There are two kinds of games in life, leadership expert Simon Sinek said: Finite games, like football. And infinite games, like most things—from business to personal relationships.
In infinite games, players come and go, the rules are changeable, there is no defined endpoint, and there are no winners and losers. The goal is not to beat other people, Simon says, but to outlast them.
To play well, there are five things you need:
- A just cause—something worth fighting for.
- Trusting teams—because when people feel safe to be themselves, they will give their all. If they are fearful, they will focus on protecting themselves.
- Study your worthy rivals—other people who are doing what you do but are better than you in some way. They can help you improve.
- A capacity for existential flexibility—or the capacity to make huge strategic shifts to advance a cause.
- And finally, simply—the courage to lead.