Review: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
I read this book over a period of two weeks, and I discovered that books like this are like a distillation of ideas. Far from introducing a whole new concept, they distil a singular concept from the cloud of thing that are good, and makes that concept stand out to us, clear and shining. In the two weeks in which I read this book on and off, I saw a lot of things and heard people say similar things to what is contained in the book. One of those things was this old video of Steve Jobs wearing shorts and introducing the famous Think Different marketing campaign. It blew my mind. I was like “This is what this bloody mastermind was doing!” It was thanks to this book that it made perfect sense to me that no single Apple product was mentioned in the advertisement. Just a celebration of the ideals that Apple was all about. In fact, it seems all the best ads of my childhood were like that.
The central idea in The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek is that there is no finish line for life, or for business, or for many other things we find ourselves engaged in. And that means that no one can be a winner of life, or of business, or of parenting, or education, etc. That is the idea of the infinite game, it never ends. Success is not final, failue is not fatal. The best players are the ones who play in such a way to perpetuate the game. They play with a goal to keep playing. They aim for a cause or ideal that is bigger than them, that is beyond finite short term or even long term results, stock markets and valuations, etc.
Businesses that embrace the infinite mindset are the ones that thrive for very long. It is as in the opening poem of the book:
And when our lives are over,
those who joined us on the path to fulfillment
will keep going without us and
inspire others to join them too.
Leaders with an infinite mindset prioritize will over resources, trust over performance, and possess existential flexibility, which is “the capacity to initiate an extreme disruption to a business model or strategic course in order to more effectively advance a Just Cause”.