Why I read it? I really enjoyed reading another of Sinek’s books recently, Start with Why, and thought I would give this one a try as well.
What is it all about? The Infinite Game focuses on the fact that in business there is no time limit or final score that decides who wins or loses the game. The goal is to stay in the game for as long as possible. This book looks into practices that are needed in order to think about long term impact. Does the business have a “Just Cause” that inspires and creates a culture of trust within the walls of the company? Do the actions taken in the short run align with the long term “Just Cause?”
What caused me to pause? The book gives many examples of well-known companies that have both succeeded and failed in having a vision that is long term in nature. One example of success was the CVS decision in 2014 to stop selling cigarettes despite it costing them an estimated $2 billion in revenue. The stock price dropped one percent the day of the announcement, but a year and half later the price had doubled and was at an all-time high. This decision, which was in line with its just cause of promoting better health, ultimately led to CVS doing business with new, more health-minded vendors. As a byproduct of staying true to the just cause, stockholders received a 70 percent increase on their earnings per share over the next three years. It took courage and vision to make the decision to potentially lose in the short run to stay true to the “Just Cause.”
How will this book change my habits/influence me? While the book is focused on business, the concepts parallel many situations where leadership is key to long term success. I thought about how these concepts were relevant to raising a young family. What does it look like to have a “just cause” for the family that creates trust and inspires long term?
Add this to your reading list if… If you are responsible for leading in any way, the theme of this book is relevant to you, but it would be particularly useful to a CEO or owner of a business. You should walk away with some tips for thinking long term and how to better position your company or cause for long term success in the infinite game.