Mastering The Act of True Leadership by Playing The Inner Game


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We are at a time in history that the most conscious person in the room is the leader.


We learn early in life how important it is to possess leadership skills. We watch some of our mentors strut through the world with what we might imagine as “inbuilt” leadership skills.

As adults, we are all leaders in our own right, but to be acknowledged as a leader, they’ll tell you to “work harder,” “take no breaks,” and “don’t stop competing.”

Leadership comes with high expectations, and when we don’t meet up with those expectations, we judge ourselves. This self-judgment will naturally trigger an incessant chatter inside your head.

You might tell yourself things like “I am not good enough,” “I am not smart enough,” or “I am a failure.” I was once stuck in this abyss of incessant chatter, and I can tell you that it’s not a good place to stay. When I paused and shook myself free from all the things that I’ve been told that leaders should be, I realized that I had been playing the wrong game all along.

Outstanding leadership involves connecting with our innermost selves. It focuses less on talent and abilities, and focuses more on intuition, character, and self-awareness. That is why working at these depths and developing our “Inner Game” are more needed to master true leadership.

According to Timothy Gallwey, the Inner Game focuses on two aspects of the human mind- the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is the part of our mind that passes judgment, and convinces us that we are not doing enough. However, when we master our Inner Mind game, we’ll be able to silence the conscious mind, and strengthen our subconscious mind enough to acquire new knowledge, and turn them into unique leadership skills.

When I made that conscious decision to master my Inner Game, I focused majorly on reprogramming my subconscious mind, and I was rewarded with more skills than I imagined. I didn’t only become a great leader, I became a disciplined and successful entrepreneur. I became a professional listener and a fitness enthusiast. You could say I began becoming a better version of myself.

Unlike any other game, the Inner Game does not require you to play against competitors, it is a personal integration with your insecurities, in order to discover the parts of yourself that are still trapped by fear and self-doubt.

In order to master your Inner Game, there are three basic steps you must take.

Firstly, you must first silence the hypercritical voice of your conscious self. To do this, you need to extend integration over your insecurities in order for you to unpack the beliefs you have about your leadership abilities and yourself.

You can begin by asking yourself questions like: “Are the thoughts my insecurity pushes into my head really true?” “Am I really the person these insecurities and fears say that I am?” Answer these questions as honestly as you can, write those answers out, and figure out what this new information means to you and your leadership abilities.

Secondly, you need to accept that you can’t control everything, make a list of the things that’s outside of your control, consciously accept that those things are outside of your control- worrying about them compromises your performance on other fronts that are within your control.

And thirdly, you need to master the act of concentration in order to silence your conscious mind, and focus more on strengthening your subconscious mind. I know these three steps are not as easy as they sound, but the result is going to be worth every effort you put into it.

Playing the Inner Game will help you realize that the outer game forces you to compete against others, when the true competition is between you and your insecurities.

Related: A Leadership Roadmap for Sustainability Success

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