How do people who are comfortable with finite games like football or chess learn to flourish in a world that operates with an infinite mindset? In his latest book, The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek explains how leaders must learn to operate with the understanding that business isn’t about winning or losing—it’s about being ahead or being behind.
With finite games, players are easily identified, rules are fixed, and there is a clear end point. In the infinite games of business or politics, players come and go, rules are changeable, and there is no defined end point. The keys to navigating with an infinite mindset are to focus on innovation and to remain resilient during constantly changing times.
We can all too easily see the results of leaders who operate with a finite mindset—mass layoffs, cut-throat work environments, shareholder supremacy (placing stock prices above a person’s worth), and unethical business practices. These practices are so common that many have come to accept them.
But Sinek believes the situation will change when leaders operate with an infinite mindset. These leaders leave the company better than they found it because they serve and foster employees’ willingness to show up, work hard, and take care of each other. These leaders build trusting work environments where people depend on each other to make remarkable things happen.
Above all, Sinek wants to build a world where most people wake up inspired every morning, feel safe at work, and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. With leaders who think beyond short term and focus on the long term, this kind of world is possible. Leaders who operate with an infinite mindset will build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations that will lead us into the future.