Summarizing WFW

WINNING FROM WITHIN® is a system for understanding the internal sources of our external behavior, a guide to the self that can enhance self-awareness and direct your development as a leader.

This guide can help you avoid your Performance Gap®, the divide between the skilled behavior you know you’re capable of and the mistakes you make again and again in practice. Everyone has a Performance Gap®; when you keep making good plans, then keep doing something else, you’ve found yours.

You can avoid the gap by Negotiating with Yourself. Every person sometimes has conflicting beliefs and wishes, and it helps to see these as coming from different parts of you, each with its own wishes and perspectives. Like any team, you can achieve more when your parts communicate, collaborate, and respect one another. Winning from Within® focuses on four parts in each person that I call the Big Four®:

The Dreamer creates possibilities and invents the future. This part of you is fueled by your imagination and is easily inspired. It can sense a path forward through complexity, intuiting answers and devising new strategies. We see the Dreamer in visionaries like Steve Jobs, J. K. Rowling, and Richard Branson.

The Thinker offers clarity and perspective, seeking precision and watching risks. Your Thinker is motivated by curiosity, skepticism, and intellectual pleasures. It analyze complex problems and integrate novel ideas. We see the Thinker in keen minds like Barack Obama, Christine Lagarde, and Elon Musk.

The Lover builds relationships and cares about other people. The Lover lives your emotional life: love, of course, but also sadness, empathy, and friendship. It can build trust, boost morale, and gather a team. We see the Lover in heartfelt leaders like Pope Francis and power duos like Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The Warrior is committed to holding boundaries and delivering results. Your Warrior is fueled by courage, anger, and the joy of hard work. It can face down adversity, speak hard truths, and commit to get the job done. We see the Warrior in action-oriented leaders like Angela Merkel and Sheryl Sandberg.

No person is fully a Warrior or fully a Lover, so Winning From Within® isn’t a typology. You are a Warrior and a Lover, and a Thinker, and a Dreamer, all at once, in collaboration. People vary in how much they express and embody each one (their Big Four Profile), but all four are present in everyone, always.

That said, if you’ve been suppressing one of your Big Four® you won’t see its gifts manifest for you. The core work of Winning From Within® is to restore life to these dormant parts, so they can close your Performance Gaps®. That happens through the skillful efforts of three other parts, The Transformers:

The Lookout watches your Big Four®, notices patterns, and calls out when you’re near your Performance Gap® to try something new. A healthy lookout cultivates both state-awareness and profile-awareness.

The Captain hears the Lookout’s call and steps in to coordinate the Big Four®. This Captain is the calm, spacious center which holds your other parts. Winning from Within® is about learning to live and lead as your Captain: seeing your Big Four®, honoring all four of them, and making your choices freely.

The Voyager guides the process of development, the heroic journey from who you are to who you could be. This part of you seeks out new experiences that will expand the skills and versatility of your Captain.