Global Leadership Summit 2018: Are You Playing a Finite or Infinite Game?

winning game life 1

Simon Sinek challenged leaders to think about the type of game they’re playing. Do you play a finite game with defined players, fixed rules, and definition of how the game comes to an end? Or, would you like to play an infinite game, where people play to continue playing, rules change, and winning is just a moment in time defined by who’s ahead or behind. When a business decides to play an infinite game, Simon provides key truths on how to stay winning. Infinite game players have:

  1. A just cause
  2. Trusting teams
  3. A worthy rival
  4. Existential flexibility
  5. The courage to lead

Does your business have one, two, or all of the infinite game characteristics? Read on for how Sinek expands on each fundamental characteristic.

A Just Cause

A vision statement for a positive business must be resilient to culture and technology change. A change in technology should not wipe out a company. A vision should be inclusive to anyone who wants to contribute. Its primary benefit should be for others and not the contributor. Although they will benefit from a successful enterprise, the vision should not be to serve the shareholders. How many times have you read a vision statement that includes “…enabling value creation and attractive returns to our shareholders”?

Trusting Teams

Trusting teams believe they can be themselves and their best selves. Leaders ask how they can create an environment where people are comfortable being vulnerable in their weaknesses. Trusting teams ask for help and know others have their back.

Worthy Rival

A business playing an infinite game welcomes worthy rivals, because they push and make a company better. Think of a rival as the pacer in a race. Tactical rivals help businesses improve their products and services.

Existential Flexibility

Will you blow up your business when the business model no longer works? Companies with existential flexibility will do what it takes to stay in the infinite game. Are you prepared to cannibalize your own sales?

The Courage to Lead

When pressures are overwhelming for short-term profits, do you have the courage to live out the first four characteristics?

My Leadership Thoughts

If you can say you’re mastering the five infinite characteristics and winning in your business or profession, don’t stop there! What about the rest of life? What does it mean to have an infinite life? An infinite marriage? An infinite fill in the blank? Human life is finite, because it has an end. However, life is more meaningful when you play it as an infinite game.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

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