Importance of a just cause in an infinite game

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Just cause is a vision which has not been realized but a cause that is worthy enough for believers to even be ready to sacrifice their lives.

The goal of an infinite fame is not to win but to keep playing for the future realization of something bigger than ourselves.

Hence the importance of the just cause especially to a leader to keep the followers engaged.

Thus an organization which enables the employees to work for a just cause are ones where employees end up loving their jobs.

Simon Sinek makes a mention of this in his book titled “The Infinite Game”.

5 essential practices to lead with an Infinite Mindset

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To lead an organization with an infinite mindset , in the infinite game of business , a leader needs to be mindful of the following 5 points:

1) Advance a just cause

2) Build trusting teams

3)Study worthy rivals

4)Demonstrate existential flexibility

5)Have the courage to lead

Simon Sinek very aptly makes a mention of this framework in his book titled “The Infinite Game”.

Why a finite leadership mindset is addictive?

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Though the game of business is infinite , there has been a rise of leaders with a finite mindset trying to run the show in the game of business.

A finite mindset which results in quick short term gains often comes at the sacrifice of employee benefits and empathy.

Terms such as “Number one in the industry” seem very flashy & saleable to the board as well as shareholders.For this simple reason we see CEO’s of modern day organizations obsessed with competition always trying to outwit them rather than wanting to be a better version of their ownselves.

This is addictive like gambling and such short term benefits increase the flow of “dopamine” thus make these short term tactics seductive.In the long run though , these have very detrimental effects for an organization as a whole.

Simon Sinek makes a mention of this in “The Infinite Game”.

Shortcomings of a finite leadership mindset

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According to McKinsey , the average longevity of a S&P 500 firm has been steadily decreasing from an average of 61 years to 18 years.

The primary reason for this has been attributed to a leader’s shift in mindset from infinite to finite.

The moment quarterly numbers become topmost priority , shortcuts like employee layoffs are used to shoot up profits , mistrust , non-cooperation emerge as the biggest byproducts messing up the environment.

Simon Sinek has made this point in his book named “The Infinite Game.”

Leaders with finite mindset and their detrimental effects

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The need is to have leaders with an infinite mindset to ethically play the infinite game of business.

In the quest of attaining short term benefits , leaders with a finite mundset frequently indulge in selfish , unethical & short term tactics.This can range from whimsical employee layoffs to of facts to cover own ass.The cascading effect results in lack of trust & cooperation among the employees.

The futile reactive short term tactics of Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer to counter Apple’s infinite mindset has been very aptly cited by Simon Sinek in Infinite game to highlight the long term benefits of an infinite mindset.

Leadership lessons should thus be oriented towards creating more and more leaders with an infinite mindset.

Victorinox and its Infinite mindset

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Victorinox is the iconic manufacturer of Swiss Army knives which for a long time served as souveneirs or gift items.

80% of its revenues used to come from the sale of these knives.Post 9/11 there was a ban related to carrying these in the hand luggage.This was a huge setback and the jobs of a lot many employees was at stake.

Victorinox believes in playing infinite games and used it cash reserved to encourage and innovate even further to compensate for the loss of revenue from Swiss knives.

This infinite mindset paid rich dividends and led to the birth of watches and fragrances as new product segments.

This example cited from Simon Sinek’s Infinite Game goes a long way in showing why possessing a long term mindset would surpass all obstacles.

The need of an infinite game mindset

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Infinite vs finite game mindset

Simon Sinek’s Infinite Game outlines the need of possessing an infinite mindset in leading our day-to-day lives. This is irrespective of the context be it work or family. Outlined below is a comparison between the two kinds of mindset and the benefits of an infinite mindset.

