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  • Hey, it's marie forleo and you are watching marietv the place to be to create a business and life you love and you know

  • If you really want a business in life, you love my brilliant guest today has a new book that will help you create just that

  • Simon Sinek has a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired

  • Safe at work and fulfilled at the end of the day his first TED talk in

  • 2009 rose to become one of the most watched TED talks of all time with over 43 million views and

  • subtitled in 48 languages

  • Simon is the New York Times bestselling author of start with why?

  • Leaders eat last together as better find your why and his latest book the infinite game, which is available now

  • Simon thank you so much for coming back on the show. It's nice to be back

  • Congratulations on the infinite game as I texted you I absolutely loved it. It's brilliant. I am curious

  • What was the inspiration to write this one?

  • So all of my work is semi autobiographical, you know

  • It's it's my own journey

  • start with why I was born out of the loss of my own passion for the work that I did and the

  • Rediscovery of it and I simply shared what worked for me

  • with my friends and my friends had me shared with their friends and before you know,

  • It it took on a life of its own and culminated in a book and a TED talk

  • Leaders eat last was born out of as my career started to

  • Grow, I started having trust issues with people simultaneously I spending time with folks the military and kept meeting people

  • Who would they trusted each other with their lives, you know, we we have colleagues and co-workers

  • They have brothers and sisters and I wanted what they had and I went to learn about them

  • Wanting what they had and realized it wasn't the people. It was the environment. It wasn't supposed to be a book

  • And this new book the infinite game

  • My entire life I've been

  • preaching a

  • version of work in which we

  • Or even just the way we live our lives in which we can wake up every morning inspired

  • We can feel safe at work and we can return home fulfilled at the end of the day and quite frankly it gets tiring when?

  • those in positions of authority or power or wealth

  • Keep telling me I'm naive or stupid or that I don't understand how business works and when I discovered this little book called

  • Finite and infinite games by James Carr see it completely

  • Should have it was a world is flat moment

  • I realized oh my god, the whole world is walking around thinking the world is flat and it's not it's round, you know

  • And I realized I'm not the naive one who doesn't understand how business works they are and it gave me this wonderful

  • Confidence that I am seeing the world through this infinite lens

  • And and so it ended up becoming another book. It's just the journey

  • So what I thought was interesting because I have read all of your books and I've really appreciated

  • And gotten so much benefit out of all of them when I was reading this one

  • I was like, oh, this is a new different version of Simon that I haven't recognized in his writing before in the tone

  • Manure always brilliant always so smart

  • There was an incisive 'no sand there was a bit of like a little fire and spunk. I was like this feels different

  • Did you notice that while you were writing it? Oh, yeah, actually to tone it down a bit

  • You know, I think

  • I think what's so different about this book compared to the others is that the first two books I was making a case I made

  • A case for this thing called the why and I made a case for this thing called a circle of safety. I made this case

  • For that trust is environmental here. I'm not making a case for the existence of the infinite game James Carr

  • See did that, you know, I explain the infinite game in the first couple pages and it's it's understood

  • Hey, but it raises this interesting point which is we live in a world in which we are players and infinite games

  • There's no such thing as winning marriage, you know, no nobody in the marriage is declared the winner

  • And there's no winning and friendship and there's no winning global politics and there's definitely no such thing as winning business

  • Right, but when we listen to the language of too many leaders

  • They talk about being number one beating the being the best or beating the competition, but there's no such thing

  • There's no such thing because we don't have an agreed-upon timeframe and we don't have agreed-upon metrics

  • We get to decide the time frames in the metrics, so there can't be winners

  • and so when we play with a finite mindset in the infinite game

  • there's a few very consistent and predictable things that happen the decline of trust the decline of

  • cooperation the decline of innovation and the eventual demise of the organization

  • so

  • The I wasn't trying to convince people to be of the infinite game it it simply answered the very obvious question

  • Okay, if we're players in the infinite game and my entire life

  • I've been taught to play the finite game and all of the pressures and standard business practices reinforce the finite game

  • Then how do we lead in the infinite game?

