Playing the Infinite Game
Wanted to drop and with the leadership minute here for you!
60 years ago, this week, Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut blasted into space and was the first person to ever orbit the earth. During the next many years, the Soviets in the U S get engaged in this race to the moon. You know, one of the things that I think about here is how the Soviets operated and they wanted to win.
They wanted to beat America. The Americans operate in a different sense. By creating NASA, which is an organization that had a bigger viewpoint, a bigger goal to change culture, they were working to change the direction of how we explore the universe. I
I love this book by Simon Sinek called, The Infinite Game where he talks about game theory. Basically, he says there’s two types of games that we play:
- Finite games and
- Infinite games
Finite games are like checkers and chess where you have a winner and you have a loser and when the person who wins you think the game is over. So, it is ultimately about beating your competition.
Infinite games are completely different ballgame. Infinite games are played throughout the course of life, and there is no immediate winner or loser, the leaders who play infinite games are ones who want to change culture. They want to change a scenario. They want to bring about something bigger than themselves. It’s not about just beating their competition or being first to market.
Or winning in the profits, they want to create a whole new way of seeing the world. These are leaders that we often follow, but all of us in our organizations and our personal lives, we all play one of these two games. We either play the “winners and losers’ game” or we’re leading in such a way that we’re changing the lives of people around us. We’re changing the scenarios.
So today, as you go about your day-to-day life, maybe think through this and ask yourself the question:
Am I playing a finite game here today? Or am I living into an infinite game?
No matter what you’re doing, if you’re a business leader, if you’re in your family life and your personal life, we can be part of creating something bigger than ourselves.
And if we are playing the Infinite game – we will never lose!