Mastering Your Inner Game: Making the Shift From Overwhelm to Impactful

Who is an Executive?

In the last issue I presented insights from Peter Drucker’s seminal book on management, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (1967 & 2006). In the Fast Company article, “Who Is an Executive?” Drucker said, “I have called ‘executives’ those knowledge workers, managers, or individual professionals who are expected, by virtue of their position or their knowledge, to make decisions in the normal course of their work that have an impact on the performance and results of the enterprise.”

What is The Inner Game?
In 1971 Tim Gallwey was working as a tennis coach. He was on sabbatical before finding a serious job after being the captain of the Harvard tennis team. One day he noticed that when he left the court briefly, by the time he returned, a student who had been stuck with a technical problem had improved — without his help. Tim started to develop a new way of coaching, which focused on enhancing the student’s awareness of what was happening with the ball, the racket and the student’s own body.

First published in 1972, The Inner Game of Tennis was a real revelation. Instead of focusing on technique, it concentrated on the fact that every game is composed of two parts, an inner game and an outer game. The inner game takes place within the mind of the player and is played against such obstacles as fear, self-doubt, lapses in focus, and limiting concepts or assumptions. The outer game is played on an external arena to overcome external obstacles to reach an external goal. It is played against opponents and is filled with lots of contradictory advice.

Gallwey’s revolutionary Inner Game thinking became a method to overcome the self-imposed obstacles that prevent an individual or team from accessing their full potential. The Inner Game was a primer on how to get out of your own way to let your best game emerge. It was sports psychology before the two words were pressed against each other and codified into an accepted discipline.

Actually, in every human endeavor there are two arenas of engagement, both the inner and the outer. After a series of sports related books about golf, skiing, etc., in 2001, Tim Gallwey revealed his explorations into the world of work. In The Inner Game of Work, Tim presents a challenge to reexamine the fundamental motivations for going to work in the morning and the definitions of work once you’re there. He asks you to reassess the way you make changes and teaches you to look at work in a radically new way.

Knowledge Worker and Mastery Over Self

The Effectiveness Mastering Your Inner Game Process combines Tim Gallwey’s Inner Game thinking with what Peter Drucker said in his 2008 classic Harvard Business review article, “Managing Oneself”, Drucker said, “Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how they best operate.” Fast forward to 2020, for these reasons, The Effectiveness Mastering Your Inner Game™ process includes assessments that measure what Gallwey and Drucker were teaching years ago and applies it to the knowledge-based enterprises.

Next Issue: Time Mastery

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