  • And that's what I wrote and it's it's not supposed to convince the people who think I'm naive or think. I'm stupid

  • I don't understand the business how business works

  • It's supposed to be a rallying cry for all of us who feel uncomfortable the way business is working yet

  • We keep our opinions to ourselves because there are people who were way more senior and way

  • Wealthier than we are so they must know something but it still feels uncomfortable

  • and so I wanted it to be I

  • Wanted it to be a rallying cry for all the people who just don't like the way it works

  • They can't put their finger on it. They don't have the words for it, but they know something's wrong

  • This can't be the way business should work

  • And it's also to help us recognize

  • who the finite players are because we have the right to know who is playing and

  • Using our lives and our livelihoods to manage their books

  • We have the right to know

  • and so it's it's it exists for two reasons one is to be a rallying cry for those who who think there's a

  • different or a better way and and a filter so that we can recognize who the finite players are so we can

  • Change our behavior, or at least keep our guard up

  • when we when we do business with them, yeah, I thought another

  • Kind of frame that was so interesting was just as a self-correcting mechanism for ourselves, you know

  • Because so much of society as you shared has kind of taught us

  • We're playing an infinite game

  • But we're really not and so if we find ourselves

  • Veering off into that realm or finding ourselves feeling uncomfortable or running our business ways. Like we must be the best

  • it's like

  • Oh

  • We can kind of do the check yourself before you wreck yourself thing and get back into another

  • Entire frame of seeing the world and of behaving I thought one of the stories that was so illustrative

  • And I was wondering if you could share it here was when you were speaking at an educational event

  • For Microsoft and then speaking at an educational event for Apple because it's so beautifully illustrated

  • This incredible contrast

  • I didn't know it at the time but in hindsight, I see the difference in mindsets and it's a

  • Basically, I spoken at an education summit for Microsoft and Apple a few months apart

  • And as I sat in the audience for the Microsoft event

  • The vast majority of the executives spent the vast majority of their presentations talking about how to beat Apple

  • At the Apple Summit a hundred percent of the executives spent 100 percent of their presentations

  • Talking about how to help teachers teach and how to help students learn one was obsessed with where they were going

  • The other one was obsessed with beating the competition

  • At the end of my Microsoft talk that gave me a gift. They gave me the news Zune when it was a thing. This was

  • Microsoft's response to the

  • IPod and this little piece of technology that they gave me was fantastic. I mean, it was really brilliant

  • It was beautifully designed. It worked flawlessly. The user interface was simple and intuitive. It was really well done

  • Anyway at the end of my Apple talk

  • I was sharing a taxi with a senior Apple executive and of course I couldn't help myself

  • I had to stir the pot and and I turned him and I said

  • you know Microsoft gave me their new Zune and

  • it is so much better than your iPod touch and he looks at me and he says I have no doubt and

  • the conversation was over and

  • basically, the infinite minded player understands that sometimes your product is better and sometimes their product is better and there's no such thing as

  • Best, you know, there's a head and behind and the goal is not to beat your competition

  • The goal is to last your competition and the only true competitor in the internet game is yourself

  • How do we make our products better this year than they were last year?

  • How do we make our culture stronger this year than it was last year. How do we

  • Improve the quality of our leadership training and make it better this year than it was last year

  • It's it's and we use we use the other players in the game as benchmarks for sure as worthy rivals

  • But um, but we're not out to beat them or compete against them

  • We're simply we're simply competing against ourselves, which is an entirely new way to understand our our place in the game

  • Feels so much more free feels healthier. It feels more exciting

  • When I was reading the book those were all of the emotions that filled me up when I was

  • Imagining into an infinite game and also

  • recognized in myself

  • where in the past like oh

  • Here's where I was playing a finite game. And here's why that felt really shitty

  • Here's why you know it and just going like wow, I could look at this wonderful framework again

  • Relationships like even outside of business obviously our careers and businesses where many of us spend the vast majority of our waking time

  • But you can see it everywhere and that's why I think this is just so useful because it's so brilliant

  • but we can use it in every facet of our existence you shared in the book when we play with an

  • Finite mindset in the infinite game. We will continue to make decisions that sabotage our own ambitions

  • Sure so you know every

  • Business has a vision. Hopefully it's a proper vision and not just some goal

  • You know to increase top-line revenues by X is not a vision

  • It's just a goal a vision is something distant and idealized and something that's ostensibly unachievable

  • But we devote our entire lives to working towards it to making progress towards it

  • and the problem is when we play within a

  • finite mindset we become so obsessed with the short-term and we become so obsessed with what everybody else is doing and we sometimes

  • Change the course of our own strategy

  • to respond

  • To what one of the other players has done

  • Sometimes getting angry when they have success

  • And it makes us really really

  • myopic in our view of of how to build a business and in the course of the time we will both

  • waste the will and resources that are required to stay in the game the resources because we're gonna spend money needlessly on things that don't

  • Matter and the will because it takes its toll on us and on the people who work with us

  • It's tiring to work with people like that. Yes, and good people leave

  • and so when you exhaust the will and resources of your own organization

  • by

  • necessarily you sabotage your own ambitions, you know, I I believe that that for the most part not always but for the most part

  • Bankruptcy is usually an act of suicide

  • It's an it's it's it's a it's a it's an inability to build structure

  • it's and an ability to think tournaments and an ability to gnaw to build teams and

  • For so many organizations, especially big ones success ones that go bankrupt

  • They love to blame the market or a disruption

  • But it was there an ability to to foresee that these things were going to happen because other people for soul

  • for example

  • Look at look at the struggles that the music industry is having these days

  • With the rise of the Internet and yet it was a computer company that invented iTunes. Why not the music industry?

