Book Review: "The Infinite Game," by Simon Sinek

I'm a huge Simon Sinek fan. When I got the opportunity to see him speak at the Global Leadership Summit, I assumed it would be content from one of his earlier books, "Leaders Eat Last" or "Start with Why." Instead, he discussed his upcoming book, "The Infinite Game."

Sinek explained the difference between infinite games and finite games. Finite games have known players, fixed rules, and a clear objective. On the other hand, infinite games have known and unknown players, the rules can change at any time, and the objective is to stay in the game as long as possible. Sinek challenges the way we view business today. He explained that business is not a finite game. "There is no winning in business." These words stuck with me, and I was hooked on the concept.

In this book, Simon Sinek has developed a framework that is designed to change the way we view business and leadership. For us to develop an infinite mindset, we need five things: a just cause, courageous leadership, trusted teams, a worthy rival and a flexible playbook. Sinek utilizes his amazing ability for storytelling to illustrate the framework for and benefits of developing an infinite mindset. He poses questions that challenge the way we do business today and answers those questions with concrete examples. The inspiring and captivating stories make the concepts in the book much more memorable.

"Our lives are finite, but life is infinite," Sinek states. He goes on to say, "...If we choose to live our lives with a finite mindset, it means we make our primary purpose to get richer or promoted faster than others. To live our lives with an infinite mindset means that we are driven to advance a cause bigger than ourselves."

Julian Watkins, PORCH Initiative executive director and founder of The Growth Journey

These concepts have obvious application to the business and professional world, but I have found them applicable to my personal life, as well. Growing up, I always had the idea that I never wanted to fail at anything and that my financial status determined my success. It created a lot of internal conflict, selfishness and feelings of failure. I was a finite player in the infinite game of life. "The Infinite Game" shows us that finite players in an infinite game will always lose because they are playing to win a game that was never meant to have a winner.

As executive director of PORCH Initiative and founder of The Growth Journey, these principles are extremely important. My goal is to help these organizations become focused on creating lasting change now and for the future. It might mean that we make decisions that seem like short-term losses. It might mean that we make mistakes along the way. We know the world will change, and we know that we will face new challenges. The key to our success will be remaining flexible and maintaining the infinite mindset.

I am constantly reminded by the words of Simon Sinek that there is no such thing as winning in business, and there is no such thing as winning at life. We just have to develop an infinite mindset and stay in the game.