Business owners who practice conscious capitalism are having a huge impact on the world. And as the world continues to change, more and more people are awakening to the sense that there is something off with the old ways of business. Is there a better way to make money and help people? David Gruder is an 11-award-winning clinical and organizational psychologist whose mission is to elevate leaders to create a happy and sustainable society. David joins host Justin Recla to discuss how conscious capitalism makes integrity profitable.
Welcome to Incorporating SuperPowers. I’m your host, Justin Recla, and today we’re talking to one of my long time friends in the business world, one of my very first mentors, one of the people that, and probably the key person, that’s helped keep our business on track with integrity above all else. He’s known as America’s integrity expert, I am honored to call him my friend and my brother, Dr. David Gruder. David, thanks for being on the show today.
My pleasure, and I feel like you’re my brother too, so it’s perfect.
This is good stuff. You and I have gotten on, we’ve done Facebook lives, and we’ve done all sorts of rants and F bombs, and people get to see a whole different side of Dr. David Gruder through some of our interviews. Today we’re going to do things a little bit different. Not saying the F bomb might not come out, but I’m just saying that this is a little bit more structured. I want to be a little bit more focused here.
One of the things that we talked about discussing was how the concept of conscious capitalism and how that makes integrity profitable, and this is so, so important because we’ve seen so much in the development of business, right, and we’ve talked about conscious capitalism, and we talked about integrity, but let’s tie it all in.
But before we get to that, I want to know, what does conscious capitalism mean to you, and let’s just call out the elephant in the room.
So two questions: What does conscious capitalism mean to you and why? What is the elephant in the room around business or why people are so hungry for conscious capitalism?
Great questions. Well, what conscious capitalism means to me is utilizing all of the blessings that capitalism as an economic structure can offer to businesses and to countries, to economies, without running afoul of the downside of basically sociopathic capitalism. So conscious capitalism, for me, is basically in that phrase inside of our title for today, it is making integrity profitable.
I think that, you know, a lot of businesses feel or at least the old ways a business feel, are not being authentic, selling snake oil, overselling, over promising, under delivering. It’s the speaker on the front of the stage who says, “Buy my stuff, it’s going to make your life great,” but then you look behind the curtain and the veil of who they are, how they live their life, and you can see that their life is not what you want, so why would you buy their stuff?
It’s the same thing for corporations. We’ve seen it in the speaker arena. It really doesn’t matter what industry people are in, right? It’s this drive or what’s driving people to connect with others. So in that, what is the biggest push that you’re seeing right now, across the board, for where business is going?
Well, I am seeing businesses move more and more toward conscious capitalism. Back in the day, when this notion really first gathered initial critical mass, which was back in the very late nineties, it was initially called corporate social responsibility, and they were talking about what was called the TBL, the triple bottom line, which is profits, people, planet. So there’s no way to be in conscious integrous capitalism if only being focused on profits. If profits are part of a tripod, let’s just call it that way, a tripod of profits, people and planet, then we’re golden.
All three parts are very distorted, first of all, because people, even in business, have incredibly distorted notions of what money is, and when they have distorted notions of what money is, they have distorted notions about what capitalism is, and when they have distorted notions about what capitalism is, they either become very, very unethical or they become very, very allergic to being profitable. They go in one of two directions. So we can unpack it. We can unpack any of this that you want to go into more detail on, but..
Yeah. Really, the thing that really caught my attention there, and I think this is something that entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs, get caught on, is the piece that really triggered me, was getting allergic to profit. Right? I see this. I’ve seen this with a lot of our clients that we assist, and there’s this mindset that money equals whatever, therefore I can’t make any money because all I want to do is put good in the world.
Is that what you’re talking about?
Yes, and I consider that very common attitude among people who are really motivated to do good things in the world, many people who are motivated in that way, to be money shadow, that reflects a shadow relationship with money, an allergy to it. We have, in our society, I see, just for the sake of over simplification, two groups in society around money.
One group insists that in order to be profitable, you have to be willing to sacrifice personal integrity, wellbeing, cherished relationships, social responsibility, et cetera, et cetera, and the other group insists that in order to maintain personal integrity, social responsibility, life balance, wellbeing, cherished relationships, you have to be willing to sacrifice financial wellbeing. Both of these two groups are equally and oppositely insane.
I can’t agree with you more. It’s almost like it’s a disease, right? Like you said, it’s like an allergy of whatnot, and ironically, what the people that have this allergy don’t realize is that money is going to be the thing that allows you to implement the change that you’re wanting to do, correct?
Right? Money is just an amplifier, right?