  • It was Amazon that invented Amazon and the e-reader why not anyone from the publishing industry like they didn't even invent the Kindle, you know

  • Why is it that that Netflix showed up and how can the movie and television industry didn't invent Netflix and

  • it's because they were so busy protecting their existing business models that

  • They fail to see that the world was changing around them

  • it was a lack of foresight now, they're forced to change which is different that's defenses versus offensive a

  • fun little story

  • Is as Netflix was this little small company. It was experimenting with subscriptions

  • And you remember we used to get DVDs in the bath and we knew streaming was on its way

  • But the technology wasn't there quite yet

  • but they were preparing with this subscription model and

  • Blockbuster, which was the 800-pound gorilla if you wanted to rent a DVD in those days pretty much

  • We all went to Blockbuster. It was the only national chain of any worth

  • and

  • the CEO of

  • Blockbuster went to the board and said I think we really should

  • experiment and start looking to the subscription model and the board would not allow him to change the pricing models because the company made

  • 12% of its revenues from late fees

  • Now blockbuster doesn't exist and Netflix

  • Basically dominates the industry

  • That's why I call it an act of suicide now

  • The people at blocks our blockbuster will say it was disruption in the internet, but it was their own foolishness and blinded and blindness

  • They can find it game playing a fighting game. Actually, they weren't blind. They were actually fully aware. They chose to ignore

  • they were playing a finite game that couldn't they couldn't bear the thought of letting go of 12% of revenues in the short term to

  • live on forever

  • So it cost them the whole company. I thought there was another brilliant descrip distinction

  • Excuse me between building a company for stability versus building a company for resilience

  • Yeah

  • isn't that you know because I struggled with this as I was writing, which is

  • Which is an infinite minded organization an infinite minded leaders there

  • They're more than stable and you because the word stability and stable is already used in business, you know

  • Is this a fast growth within a high-risk company or is this a more stable investment?

  • You know and stability is the ability to weather a storm

  • But the way you weather it is you come out basically looking the way you did when you went in

  • Yeah, that's stability

  • You know, there's a building there's a storm the building's still there resilience to me is something more profound

  • Which is the ability to adapt with change?

  • and and you may come out a completely different organization as a result of change and I think that

  • Adaptability is way more important in the infinite game because stability eventually runs out of steam

  • And we've seen stable companies go go belly-up all the time

  • Resilience is adaptability

  • One of the best examples I think is the company Victorinox. It's a you remember the Swiss Army knife

  • Yes, the this was the favorite gift with you know with with your company's logo on it at every single goodie bag for years

  • And

  • Something happened to their company, which was September 11th and literally overnight

  • We used to carry pocket knives in our pockets in our hand luggage overnight

  • They were banned and so almost instantaneously that entire business evaporated because nobody would give out a knife as a gift anymore

  • Why would we it even sounds ridiculous talking about it now? Yeah

  • and

  • The company was built for resilience. However, the company was built was the the the people who lead

  • Victorinox Victorinox are infinite minded and so in good times where most companies distribute all the wealth

  • They would save their money so that they had money to deal with hard times

  • They had plans in place for for for something that they couldn't predict and they laid off no one they loaned

  • Some of their employees to local other local businesses, but they stayed on their own payroll

  • Which was amazing

  • and they challenged their people to come up with a new way to

  • To leverage the the talents and gifts and brand strength that they have and to this day

  • we now

  • successfully they're very successful and we where

  • Victorinox watches and we carry Victoire nuts luggage and we've wear Victorinox clothes and they still have you know a

  • Much much much smaller percentage of their business in an Swiss Army knives

  • But they're a much bigger and more successful company

  • Whereas other companies would have hunkered down and tried to figure out new markets for Swiss Army knives and how do we change the Swiss?

  • Army knife and maybe we can make them dull for TSA and like all of these that's what they would have done

  • They would have tried to protect what they had Victorinox completely reinvented themselves