There is a hidden game at play in every organization. Your organization’s hidden game is made up of the unspoken rules, unquestioned assumptions, and invisible agreements that define how people work together to get things done. When you don’t know the hidden game exists, it runs you and your business. You aren’t playing the game — the game is playing you.
Are you playing, or are you being played in your organization? Not sure how to make yourself a central player in this game? Sharon Rich, author of ‘Your Hidden Game’ has kindly joined me today to give us an introduction to the invisible games of business. Sharon, what led you to write about the hidden side of business culture?
The book started from experience working in business with people and being at the mercy of the hidden games that we all fall into without knowing we are doing so.
Obviously, without revealing any guilty parties, can you share a little more about your business experiences that are detailed in this book.
I drew on both personal and business experiences from my entire life. The principles in this book totally apply to families, friend groups, religious, athletic and philanthropic organizations as well as to business. The primary experience set I used was from both my 25 plus years as a leader in the advertising world and the last 13 years in which I’ve been consulting with businesses to create high performing teams.
Wow, that’s a huge amount of experience! With that much experience, I would imagine that it might be tricky to limit yourself to a single book. As you look back on how you refined your ideas, what do you feel is the most important message that you wanted to share with your readers?
Just like in sports, if businesses want to perform at a high level, there is no substitute for working out as a team how people will “play” effectively together.
Business is a team sport, but I’m curious to find out if you think writing is the same. Was working on a writing team where you learnt the most when getting this book developed and published, or was there another area where you felt you learnt more?
I have so much passion for the ideas in this book. They have been profound and life-changing for me. Seriously, I feel like I hear angels singing in the background when I think about the miracles these concepts have facilitated in people’s businesses and lives. But, trying to express these adequately in words, sentences and paragraphs was really really hard. I felt I wasn’t doing them justice. As I was rewriting The Third Agreement: What Success Looks Like, for about the fifth time, my publisher said to me: Sharon, you’re trying to give them the whole mountain, when all they really want is a stone. So, I guess what I learned is not to try to do it all at once. A little bit of heaven is just right.
All they really want is a stone. That has to be the most eloquent editing advice I’ve ever heard! But it does mean that you haven’t been able to cover the entire mountain in ‘Your Hidden Game’. Does this mean that you’ve started working on other projects to tackle that mountain?
I’m playing with another business book that digs deeper into the hidden games we play. And, I’m also working on a version of this focused on young adults who are trying to transition successfully into the adult world. I have kids this age and realized that these principles could really help them, too.
Two writing projects and kids to turn into adults, you must be busy! Do you find that the prospect of taking time to write after a busy day with work and kids is something that you find is energizing, or exhausting?
Both! When I am clear and tapped into my inner wisdom, the words and sentences pour through me and it’s such a rush. When I’m not completely clear about what I’m trying to do or say, it can feel like slogging through the thickest muddiest bog…and the writing sounds like it! Times like that, it’s hard for me to even reread what is on the page.
It’s interesting that you find it easy to write when you’re tapped into your inner wisdom. When you’re in this frame of mind, what’s usually at the forefront of your thoughts?
I usually try to picture a client I am currently working with and write as if I’m talking directly to them.
Do you feel that this strategy to have an internal conversation has helped your writing progress?
Has it? I think I’ll be better able to answer this a few books from now!
*Laughs* Fair enough! I’ll ask you again when you have a few more completed books under your belt. Have you started to think about the creation of an author brand to tie all of these upcoming releases together?
As an ex-advertising creative, and as someone running a business, I have thought a lot about branding. As this is my first book, it’s early yet. More will be revealed over time. And, I am thinking that the territory of the Hidden Game is deep and wide and something that I can own.
Business culture, and in particular the hidden business culture is a huge area, and I’m sure that you will find enough material in this arena to keep you writing for many more years to come! Sharon, thanks so much for sharing your love of business culture with us today and I can’t wait to see your next contribution to the dynamic world of business.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Your Hidden Game: Ten Invisible Agreements That Can Make or Break Your Business ( ASIN: B079GQKG6G )‘.
Want to find out more about Sharon Rich? Connect here!