In this article, Dr. David Gruder tells his personal story behind how he came to write the book The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World and its accompanying workbook, The New IQ Integrity Makeover Workbook.

Blame It On Woodstock

It was 1969.

My parents were about to send me off to my second year at a wonderful summer camp in the Berkshire mountains in Massachusetts where I spent my mornings practicing my beloved music and drama and my afternoons on horses and in canoes.

They had received a notice from the camp director about an optional field trip during the summer that would entail a few nights away at a music and arts festival in upstate New York. Would I like to go? It sounded like fun, so I said, Sure. I was 15 years old and rather naïve. It turns out that my parents were too. Had they known they were about to send me to the infamous Woodstock music festival, they would never have considered it.

It was not until years later that I grasped how profoundly my three days at this event impacted my view of what was possible. Woodstock taught me that it was possible for a half a million strangers to join together to look out for one another beautifully - even with only enough food and toilets for 40,000. It taught me that, not only is stewardship possible, but that humans can be surprisingly successful at it when those were the standards were set for ourselves.

For me, and many I knew, Woodstock began to rekindle the fires of social responsibility that had been doused the previous year by the assassinations of two leading voices for social responsibility during that era: Martin Luther King in May of 1968 and Bobby Kennedy just two months later. Then the Kent State massacre occurred less than a year after Woodstock.

Timothy Leary's injunction to "Turn on, tune in and drop out" - rather than Woodstock's lessons about social responsibility - finally won out in many circles over wiser voices. Too few of us knew it yet, but this refocusing toward inner exploration at the expense of social responsibility would mark the beginning of the rampant self-centeredness we collectively suffer from today. In hindsight, I believe that this series of events had a huge influence on me, feeding a fascination with personal development during the years that followed despite my more natural interest in collective highest good.

The main reason my interest in organizational change was kept alive was that Alfred University, where I enrolled as an undergraduate in 1971, encouraged students to be active in making a difference on campus and in the community. In response I became the executive editor of the student newspaper, sat on the University Council and was involved in creating Hot Dog Day, an annual fundraiser for the community that continues to this day.

While at Alfred I also served as one of the principal researchers in a fascinating study exploring whether education and/or counseling might be able to help people improve their moral reasoning. Based on the stages of moral development proposed by the brilliant Harvard developmental psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, the study's positive results fueled my optimism that creating a more just and ethical society might be possible.

Our Cultural Split Into Self-Improvers, Connectors and Do-Gooders

Only in hindsight do I see that what happened in the aftermath of the 1960s. Our collective inability to digest the cultural upheaval of that period split and polarized into three groups. Each group embraced a different life journey. And each unintentionally embraced a different and dangerously incomplete vision of integrity that has haunted us as a society to this day.

One group is those whose primary journey is toward self-expression and personal fulfillment. These are the Self-Improvers. A second group is those whose primary focus is on love. These are theConnectors, whose main emphasis is on relationships. The third group is those whose primary focus is to make the world a better place. These are the Do-Gooders.

The Do-Gooders

Do-Gooders advocate that each of our seemingly separate social issues urgently needs to be addressed. They find having impact in the world so compelling that they frequently neglect their personal wellbeing, authenticity, healing or creativity and/or their relationships.

Do-Gooders tend define their sense of self around being a change agent. They tend not to realize how profoundly this limited definition of self prevents them from making as much positive difference in the world as they yearn to create. But, ask a Self-Improver or Connector and they can tell you this about Do-Gooders without any difficulty at all, as if this is the most obvious thing in the world.

Because Do-Gooders tend to view Self-Improvers as being disgustingly self-centered, Do-Gooders remain oblivious about the ways in which their lack of personal development impairs how they conduct their relationships. Because Do-Gooders tend to view Connectors as "bleeding hearts," Do-Gooders remain oblivious to the ways their insufficiently developed collaboration and synergy skills cause them to force their solutions on others rather than co-discover and co-create what truly serves collective highest good. Do-Gooders don't realize that being out of integrity with themselves and their relationships actually prevents them from co-creating the better world they yearn for.

Meanwhile, Self-Improvers tend to view Do-Gooders as being naive to believe that change can be created on a larger scale than one person at a time. They also tend to resent Do-Gooders for being so out of touch with how their own unaddressed personal issues compromise their ability to do good in the world. Connectors too are wary of Do-Gooders because of having watched too many of them make causes more important than connection. Self-Improvers and Connectors are more aware of how out-of-integrity Do-Gooders are than the Do-Gooders themselves.

Many Do-Gooders truly do have their hearts in the right place. But, because they do not take to heart the wisdom that Self-Improvers and Connectors have, they end up being less able to develop in order to make the difference in the world they want to make.

The Connectors

Connectors advocate that love conquers all. Their primary focus is on relatedness and feeling creative or fulfilled through involvement with others.

Connectors tend to define their sense of self based on what they think their relationship needs. They find relationships with others so compelling that they frequently neglect their personal wellbeing and/or their responsibility and drive to have positive impact in the world.

