The Inner Game of Leadership

How do we prepare leaders for a future that’s perpetually in flux?

It often feels to me that we create a mold for what leadership should look like (by predicting the skills, qualities, and characteristics that will be required for the future).

And then we pour our leaders into it. We shape them.

I get this approach. But it seems limiting.

Perhaps newly minted leaders need this kind of shaping. But experienced, high-agency leaders would benefit more from expansion than shaping.

The way to do that is to focus their attention on the inner game of leadership.

For example, leaders know they need to be digitally savvy, that they must learn to lead remotely. They don’t need you to tell them that.

What they need more than your mold is to understand the resistance within them that prevents them from making such changes. To identify the thinking patterns and behaviors that disrupt their flow.

Of course, a blended approach is best. Your time is wasted training for a sword fight when the enemy shows up with tanks. So, know what you need to prepare for.

But we should make a more concerted effort to allow the highly-intelligent, brilliant people that we have hired to use their intuition and feel for where they need to go next.