Tim Gallwey taught us that every game consists of two parts.
The outer game is played in the external environment.
For leaders, it’s the challenge of transitioning to a remote workforce, or attaining certain performance goals, or adapting to changing technologies.
The inner game is about how you navigate and improve your inner world.
For leaders, it’s dealing with the fear of the unknown, the doubt of whether you have what it takes to lead in a new world, the judgment when you fail to make the right decision.
Most leaders spend too much time trying to control the outer game and too little time trying to master the inner game.
Yet, inner mastery provides the leader with incredible leverage. It allows them to face the craziness of the world with a calm and focused mind.
Learning a new skill is quite easy. I have no doubt that most leaders will be more than competent in the technical components of leading remote teams in no time.
The true challenge will be:
- Becoming a better learner
- Letting go of old stories
- Developing more empathy
- Cultivating perseverance and resilience
- Updating mental models that are outdated
It’s vital that leaders engage in the inner game of leadership.
As Tim says, “In short, the inner game is played to overcome all habits of mind which inhibit excellence in performance.”