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The Infinite Game

Narrated by: Simon Sinek
Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: Business, Leadership
5 out of 5 stars (3,762 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last, a bold framework for leadership in today’s ever-changing world.

How do we win a game that has no end? Finite games, like football or chess, have known players, fixed rules, and a clear endpoint. The winners and losers are easily identified. Infinite games, games with no finish line, like business or politics, or life itself, have players who come and go. The rules of an infinite game are changeable, while infinite games have no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers - only ahead and behind.

The question is, how do we play to succeed in the game we’re in?

In this revelatory new audiobook, Simon Sinek offers a framework for leading with an infinite mindset. On one hand, none of us can resist the fleeting thrills of a promotion earned or a tournament won, yet these rewards fade quickly. In pursuit of a just cause, we will commit to a vision of a future world so appealing that we will build it week after week, month after month, year after year. Although we do not know the exact form this world will take, working toward it gives our work and our life meaning.

Leaders who embrace an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead us into the future.

©2018 Simon Sinek (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Editor's Pick

An entirely different view of work
"Simon Sinek is a magnetic speaker. He boils down complicated business trends into simple language, and presents them in a calm measured manner that makes it both fun to listen to and easy to come to terms with. Infinite Game is the first audiobook of his I’ve listened to and I have to say I really enjoy his narration. His concepts and ideas are pretty far-reaching, and certainly idealistic, but I do think they need to be heard. Attitude, and perspective, is everything in business—even more so when confronting the day in day out grind of making money, and Sinek delivers the big ideas that can help each of us better understand what we are working for. If you are looking for something to challenge routine thinking, and help you adjust your mindset—whether it be towards your work, personal life, or otherwise—this is an excellent place to start."
Michael D., Audible Editor

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  • KN
  • 11-16-19

Falls short. Examples seem off or dated.

I love Mr. Sinek’s work. I am however disappointed in this book. Simon had leaned heavily on the past, and provided examples that are questionable. His admiration for Apple is well known. However, no mention of how Tim Cook is in fact playing the infinite game. Simon talks at length about Microsoft’s past mistakes and yet ignores how the current CEO has completely changed the company by playing the long game. He talks about American Airlines which is struggling, making no mention of Delta which has show how airlines can play the infinite game.

Mr. Sinek’s message is spot on and the book could have been even more powerful had he researched the companies he cites in the book, with an eye for currency and industry leaders - whose CEOs are in fact better playing the infinite game.

Good book. Could have been better.

35 people found this helpful

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I love Sinek but...

I’ve loved Simon Sinek, but as an economics student, I couldn’t get through the fourth chapter of this book without cringing at his lack of fluency in economic history. To put forth the assertion that companies cared about their employees and everything was hunky-dory until Milton Friedman came along in the 70’s and taught companies to be greedy is to blatantly ignore the bulk of 20th century American economic history. Sinek asserts that massive layoffs to meet projections were unthinkable before the 1970s, then quotes Henry Ford saying that companies need to exist to do more than make money a few sentences later. Henry Ford is the same guy who said the problem with unemployment during the depression is that no one would do an honest day’s work, and then promptly laid off a couple thousand employees a couple weeks later.

When Sinek said that speculation by by investment bankers “caused the Great Depression,” I had to stop listening. If Edward Tufte isn’t comfortable saying definitively what “caused” the Great Depression, Sinek sure as hell shouldn’t be.

While I think the premise of this book is sound, The lack of economic historical literacy that Sinek displays in supporting his argument undermines the books entire premise. This shoddy level of research is, in my opinion, far beneath Sinek, and certainly shouldn’t have made it past the editors of this book. The idea of the infinite/finite game is sound. But as it stands now, Sinek selectively interprets the business events of the 20th century to defend it. I expect better.

101 people found this helpful

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Just go watch his TED Talks on the subject

I think Simon is great. The way he approaches this issue, as well as, his work on millineals (SP) is top notch. I have heard time speak, and watch many of his TED talks on this subject. Naturally, alot of overlap. I think your better off watching the TED talks and getting than listening to the audio book

6 people found this helpful

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A great way of thinking!

I loved this book. There are so many great nuggets that I am going to put into practice at my company. Anyone in business today should read this - you may not be able to change your company or situation - but armed with the perspectives you will be able to navigate the business world better because you read it.

11 people found this helpful

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Timeless content

Amazing book. Simon lays out principles and guidelines that are timeless; would work in any culture, at any age, for every walk of life. I took in the whole book and can't wait to give it another read soon.

4 people found this helpful

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Wow.

While I've enjoyed the last 2 books by Simon, I was impressed by the stories, but the insights to me were fairly self evident. However this book gave me plenty of things to reconsider and re examine on my own motives and behaviors.

6 people found this helpful

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Simon has done it again...

He has written a book that perpetuates his cause by guiding future and current leaders to change their thinking on how they're going to lead or currently leading those in their charge. I thoroughly enjoyed his book and can't wait for the next one.

6 people found this helpful

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Great material flat presentation

I found the material of the book inspiring. However the reading was flat. Maybe my expectations were too high as I have seen the authors TED talks and was expecting the same dynamic presentation in this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Why Infinite pursuits prevail over finite pursuits

The book made it clear to me how to better distinguish and reframe finite goals from infinite goals. And why infinite goals are in a way better because they asks a deeper question about what is a worthy pursuit to keep refining even without an end.

It also gives good examples on how people and companies pursuing these infinite pursuits will prevail over those who are pursuing finite goals in the long run.

3 people found this helpful

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The secret sauce!

Most today, whether in business, government or other arenas are playing finite games. In other words, a short term orientation, which is more about winning and losing, than a long term, possibly even lifelong effort to pursue a just cause or purpose. The business world is littered with examples of finite thinking, with individuals and companies more concerned around quarterly EPS and / or their own monetary remuneration. The Wells Fargo case of a few years ago, where millions of fictitious accounts were set up for customers is an extreme, but not totally unique example of how finite thinking can lead to catastrophic results. Infinite games cannot be won, the goal is to keep on playing, to stay in the game. Infinite games often are based on a just cause, something by definition bigger than ourselves. We see similar phenomena in our politics as well, where an individual or party’s interest are placed above those of the country or institutions which are the foundation of our democracy. Where, instead of focusing on the daily news cycle or the next election, the focus is on building a better world over the next generations, even beyond the lifetimes of the individuals involved. The irony is that those willing to approach business or other pursuits with an infinite mindset often lead to even better, more sustainable long term benefits, even in the context of a financially driven business endeavor. Sinek traces today’s winner vs loser approach to business back to Milton Friedman, whose work almost half a century ago was based on the foundational premise that businesses exist to maximize the profits accruing to their owners. In more recent years, there has been several trends which are on one hand encouraging (employee wellness, work / life balance, etc) and on the other discouraging (quarterly EPS trumping all other considerations). Sinek provides a vivid picture of the different mindsets and implications of a finite vs infinite approach. While I’m not sure this book would directly result in changing the approach of those infinite game players among us, it does facilitate greater awareness of how our choices may lead to a better place.

1 person found this helpful