Infinity and Beyond: Thoughts from WorkHuman 2018

Last week I had the privilege of attending a conference for work, that hoped to galvanize leaders worldwide to harness the transformative power of people and help organizations to build human-centric workplaces where employees achieve their fullest potential – where people feel appreciated, connected, and empowered for who they are and what they do.

 It cost a lot of money, over $1,000 plus travel and I was going to be out of the office for a week.

Not everyone has a leader who is willing to invest that much money in their people and not everyone works with an amazing team, who they can trust to steer the ship in the right direction while they are away.

With that in mind, I was determined to be intentional about maximizing the experience.

I set my intentions:

  • To observe and bring back ideas and best practices for Studer Community Institute EntreCon and other trainings.
  • To learn new skills, to grow and develop to become the best I can be.
  • To network with other professionals, from all over the world, who work to create better jobs, better lives and better communities and share with them what we do at SCI.


Setting these intentions before attending directed my purpose throughout the time I was there.

I was looking forward to many of the speakers and one in particular speaker, Simon Sinek.  I was not disappointed.

Simon taught us there are finite games and infinite games.

Games like baseball and chess are finite, with firm rules and clear endpoints.

But business, for example, is infinite — there’s ultimately no such thing as “winning” because there’s always a new set of challenges.

 

Those who thrive in the long run are those who play by infinite rules. They do things that enable them to out-maneuver, out-innovate, and outlast their competitors, yet so many organizations and individuals are obsessed with winning. But how do you win a game that never really ends? There is no such thing as “winning” business.

 

An Infinite player understands that sometimes you have a better product and sometimes your competitor does. In an infinite game, there is only ahead or behind.

 

Infinite players in any field can exhaust their competitors, stay ahead for the long run, and create strong organizations, built to weather nearly any storm. Great leaders instinctively play the infinite game; now the rest of us can understand how they do it.

Simon share that the finite thinker focuses on…

  • A company’s quarterly earnins
  • Winning a presidential election
  • Winning an Olympic medal
  • Squeezing the last dollar from a negotiation
  • Raising an obedient child
  • Closing a sale
  • What and How


The infinite thinker focuses on…

  • A company’s reputation
  • Leading the nation
  • Becoming as good as you can possibly be at your sport
  • Making your partner want to do business with you again
  • Raising an inquisitive child
  • Building a customer relationship


And of course “Why.”


 

Simon left us with a final point, what does it mean to live an infinite life?  We come and go but life continues with us or without us.

Some might live their lives by the rules of the finite game. That means you wake up every single day and accumulate money and power. It’s exhausting and stressful. At the end of life, you don’t win life, you just die.


Or, we can choose to live a life on the infinite game. It’s not about the impact you can make on your life, it’s about the impact you can make on other’s lives.


I am still processing my thoughts from the conference and will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months and I am okay with that. I don’t need to know everything now, or completely understand my takeaways because if I am to maximize my experience I need to keep being thoughtful and keep applying and keep following through on what I learned.

I know for certain, I will be bringing ideas from the conference to Studer Community Institute's conference EntreCon, happening November 14 and 15 in Pensacola. 

EntreCon: Better Jobs—Better Lives—Better Community

Having It All: How Linking Purpose and Profit Drives Your Business to the Next Level


I feel fortunate because every day I live by the clear “Why” the clear mission we have at Studer Community Institute – to improve the quality of life for people.

We are playing the infinite game. Just imagine what your life would be like, if everywhere you went, you played an infinite game instead.

 

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