By Erin Miller —
You know you have a professional on the stage when they walk out and just dive into a compelling story. No introduction. No good morning. Simon Sinek starts speaking, the crowd silences and you could hear a pin drop!
Simon starts to discuss the Vietnam war. He spoke about how the U.S. was out to decimate our enemy. However, they won every battle and lost the war. What happened? We don’t fully understand what it means to win or lose. The U.S. lost the will and the resources to win the war. They were playing a finite game.
Simon taught us there are finite games and infinite games. In finite games, we all agree on the rules, how the game is played, and then the game ends. An infinite game is defined as having known and unknown players. When we pit an infinite player against an infinite player, the system is stable. Problems arise when finite players play to win and infinite players, play to keep the game going.
The key to an infinite game is having the will and resources to keep the game going. What most leaders don’t realize is that business is an infinite game. There’s no such thing as “winning” in business. The language of the businesses that say they want to be number one or they want to “win,” those businesses don’t know what game they’re in.
The clear majority of businesses are making decisions in a finite game but they’re playing an infinite game. When the will and resources are gone at a company, it’s called bankruptcy, or it’s a merger or acquisition. A clear majority of companies are playing to be number one and not playing to sustain their will and resources so they can be around for a long time.
An Infinite player understands that sometimes you have a better product and sometimes your competitor does. In an infinite game, there is only ahead or behind.
Our will and resources are the fuel that make the car go. If you fail to check that you have these five things below, you will be an infinite player in a finite game.
Final point, what does it mean to live an infinite life? We come and go but life continues with us or without us.
Some might live their lives by the rules of the finite game. That means you wake up every single day and accumulate money and power. It’s exhausting and stressful. At the end of life, you don’t win life, you just die.
Or, we can choose to live a life on the infinite game. It’s not about the impact you can make on your life, it’s about the impact you can make on other’s lives.
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