Sinek Simon - The Infinite Game [Full Business Audiobook]
Full Business Audiobook with Subtitles
The Infinite Game is a book by Simon Sinek published in 2019. The book is an application of ideas from James P. Carse's similarly titled book, Finite and Infinite Games, to the domain of business and organizational structure. Sinek begins by summarizing Carse's distinction between two different types of games: finite games (e.g. chess and football) which are played for the purpose of ending play consistent with static rules and infinite games (e.g. business and politics) which are played for the purpose of continuing play. Sinek claims that leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, aligned with infinite play, will build stronger, more innovative, inspiring, resilient organizations, though these benefits may accrue over larger timescales than benefits associated with a finite mindset.
Sinek argues that business fits all the characteristics of an infinite game, notably that: there may be known as well as unknown players; new players can join at any time; each player has their own strategy; there is no set of fixed rules (though law may operate as semi-fixed rules); and there is no beginning or end. Further drawing on Carse's work, Sinek extends the distinction between end states in finite games to claim that business, when viewed through an infinite mindset, does not have winners and losers, but rather players who simply drop out when they run out of the will, the desire, and/or the resources to continue play. According to Sinek, it follows that business leaders should stop thinking about who wins or who is the best and start thinking about how to build and sustain strong and healthy organizations.
Leaders who want to adopt an infinite mindset must follow five essential practices:
Advance a Just Cause
Build Trusting Teams
Study their Worthy Rivals
Prepare for Existential Flexibility
Demonstrate the Courage to Lead.
In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.
In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.
The more Simon started to understand the difference between finite and infinite games, the more he began to see infinite games all around us. He started to see that many of the struggles that organizations face exist simply because their leaders were playing with a finite mindset in an infinite game. These organizations tend to lag behind in innovation, discretionary effort, morale and ultimately performance.
The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.
Simon now believes that the ability to adopt an infinite mindset is a prerequisite for any leader who aspires to leave their organization in better shape than they found it.