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The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek – Book Review

The Infinite Game

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great read from Simon Sinek. I'm a huge Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action fan and while I liked Leaders Eat Last to me it wasn't nearly as good. Still well written just not as life-changing.

The Infinite Game is very applicable and actionable. At first, I was a little concerned that the book was going to become repetitive and overly exhaustive. Afterall how many different ways can you tell the reader to focus on the long term and not the short term?

But it turns out there are a lot of different contexts where that philosophy changes the way one acts and I didn't feel the book was dragging on or repeating itself too much.

Only 4 stars here for 2 reasons. First “Infinite Game” feels a lot like Find a Why and Don't lose it. The concept of the book just didn't feel super different from the core Sinek philosophy presented in Start With Why.

Second, the entire book is focused on the business arena but I think the idea of playing the infinite game in one's personal relationships and stewardship is even more valuable. It obviously wasn't the author's intent to discuss parenting etc but I feel it would have been nice to do so.

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Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

leaders eat lastWell, I figured it would be near impossible to do better than his first book, “Start With Why” and this comes really close 🙂

I watched the introduction video of Simon's on YouTube and was really surprised when he talked about good leadership being a “literal” part of human survival. I didn't see how a leadership book was going to go there but it did.

The book sticks to science by discussing in part how our own physiology as humans plays a part of our own satisfaction in the work place. This breaks down the various chemicals in our body that are designed to help us survive but often reinforce a negative environment.

One of the key things I took from this is how leaders have to essentially care for the people in their ranks the same way a parent cares for their children. We would have a lot less turn over and decrease expenses if instead of dismissing people who don't meet expectations we instead think of how we can help them grow into who we need them to be.

I also love his premise that we all have the responsibility to be leaders by keeping the circle of safety strong. When we feel safe, able to be vulnerable, we are able to work at our very best.

These are just a few of the many strong insights and powerful ideas in this book. I would strongly recommend this for anyone who works with other people.

–>Buy on Amazon


Start With Why by Simon Sinek

In June of this year I read Start With Why by Simon Sinek as part of my online business book group. It has been awhile since I read a book that drove so many actions in my life. My approach has been better aligned with my values and I'm better communicating in a way that illustrates what I believe and who I am.

Simon-Sinek-168Sinek's book operates under the premise that everything that a person or organization does should emulate the why. Specifically, why they do it. The book is full of examples of great companies that started with a clear vision of why they were in business and eventually lost their why. Everything suggests that the clear sense of why that drives action effects the bottom line and long term viability of any business or venture.

I loved his use of examples that we can all understand such as Apple, Walmart, Microsoft, Dell, etc. There are a lot of things that I took from this. For one, I need to remember that my target market (regardless of the venture) consists of those people who share the same why. People who share the same why become natural advocates of the company, service, or product and tend to be connected to others who share the same why. That is how viral marketing happens in principle.

I learned that nobody cares as much about what I do or how I do it as they do about why I do it. As I read through this book I went to the About pages on all of my websites and rewrote them to include a clear transfer of belief instead of the usual this is who we are and what we do. This also lead to significant changes in places like marketing materials and LinkedIn pages and profiles.

I learned that while sometimes strange or awkward I will only create stronger relationships with people and organizations if I ask them WHY. Next time I'm at a marketing event or sitting next to someone on an airplane I will be asking the question, “Why do you do what you do?” So far this simple change in directing conversations has led to amazing experiences.

So let me ask you. Why?