Hooper Leadership Coaching
Accelerating Leaders


Thoughts on Leadership

Leader's Inner Game

Businessman With Boxing Gloves
Businessman With Boxing Gloves

As leaders, we face ambiguity, huge changes, and the need to influence others. At times it is helpful to explore our attitudes or the "inner game" before we go out to do battle. Recently, I have been evaluating my own leadership in various areas. It has been painful at times and very encouraging at others.

One insight emerged: I have limiting beliefs which prevent me from stepping out boldly with humility to take on new challenges. Wrestling these limiting beliefs to the mat is helping me gain greater confidence to step out and take risks.

These are some of the great benefits of doing an Inner Game of the Leader Evaluation:

  • Deeper awareness and understanding of one’s leadership
  • Greater resilience
  • Ability to navigate volatility, complexity, and change
  • Ability to get results and still have strong relationships
  • Greater responsibility for our impact
  • Deeper sense of alignment with our calling
  • Ability to have a positive mindset for any given situation

Leadership is the courage to admit mistakes, the vision to welcome change, the enthusiasm to motivate others, and the confidence to stay out of step when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune. -- E.M. Estes

There are 12 aspects of the Inner Game of the Leader evaluation. These are helpful to evaluate on our own or with a coach who can guide us through each. Since this is a blog, I will mention the top three which have helped me.

1. What are my Common Limiting Beliefs?

“I have to do things perfectly or I won’t do it.” This has paralyzed my leadership because perfection is not attainable.

Adopting the view of “good is good enough” has brought more freedom and confidence to get started. For most people, this attitude could lead to mediocrity, but for a perfectionist, good is actually good enough.

Other limiting beliefs you may have:

  • I can’t count on anyone to do things as well as I can.
  • I like the feeling of being needed by my staff.
  • When things go even a little bit wrong, I need to take over.

2. How can I Develop Mastery?

Using the “One Thing” principle, here are some helpful questions to help you develop mastery:

  • Given the strategic challenges my organization faces, what are the crucial areas of expertise that I must possess to be the best?
  • Knowing what I know about myself, what situations might arise to cause me to give up my path to mastery?
  • As I formally declare my mastery of ____, what benefits will that bring to my organization, team and professional development?

3. How can I Be Fulfilled Now?

Applying the principle of contentment--want what you already have, these questions can open up a positive attitude for you and those you lead:

  • What are my beliefs about fulfillment and work?
  • What would it take to make my current assignment or project the most extraordinary career experience I have ever had?
  • How could the team I lead to operate like superstars?

These are just 3 of the 12 areas which you can explore. If you would like to do the full evaluation, let’s schedule a time to talk!

What are your most paralyzing limiting beliefs and how can you counteract them with the truth?