“Work is work for stay-at-home Moms as well as high-level managers”
“How does The Inner Game of Work relate to stay-at-home Moms?” asked Genette Smith of “Good Morning, Texas” on the most widely-viewed morning TV program. “Work is work,” I answered “Whether it’s for money or not. Work involves taking responsibility to complete tasks, set priorities, and focus attention. And there’s always an inner game. The job itself doesn’t say why you should do it any more than tennis dictates why you should play. It’s just as easy for a Mom to see her work merely as getting through her list of action items for the day as it is for a corporate executive. If you forget why you are taking Johnny to get a hair cut, making a bed, or marketing – then the meaning is reduced to the mundane and it becomes tiring. But when you do remember why – when you remember the meaning of the tasks you are doing – there can be an entirely different quality of experience.”
In the afternoon, I spoke with 200+ managers from Arco. Having passed through the turmoil of a planned merger with British Petroleum, they found out yesterday that the Federal Trade Commission was going to try to block the merger. Everyone was on an emotional roller coaster. The possibilities of controlling the variables of the Inner Game when they were clearly so out of control of the external variables was a welcome message – at least after they realized that I wasn’t going to try to sugar coat their dilemma or dignify it with an easy answer. The audience drew a passionate statement out of me: in times of external change we all have to reach for the foundations of our internal stability – which ultimately rests on our core desire. Because their turmoil was so real, they seemed to listen more attentively and from a more genuine place. I was told that some were spotted tearing towards the end of the talk. Afterwards about thirty books were sold.
The person who set up the Arco event, Robert Layfield owns with his wife the Little Professor Bookstore where I will do the signing tonight. He has been greatly responsible for the outstanding response in Dallas. The Mayor of McKinney, Texas introduced the evening and told how he had last seen me ten years ago at Arco headquarters in Santa Barbara. The President of the Chamber of Commerce was there as well – all the efforts of Mr. Layfield. The audience was enthusiastic and I went on for almost an hour – many bought books for themselves and friends.