Finite mindset Infinite mindset
Focus is on the short term Focus is on the long term
Focus is on “Me” Focus is on “Us”
Not achieving expected results leads to stress , anxiety , loss of trust The mindset focuses on betterment of oneself. The focus is to make oneself better by the day.
The focus is on beating the competition The focus is on making a better version of oneself without being fussy about competition
Focus on short term oriented results does not lead to any long term benefits to society Leads to socially beneficial effects
This kind of mindset never leaves a legacy behind Focus is on leaving behind a legacy which can transcend generations

 

How to stimulate left & right brain thinking?

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Motivators to stimulate Left & Right Brain thinking

Our human brain has two hemispheres , the left and the right.

The left brain is used to perform complex calculations , analysis of various algorithms and many such kind of work that do not need any form of conceptual or macro level thinking.

Such kind of micro level analysis & thinking thus are mainly for the short term.Hence in order to stimulate left brain thinking for better short term gains , reward/punishment monetary benefits act as great motivational drivers.

The right brain though is mainly used to connect the dots.It is used for conceptual thinking driven by creativity. Work needing autonomy and creativity needs intrinsic motivation as the driver and hence to stimulate right brain thinking short term rewards e.g. monetary benefits do not work.

Non monetary drivers that encourage autonomy & creativity serve as the perfect recipe for success when it comes to stimulating right brain thinking.

How to Find Your WHY?

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Discovering your own WHY

Find Your Why” is Simon Sinek’s follow up to the best seller named “Start with Why“.

This book teaches individuals as well as groups to find out their respective WHYs in their lives.

In this blog we will focus on a high level overview of the why discovery related to individuals.

Finding our WHY is the recipe to achieve fulfillment in our lives. This in turn would enable “Oxytocin“(the fulfillment chemical) to flow through our veins. Once we realize our WHY we can channelize our energies in the right direction to unleash our best in our personal lives as well as work lives.This would enable us to lead a life free of depression wherein we would try and make ourselves a better version of ourselves rather than comparing ourselves with the rest of the pack.

Realization of WHY cannot happen in silos and would need the help of our acquaintance(s) who are willing to help us and give constructive feedback. This process would take anything between 6 minutes to 6 hours.

Finding an acquaintance with child like inquisitiveness , one who is a great listener who knows the importance of realizing a WHY is the first most important step  to be taken by an individual in order to realize the WHY.

In Summary this process would involve the following steps:

  1. Find an acquaintance who can provide unbiased feedback. The person should have the ability to ask open ended questions and should be a great listener.
  2. The individual whose WHY needs to be discovered should be able to SHARE ALL STORIES that can help bring out important themes and patterns from them. These stories and related facts can be unraveled by asking open ended questions and assimilating all important findings that emanate from the stories.
  3. IDENTIFICATION of THEMES from these stories is needed in order to zero in on the WHY of an individual.
  4. All the identified themes from the shared stories would be able to connect the dots and form a WHY statement in the following format:

          TO___________________________________(this blank is related to the contribution of the individual towards the lives of others around him/her) SO THAT______________________(this blank is related to the impact produced by the contribution)

This is a very high level overview of the WHY discovery of individuals especially for those who have not had the privilege of reading “START WITH WHY” and “FIND YOUR WHY”.To me these books are quintessential for individuals who want to soul search and find a meaning for themselves in their lives in order to make a meaningful contribution to the society.

Pile on motivation!!

Leadership masterclass from Simon Sinek

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Practice being the last to speak as a leader

In one of his wonderful leadership related videos , Simon Sinek mentions the need to “Practice being the last to speak” as a major quality that a true leader needs to possess.This is more than just having good listening skills.

In the video Simon mentions that Nelson Mandela had honed this leadership skill by closely observing his father exhibit this skill during his role as a tribal leader in gatherings.Nelson Mandela used to accompany his father for such meetings.

Practicing being the last to speak is by no means a weak trait of leadership.

It needs great subject matter knowledge , empathy and listening skills in giving  everyone in a group a chance to express their views and collating  the findings at the end.

True principle centered leadership needs empathy , listening skills to make the members in the group feel as if they belong.”Practice being the last to speak” is thus a very key skill in leadership.