In April of 2019 I had the opportunity to see Simon Sinek speak about his upcoming book. I’d heard Sinek speak a handful of times before so found myself tuning out earlier, anticipating a rehash of previous material.
As my attention began to wane, I felt myself pulled back into his presentation—he was talking about games.
Finite and infinite games
Sinek’s presentation was specifically about finite games, which have a set start and end, and rules, like most sports, and infinite games (players come and go, with no clear rules).
Business, he explained, is an infinite game. Competition comes and goes.
The market shifts. The rules aren’t fixed, nor are they observed by everyone. Yet, we play the game of business like a finite game, focused on winning in set terms.
My gears started turning and just like that, I was hooked. Business isn’t a finite game, that we can truly win. It’s an infinite game, where the focus is building a great company to last. Sinek’s opening prose was enough to start my mindset shift.
The Inifinite Game isn’t your typical business book. It’s a business philosophy book. It’s inspirational, with a clear call-to-action. With it, Sinek clearly wants to inspire a much-needed, massive shift in the way we do business. And I can say with certainty, he inspired me.
The book begins by providing a framework to shift to an infinite mindset. It starts with the pursuit of a “Just Cause”. Your “Just Cause” is a vision for the future that creates purpose and inspiration—it’s what you work toward year after year. It gives us meaning.
Throughout the book, Sinek leads you to question almost every tenant of how we create growing, successful businesses, then punctuates with clear stories of great (or sometimes once-great) businesses.
Leaders who take an infinite mindset build stronger, more resilient and innovative companies that can last for generations. Need proof? Microsoft (while under Gates, not Ballmer), Apple and Kodak (under Eastman). Enough said.
I started with listening to the book, then I read it. During that time, I came to some interesting realizations. Without knowing it, we built Incrementa unConsulting with an infinite mindset. I’ve had countless conversations about how we operate and about our goals with our worthy rivals, leaving me with the clear belief that we’re playing a very different game. And we are.
The Infinite Game: worth a read
The Infinite Game is one of two game-changing books I’ve read this year. I strongly recommend reading it, then taking the necessary time to consider how you can make the shift to an infinite mindset. When you’re ready to talk about it, let’s grab a coffee.