Simon Sinek is best known for popularizing the concept of ‘WHY’ in his 2009 TED Talk, making it the most-watched TED talk of all time. Simon talks leadership, and shares why having a finite perspective in business puts you on the losing end of an otherwise infinite game.
[3:15] There are two types of games: Finite games, which have known players, fixed rules, and a winner and a loser. Infinite games have known and unknown players. The rules are changeable and there’s no finish line.
[4:15] When we play to win in a game that has no finish line, there is a decline in trust, cooperation, and innovation.
[4:35] There are five ways to adjust your business to the game we’re in.
- Your business has to work to advance a just cause.
- Build trusting teams.
- Study worthy rivals.
- Have a capacity for existential flexibility.
- The courage to lead.
[7:00] When we hit the goal, it’s very exciting, but just like working out; it doesn’t stop. We have to keep doing it for the rest of our lives.
[8:40] In our society, we tend to gamify our goals, but it goes against our longer-term goals.
[10:10] There is a decline of loyalty in companies. Companies are not loyal to people, and therefore people aren’t loyal to them.
[12:05] It is the leader’s responsibility to create an environment where trust can exist.
[15:00] The difference between being stressed at work and passionate about work is whether or not we believe in what we’re doing and that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
[16:35] We become obsessed with our competitors and try to beat them because we are obsessed with the finite game. The way we define what’s ‘number one’ is arbitrary.
[22:15] During the pandemic, we’re forced to change and re-invent ourselves as people and as the business.
[27:50] The internet put a lot of companies out of business and that took decades. The pandemic is doing the same but over days/weeks.
[29:40] Instead of thinking in one- or two-year terms, or even 10-year terms, think in 1,000-year terms. This would be at least our fourth pandemic, by now.
[33:25] The younger generation has seen first-hand the failings of the way we run businesses now. This pandemic will affect them the way the war affected our grandparents.
[36:15] You can’t achieve success in five steps or in seven steps, yet business magazines are writing to grab our short attention spans.
[39:15] Remember, in business, it’s the journey. It is the journey. It’s not the destination — that’s what motivates us.
[42:30] Let yourself grieve during these traumatic times. You are experiencing trauma and it’s okay to ask for help.
Quotable Quotes“Working hard for something we don’t care about is stress. Working for something we love is called passion.” Click To Tweet The language of so many leaders today is about being number one or being the best, but based on what? Click To Tweet “There is no such thing as winning in a game that has no finish line.” Click To Tweet “We actually have to adjust the way we think about our businesses to play for the game we’re actually in.” Click To Tweet Most of our goals are arbitrary numbers with arbitrary dates. Click To Tweet “The only true competitor in business is ourselves.” Click To Tweet “Gone are the days when someone works to get a gold watch. There’s an entire generation of employees that have no idea what I’m talking about.” Click To Tweet “We have no choice but to change. We have to throw out the old business model.” Click To Tweet People don’t fear change. They fear sudden change. Click To Tweet
Beyond the Uniform offers over 300 free episodes to help military Veterans succeed in their civilian career. This includes overviews of potential career paths, deep dives on necessary skills to succeed, and reviews of other free services that support the military Veteran community. You can find more info at BeyondTheUniform.org.
The Leadership Podcast is proud to announce a new initiative with thoughtLEADERS to provide very short podcasts called “chalk talks.” They’re “bitesize” hacks on common (but challenging) leadership issues. Interested in learning more?
You can only access the Chalk Talks by subscribing to our newsletter at The Leadership Podcast.