So what is The Game Within? To understand, let’s first start by explaining The Game Outside.

Horizontal Development: The Game Outside

Traditional leadership development puts its emphasis mainly on horizontal development: What is it that leaders need to learn, and how can we get them to learn it? As a result, we often spend most of our time developing the Outer Game.

Imagine that your mind is the cup below:


Horizontal development aims to pour new content into your cup. It’s all about new knowledge that you as a leader need to attain. But what happens if your cup of knowledge starts getting full? The cup and its contents becomes a limiting factor—there’s only so much you can hold.

Vertical Development: The Game Within

Now imagine that this is your cup:


Vertical development places less emphasis on the content to be poured into your cup, and more focus on your beliefs and mental modals. The aim of vertical development is not to add more content to your cup, but to grow the size of the cup itself! To expand your mental and emotional range and help you to overcome the things inside that may be holding you back from achieving your full potential.

It’s not just about your technical skills.

Technical abilities alone do not make for effective leadership, and still we put so much emphasis on how well we do and how much we know.

What if we stopped focusing on what technical skills we need to learn and instead started to grow our cup? We could use words like integrity, authenticity, centeredness, empathy, fearlessness, compassion, selflessness, collaboration, self-awareness, humility, intuition and wisdom to describe ourselves and our leaders.

This is what The Game Within aims to achieve with vertical development.

Do you want to grow as a leader?

Sign up to receive inspiration in your email inbox and stay inspired to create a massive impact.