizing our inner critic’s presence and taking steps to mitigate its harmful effects. However, they often fail to delve into the detailed information and training required to master the steps in accomplishing a change, which I refer to as the “how of the how.”
It is in this realm that real transformation occurs, where individuals can truly learn and implement precise strategies. For instance, unpacking the process of spotting when the inner critic is active, understanding how to view it as a flawed advisor rather than the ultimate authority, extracting the valid aspects of its messages while mitigating shame and blame, and ultimately nurturing the inner critic into a valuable part of our being. These step-by-step implementation procedures are what empower individuals to effectively address their inner critic and achieve meaningful growth.
As an expert in leader effectiveness, enterprise success, and culture architecture, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for businesses, nonprofits, and governance entities to thrive while maintaining integrity and social responsibility in today’s world?
The starting point of my work lies in providing an overarching framework to understand how the marketplace has evolved since the 1950s. During that time, an overconsumption economy, commonly known as the American dream, emerged. It was a well-intentioned concept because one of its purposes was to keep the economy growing without needing wars to do that for us. However, the concept that was embraced to do this equated happiness with excessive consumerism. In the early 2000s, this shifted towards what’s called the “experience economy,” where people sought quality experiences through their purchases. And now, we find ourselves in the “transformation economy,” estimated to be a $3 trillion marketplace, where consumers seek meaning and personal growth through transformative experiences.
Looking ahead, I believe we will enter the “transcendence economy,” where individuals will strive for Source-aligned meaning and growth through transformative experiences connected to higher-level consciousness. This represents a deeper level of transformation, aligned with a greater purpose, beyond mere ego-based desires. This context is crucial for the work I do on my websites, as it aligns with the emerging trends and aspirations of consumers.