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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Have To Be Honest: The New IQ Just Isn't For Me

What if the answers to all the world's problems could be found between the covers of a book?
I'm not talking about the Bible here, but The New IQ by psychologist David Gruder. The author insists that he's found a cure for the planet's ills - it all lies in upping one's Integrity Quotient (IQ, for short).

Before I go on, I should explain Gruder's definition of integrity. I've heard the word used at church my whole life - if you asked me to define it, I would say that it means honesty. Gruder agrees, but takes it one step further: "Integrity is the wholeness that comes when we are fully authentic as an individual, compassionate and effective co-creators with others, and servants of collective highest good. The essence of integrity is this three-dimensional alignment" (41). Thus, according to Gruder, we can be "in" or "out of" integrity. Whereas I thought of it only as something you had or didn't have, I found the author's definition interesting. He goes on to say that every person has three "Core Drives" that must be in harmony in order for them to have happy, successful lives: Authentic self-expression; Connection with others; and Making a positive difference in the world. Balanced Drives bring fulfillment; unbalanced Drives create unhappiness, lack of fulfillment and selfishness.

Obviously, we want the former results, so, the question becomes, how do we create lives that are in integrity with our Core Drives? According to Gruder, we must shake off the inauthentic methods we used to survive childhood (coping mechanisms, survival plans, anesthesias, etc.) and learn to live authentically. Part of this means learning from our experiences. It also means getting away from a "me, me, me" attitude and looking toward the collective good. It also involves embracing Gruder's 7 WisePassions: Teachability; Self-care; Discernment; Harvesting; Power; Synergy; and Stewardship. If everyone lived in accordance with these values - if, indeed, they were taught in schools and modeled by parents, government leaders, business executives, etc. - the world would be cured of its many ills. Says Gruder:

Imagine the kind of world that is created when communities, businesses and countries are populated by unfulfilled people who are out of integrity with themselves, their relationships or collective highest good. The picture you will see is the world in which we live today (268).

Now, I don't know if Gruder's book really holds the answers to global harmony, but a worldwide increase in integrity can never be a bad thing. The idea is certainly intriguing.

The New IQ has its interesting points, but, overall, I was a bit bored with it. I felt as if I had heard it all before. Gruder writes with authority, but his style wasn't engaging enough to keep me interested. Furthermore, all of his labels confused me. I couldn't tell if I was a Natural Developer or a Deliberate Developer, a Do-Gooder or a Self-Improver or a Connector. I wasn't sure if I had a Survival Plan or a Redemption Plan, and couldn't tell if I used my Transformation Periods in the way I was supposed to. So, while I thought Gruder's concept was interesting, I found his explanation confusing and dull. I'm still not sure whether I'm living "in integrity" with my Core Drives, but I'm being perfectly honest when I say, The New IQ just wasn't for me.

Grade: C

1 comment:

  1. I honor that "The New IQ" is not for you. I didn't write it for everyone. In truth, it asks an awful lot from its readers. Because I know that, I have been truly delighted that "The New IQ" has won five extremely diverse book awards and has received critical acclaim from people in a wide variety of fields and across the political and faith spectra. The reviews on are overwhelmingly positive. At the same time, I am glad you wrote this review because it might help others for whom "The New IQ" might not be their cup of tea to avoid spending their time reading it. Thank you.


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