Connectors tend not to realize how profoundly their limited definition of self prevents them from honoring their own personal passions and boundaries sense of self, They don't realize that being out of integrity with their own authenticity actually prevents them from co-creating the depth of connection with others they yearn for. Connectors shy away from taking up causes to help the world become a better place because they disdain Do-Gooders for how readily they neglect their relationships in favor of the causes they pursue. But, ask a Self-Improver or Do-Gooder and they can tell you these things about Connectors without any difficulty at all, as if these blind spots are the most obvious things in the world.

Because Connectors tend to view Self-Improvers as being disgustingly self-centered, Connectors remain oblivious about the ways in which their lack of personal development prevents them from achieving the intimacy and collaboration they most seek. Because Connectors tend to view Do-Gooders as being willing to sacrifice relationships for causes, they tend to avoid getting involved with causes and other social issues.

Like Do-Gooders, they too resent Self-Improvers.

Meanwhile, Self-Improvers criticize Connectors for giving up themselves too much or for requiring that others give up their authenticity for the sake of relationships. Self-Improvers tend to recognize how Connectors' tendencies to insufficiently develop their authenticity creates the relationship problems Connectors tend to have despite how much they want connection. Do-Gooders maintain that loving one another does not magically translate into action steps required for social change to occur. Do-Gooders recognize how Connectors' fears of neglecting or sacrificing the relationships that are the most important to them cause Connectors to neglect the needs of the collective.


Self-Improvers advocate how important it is for people to be whoever they truly are. The primary quest of Self-Improvers is authenticity above all else. This includes personal wellbeing, inner healing, development, self-expression, creativity success and freedom.

Self-improvers' over-riding emphasis on authenticity frequently causes them to be out of integrity with their drives for connection and/or having positive impact in the world.

Self-Improvers tend to advocate that change can only occur one person at a time, and that the key to change is learning how to manifest our intentions. Self-Improvers tend to not understand that focusing primarily on personal freedom causes them to feel alienated from the collective and to believe that they cannot have a real impact in making the world a better place. Do-Gooders tend to easily recognize the blindness about the power of systemic change that Self-Improvers tend to have.

Self-Improvers rarely recognize how their singular emphasis on personal authenticity and freedom helps create the relationship problems that they tend to have. Connectors recognized this as easily as breathing.

Connectors and Do-Gooders are both aware of how Self-Improvers' tendencies toward self-centeredness contributes significantly to the relationship and collective problems from which we all suffer.

What Do Successful Developers Do That the Rest of Us Don't?

The vision and blindness that Self-Improvers, Connectors and Do-Gooders each have leads to a question: what does combining the wisdom of all three perspectives look like? Answering this question should help us finally resolve the split and polarization among the Self-Improvers, Connectors and Do-Gooders in order to usher in a new era of 3D Integrity.

I did not realize it at the time but I began my quest for an answer to this question at seventeen in 1971. At that time, crisis intervention hotlines were first coming into vogue. I was extremely fortunate to receive excellent and extensive training in crisis intervention as part of becoming a volunteer phone worker at my county's crisis intervention hotline in Rockland County, New York, twenty minutes north of Manhattan. I was only nineteen when I became the director of the crisis intervention center and hotline at Alfred University, where I did my undergraduate work. These experiences awakened my curiosity about why some people were responsive to counseling while others were not. This question ultimately expanded into my wanting to understand what successful developers do that the rest of us don't.

Halfway through graduate school at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, California (now part of Alliant International University), in the second half of the 1970s, I took a two-year leave of absence to catch up with myself. I had come to the realization that, despite my hundreds of hours as a client in workshops and therapy and extensive reading in self-help and psychology texts, it just seemed wrong to have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the age of 26. In 1977, the only languages I spoke were "Academese" and "Psychologese." I believed there were still too many parts of me that needed to heal or mature before I could feel in integrity with that degree.

So, with my Masters degree in hand, I landed myself a most impressive job as a morning room service busboy at a nearby resort and enrolled in an auto mechanics training course at a local adult school. When I had saved enough money, I quit my job and went backpacking through Europe for six months.

In 1979, when I returned to graduate school to complete my Ph.D., I was more curious than ever about the side of the psychotherapeutic equation that did not seem to be talked about very much: the client. Although graduate school taught me what I as the therapist needed to bring into psychotherapy in order to best assist my clients, it did not cover what clients brought into psychotherapy that could also help make the difference between success and failure.

I wanted to know whether there were client qualities that consistently contributed to positive results in psychotherapy, regardless of how good or bad the therapist was. I became so intrigued with this that I chose it as my doctoral dissertation topic.

I carried my curiosity into my career as a psychologist, evolving my practice into a combination of psychotherapy, leadership coaching, business consulting, speaking, training, teaching and writing. My clients taught me what successful personal, relationship and leadership developers do instinctively that the rest of us don't seem to do as much. The business consulting, speaking, training and teaching I was doing offered me valuable opportunities to try out what I was learning from my clients and to discover whether the rest of us could learn to do on purpose what these people do by instinct. (We can!)

Over time, my initial questions became one big question: "Why are some people, from what would generally be considered truly awful backgrounds, able to transform into extraordinary adults, while others from more average backgrounds remain stuck no matter what they try?"

