Playing “Infinite Games” to make your competition irrelevant

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Over the past few months I have had the good fortune of watching numerous Simon Sinek videos on “Infinite Games”.

One such talks about the merit of playing “infinite games” to make competition irrelevant.

A player of “infinite games” tries to make oneself a better version by the day without being fussy about what the competition is doing.

Such a player knows the merits of experimentation to come up with something revolutionary , while being cognizant of the fact that failure is part and parcel of all such experimentation.

This is why the projections and targets are not based on any competitor but reakustic goals based on the vision the company sets for itself.

Since creativity is driven by right hemisphere thinking of the brain & thrives in a conducive atmosphere all such organizations are able to create and nurture talent who feel motivated to create something revolutionary.

This is why playing “infinite games” in business as well as personal life is the way forward.

Playing “Infinite Games” in business

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Simon Sinek’s youtube videos on Infinite Games being played in business , have the following key takeaways.

Businesses who prefer playing infinite games:

  1. Know that they need to make a better version of themselves by the day.This is the reason they do not compare themselves with others
  2. Are not obsessed with beating the competition , they are obsessed with trying to make themselves and their products each and every day they operate.
  3. Their goals are not short term oriented , they go long and choose long term gains over short term quick fixes.
  4. Are rational in realizing that their products and strategies are bound to be unsuccessful at times , they just take these in their stride and move on.

The joy of playing “infinite games” – Simon Sinek quote

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Most of us are by now familiar with the concept of “infinite games” as preached by Simon Sinek.To summarize , playing “infinite games” ensure that we compete with ourselves rather than being bothered about the competition.The following quote by Simon Sinek wonderfully explains the need of playing “infinite games”.

“We’d achieve more if we chased our dreams instead of our competition.” — Simon Sinek

Why playing “infinite games” is the way to go

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If you follow Simon Sinek , like the way I do , you would have come across the concept of “Infinite Games”. I have watched myriad videos on youtube wherein Simon has preached and explained the meaning & importance of playing infinite games for achieving fulfillment for individuals as well as business entities.

Please find below the link to a most recent video of his wherein he explains about “infinite games” and also provides a checklist that qualifies any entity to engage in playing infinite games.

Very briefly let us look at the concept. The individual mentioned below can refer to any individual person , business , education institution , hospital or any such entity.

Playing infinite games means that we should not compare ourselves with others and should try and create a better version of ourselves by the day. An infinite player knows that sometimes he will be ahead and sometimes he will lag hence he would believe in the journey and not short term benefits. Winning does matter but when we fall behind it makes us realize our shortcomings to help pull up our socks for the days to come.

This way we would compete with ourselves instead of having to bother and get bogged down by competition. This would help unleash the best in us and as long as we have put our best efforts we should be satisfied. Sometimes we win and sometimes we do not but such lessons learnt would enrich us by the day and indeed help us in achieving greater successes in the future.

Easier said than done this requires a lot of soul searching , grit , determination and courage.

The checklist mentioned by Simon in his video consists of the following.

  1. Having a just cause – This is the burning reason or desire of an individual to play and infinite game. Without an intrinsic sense of motivation and associated passion the journey would not be possible to embark on.
  2. Courageous leadership – As mentioned being a true leader needs a lot of sacrifice to win in the long run brushing aside enticements of short term benefits. To have an “abundance mentality”  in order to  achieve this , requires lot of mental strength and fortitude.
  3. Trusting teams – Without winning as a group we will never achieve fulfillment.Having faith in self as well as teams is the basic essence of having the right kind of mentality to be able to play infinite games.
  4. Worthy Rival – A worthy rival or any kind of major hindrance would be one the best inspiration to play infinite games.
  5. Flexible playbook – Not having a rigid mindset , to be able to collaborate with like minded people who believe in what we believe would give us the right kind of energy and zeal to pursue such a difficult journey.

Infinite game it must be said is a journey and not a destination.The destination may seem near but as we come nearer the milestone would change , destination would get blurred and hence this is not for the faint hearted who would rather back out and settle for some short term gains.

Pile on motivation!!!!

Comparison v/s Advancement , what do we prefer?

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I have been following Simon Sinek’s lessons about leadership and the simplicity with which he conveys his leadership related messages is a real treat.

Some of the best takeaways from his numerous videos on youtube, his famous books are like:

1) Serving those who serve others would give us fulfillment and would enable oxytocin to flow through our veins which will make us intrinsically happy

2) Finite games v/s infinite games of game theory extended to business – Be a player of infinite games wherein you try to make yourself a better version of yourself every single day without comparing yourself with others…Going for comparisons and short term games gives birth to depression , jealously and can prevent us from giving our best

Those who are engaged in infinite games go for advancement as opposed to comparison by those who are engaged in finite games.

3) Nervousness v/s excitement – Deliberate practice and hard work can help transform nervousness to excitement where both have the same visible effects e.g. sweating of palms , increase of heart beat whereas the way we make use of excitement has a much more profound effect than nervousness.

4) The symbols that we send to others in terms of the way to talk , engage will help us meet and be with people who believe in what we believe.In case we find such people they would give their blood , sweat and tear and trust would naturally flow.The basis of this is that we as human beings crave for social bonds being social animals and historically the way culture and country have been formed the same applies to formation of companies and teams as well.

Pile on motivation..