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Summary of The Infinite Game 

Short summary

Finite games like chess, baseball, soccer or tennis are predictable. You know the exact number of players involved in each session, and you expect to see a winner after each tournament. But your life and business — or career — are not that predictable. Those are infinite games, and until you understand that and stop approaching them like a finite game, you won't enjoy lasting success. In this summary, bestselling author Simon Sinek shows you how to approach life as an infinite game. He also uses game theory to explain how organizations can create lasting success that will outlive their generations. This tidbit is not just for businesses; it is also effective for personal success. Simon Sinek is a global speaker and organization consultant. Through his message on the power of why, he has influenced individuals and organizations to lead effectively. Sinek has worked with small and large enterprises, entrepreneurs, members of Congress, and foreign ambassadors to create compelling visions for success. “To ask, “What’s best for me?” is finite thinking. To ask, “What’s best for us” is infinite thinking.” ~ Simon Sinek

Key points


Life is an infinite game, with many finite games as subunits

The journey of life is filled with twists and turns, happiness, joy, and a whole range of ups and downs. But most importantly, life is a journey with several events and experiences. Most of these are competitions where winners and losers are declared, but some are not meant to be a competition; those are a continuity — an infinite game.

For example, the competition between students in class is a finite game. While in school, you could come first or last in a course, but your career is not a finite game because you're not competing with anyone.
In infinite games, you can only be ahead or behind, not first or last.
The idea of finite and infinite games was first documented by Professor James P. Carse, who wrote a treatise titled Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility in 1986. That little treatise set the motion for Simon Sinek's further study on the subject. This tidbit was born out of his numerous studies on the game of life.

In this summary you will learn to differentiate between finite and infinite games. This will absolutely help you in your personal and professional life. Among the things you will learn from this book is that business and career are not finite games that end with you. They are meant to be transgenerational and you're only a player in the bigger scope of things. And lastly, you will learn strategies for living the transgenerational life.

Business is an infinite game and should be treated as such

Finite games consist of a particular number of well known players who play by clearly defined rules. Such games have a definite beginning, middle and end. A finite game ends when certain laid out conditions have been met by one party. That group or individual is declared the winner, while the other is named the loser.
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Infinite leaders are those who advance a just cause


If you want to scale the performance of your team, focus on building “Trusting Teams”


Don't fight your rivals; learn from them and grow


Infinite minded leaders are not afraid of existential flexibility



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