My Own Personal 9/11

I happened to be visiting my mother near the beloved Manhattan of my childhood on the day the World Trade Center collapsed into rubble. As with Woodstock, I again unexpectedly found myself in the midst of a profound social event, this one being as tragic as the other was ecstatic. I was moved to tears by how New Yorkers joined together not only to support one another but to compassionately seek answers about what could possibly have gone so wrong in the world that such a heinous crime of such massive proportions could have occurred on American soil. Being in the New York area during and following 9/11 reawakened the seeds of my Woodstock experience so powerfully that I wrote a document called A Declaration of Social Responsibility (available on my website,

Six months after the events of 9/11 rocked New York, the United States, and the world, my wife rocked my personal world by deciding she needed to leave our fifteen-year marriage. The extraordinary career and reputation the two of us had built together vanished in an instant before my eyes, like the World Trade Towers suddenly crumbling to dust. I was devastated; the loss seemed unreal. It was quite literally three weeks before I finally found the energy to pull myself out of bed and get out of the house. That day marked the beginning of a journey though which I would learn just how much I did not know about integrity.

Prior to my divorce, I had thought I understood a lot about integrity. I was known for being ethical and honest. I always went above and beyond the call of duty in search of excellence. I was known for being impeccably self-responsible. When problems arose, I was usually the first person to take responsibility for my part in them. My word was my bond. I always went the extra mile to not let people down. I enjoyed a stellar reputation as a psychologist. The book my wife and I co-authored,Sensible-Self-Help, won two book awards. I didn't cheat on my wife. In fact, our marriage was a beacon of inspiration and hope for many people. We were known professionally for our relationship expertise and for creating a marriage that would last forever. I was grief-stricken and humiliated about losing my wife and deeply ashamed that my reputation was a sham. Nothing I had experienced in my life up until then had prepared me for this devastation.

As I recovered from my divorce I gradually discovered the seemingly small ways I had fallen out of integrity that had contributed to my divorce in surprisingly large ways. As someone who primarily tended to be a Do-Gooder, I did not yet recognize that the self-neglect I had fallen into prevented my heart from being nearly as available to my former wife as she had wanted from me. I had truly believed I was showing my love by forwarding our career in ways that were truly of service in the world.

Not yet understanding about the gifts and blindness of Self-Improvers, Connectors and Do-Gooders, I began to wonder how I, who had such an apparently well-deserved reputation for integrity, could have turned out to have known so little about what integrity really is.

I found crucial clues I had missed in what my psychotherapy and executive coaching clients had taught me about how successful personal, relationship and leadership development occurs, lessons that led to Sensible Self-Help.

I found clues through the ManKind Project®, a brotherhood of men mentoring men into mature manhood.

I found clues in my own psychotherapy, through gradually transforming the most devastating experience of my life into the most profound gift of my life.

And I found clues in the international work I had been doing, which you will read about in The New IQ.

Through ultimately putting together all of the pieces I have described in today's lesson, I came to appreciate just how extreme and damaging the split is among personal, relationship and leadership development, among Self-Improvers, Connectors and Do-Gooders. I now believe that this split is far more dangerous than the mind-body-spirit split that dominated the personal development movement during the last decades of the 20th century.

Too many leaders and Do-Gooders have no idea about the connection between personal baggage and leadership corruption. Far too many leaders know far too little about true integrity to make nearly as positive a difference as I believe most of them want to make.

Too many Connectors have no idea about the connection between self-neglect and the inability to connect. Far too many Connectors know far too little about true integrity to create the kind of personal and work relationships they most dearly want.

Too many Self-Improvers have no idea about the connection between personal freedom and social responsibility. Far too few Self-Improvers know far too little about true integrity to create the kind of deep inner fulfillment they most deeply want.

The New IQ proposes a comprehensive road map for how we can individually and collectively recover from an era of unparalleled self-centeredness, entitlement attitude and lack of integrity through integrating personal, relationship, leadership and integrity development.

I wrote The New IQ because my life experiences have convinced me of two things:

We are currently in the midst of the most dangerous and widespread era of lack of integrity this world has ever known. It has distorted parenting and the education process, the media, businesses and politics.

Few people understand what integrity really is and how deeply connected it is with feeling fulfillment in life. Few grasp the profound reasons integrity development is so important. Fewer still know how to achieve it.

The New IQ offers you a set of practical actions you can take to significantly increase your "Integrity Quotient" -- your Integrity Intelligence. It illuminates the very specific and predictable ways we fall out of integrity in the first place and how to outgrow the unhelpful habits this created. It reveals how upgrading your integrity can have a huge positive impact on your personal, relationship and leadership development success. Most importantly, it shows you exactly how to develop each of the seven key life skills that living a life of integrity seems to require.

My hope is that The New IQ provides you with more complete and practical ways of understanding and benefiting from integrity than you have ever known. My deepest hope is that you find that this book opens secret doorways into more fulfillment than you may have ever dreamed possible as you upgrade your integrity.

Take your next step toward fulfillment: purchase your own copy of The New IQ and learn step-by-step-by-step how you can create the fulfilling life you seek... and make a positive difference in the world at the same time.

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© 2007 Dr. David Gruder,  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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