Playing a Bigger Game!
I have had the pleasure of working with Rick Tamlyn, author of Play Your Bigger Game. He and Lara Whitworth, author of Co-Active Coaching, which is a must read for all students in our Fundamentals and Mastery of Performance Coaching program, are truly bigger game players.
What does it mean to play a bigger game you might ask? Some might say “I am already working as hard as I can” or “I can’t take anything more on”. Playing a bigger game is not about working harder. It really is about learning to play YOUR bigger game – using what fuels you, what you are passionate about, and where you yearn to make a difference.
I believe each of us have a bigger game within us. When I was a young professional, I did not know it but I had an innate desire to play a bigger game. Any time there was a new opportunity or a challenge to do something different, I was in the game. Today, as a professional performance coach, I am always coaching people to play their bigger game. There are 9 requirements to Playing a Bigger Game. Rick uses the metaphor of a big game board in which you are always moving to a new square; each one giving you key opportunities to win at your bigger game.
ALIGNED WITH PURPOSE: The first place I start is with my purpose. What is it that I want to create that fills me with excitement and vision? Two years ago it became the opportunity to go to China to work with the InVision Leadership Team as they prepared to play their bigger game by bringing a coaching context into the organization.
HUNGER: Then I look at what I am truly hungry for. I had been training and certifying coaches in the U.S. for 12 years and I was HUNGRY to teach coaching in new areas of the world – to share my knowledge and passion for coaching.
LEAVE COMFORT ZONE: I must be willing to step out of my comfort zone. I never imagined doing what I am doing today. The thought of working in China was beyond my imagination. So of course I was challenged to leave my comfort zone.
ASSESS: There are times when you are playing a bigger game that you must stop and assess where you are before you can make your next move. Playing a bigger game means that you must think in new ways in order to really create something new.
SUSTAINABILITY: Choosing to play a bigger game means that you are creating something bigger than yourself – something that will sustain itself long after you have been a part of it. I can think of so many people that I have coached who took on playing a bigger game and went on to create new companies, employ hundreds of people and become leaders in their industry. They were certainly looking to build something that was sustainable. I work in China so that what is created with professional coaches will sustain itself.
ENROLL ALLIES: Any bigger game player must have allies because no one can do anything sustainable without allies. This means bigger game players must be excellent at enrollment and aligning purpose and vision with others to collaborate and have the greatest impact.
INVEST: Paying a bigger game also requires that you invest; not just time and money. Many times I coach people to look at how they must invest mind, body and spirit. This is where the test of real commitment shows up. I believe in the philosophy that 100% is possible 100% of the time, but I must be in the bigger game 100% in order to achieve this.
BIG GULP: One of the last places I step into and check out is – does this bigger game pass the Big Gulp Test. That means it is like jumping into the middle of thin air. Many of you have heard me say “that’s not fear – that’s excitement!” The body responds to both physiologically the same. When I know I am playing a bigger game, I know it must pass the Big Gulp Test. That is what I did when I left a very successful corporate career and “retired” to become a coach at the age of 38.
Last, of course, is the BOLD ACTION – “Just do it!” as Nike says.
Then I start moving around the bigger game board all over again. Check my purpose, assess my resources, enroll my allies, keep investing 100% and stay hungry for what it is that I want to create. The bigger game is not hard; it is the most exciting way to live as far as I am concerned and I love coaching my clients to jump into their bigger game.
So there is no stopping you – just get clear on your purpose and start playng your bigger game!!!
Warmest wishes, Barbara