Simon Sinek: “The Finite and Infinite Games of Leadership: […]” | Talks at Google

100 thoughts on “Simon Sinek: “The Finite and Infinite Games of Leadership: […]” | Talks at Google

  1. Always enjoyable, and always something to learn. Having worked for many years at Toyota, I realise they have a lot of the characteristics of the infinite company. They have also managed to do what Simon does (or vice versa) take what people think is common sense, and structure it, and apply it in a standardised way so that it really becomes common. My only gripe – was this a men-only event?

  2. James Carse. finite and infinite games (a vision of life as play and possibility). A book I recommend from a philosophical and poetic point of view. Beautiful book

  3. Very interesting discussion finite vs infinite. it makes you think. I have run a business since 1990 and stayed a reservist in the military. It is always been tough to do both. Also, our life's are finite. Difficult to get around that unless you set up a Corporation and put management in place to replace you the founder and owner.

  4. When u mentioned Pakistan and north Korea for nuclear why u forgot to mention India and Israel. Iran does not have nuclear. Pakistan is nuclear only because of India.

  5. "The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of the aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence." — Albert Einstein

  6. Great talk! and also agree on the perspective of leadership and management, except one thing, one personal, non-related question shouldn't have been answered, at least in the public. Such as your worst memory in your life or worst business or partner you've dealt with, etc, they are all the signs of attempt to "smell your weak point" personally or in relationship and prepare to find problem on you personally or with your previous "enemy" who you have bad experience with. To all the speakers in the western world, my advice is better not to answer or avoid in public, because it is not relavent to the topic at all. And when a Chinese asks you about China, or to give some advices, no matter in which condition, even thought they "look" humble , the best answer is still not to answer, or always neutral tone. As if you say something too positive, they will exploit you or cast lots of responsibilty or pressure on you, since it is you said it is positive; if too negative, they'll be against you, maybe still with a smile at front. If you're not Chinese, in the art of communication with chinese, it's very hard for you to put the "right amount" they want to hear, (of course not to tell the "real amount"), so better no comment or neutral one.

  7. If Google's vision was to "house the world's information" and now it sees Apple being more profitable, he alludes to changing the vision to be "beyond grasp" (35mins in). Is he suggesting that the vision should change? If that happened would that not also change the purpose too? Be interested to hear people's thoughts.

  8. The US never won the cold war because there was no war to start with. But if we use the same logic the USRR never won the Winter War because Finland just gave up.

  9. Young companies and young people have nothing to loose. So, they dream big. Big companies like older people built something and accumulated responsibility. They are afraid to loose what they have. The truth is that as we grow old/big our vision shrinks. It is safer.

  10. We're talking about the meaning of life stuff. And I believe Simon is heading towards the right direction with a 'Infinite vs finite' perceptions of reality. I can only speculate where a infinite/finite universe, or game, will take us.

    And to point out, very few companies are built upon ideas of infinity. Ideas that are somewhere between immensity and eternity. Google for instance is built upon infinity. For example, Googol (10^100) or a Googolplex is number that so big it can't even be written onto a paper or contained in a data center. Keep searching for those infinities…

  11. You wouldn't think any woman works at Google after hearing all the questions asked in the audience. Are they afraid to ask a question or perhaps they don't need to ask a question.

  12. Sinek failed to give James Carse, author of FINITE AND INFINITE GAMES, credit for the opening premise of this talk. Further, Sinek has a woefully shallow understanding of the concept. I couldn't make it past four minutes. Why would anyone listen to this guy?

  13. Companies don't have values outside of; make money. He just re-labels it as 'freedom'. Even if a company makes up values, you can't get the employess to follow it. Their value is to; make money. Bottom line.

  14. Thought provoking and now I can fuly comprehend why some companies have national anthems. Are you advocating that we be citizens of Google rather than the US? You may not need to make a choice between the two. BUT What if there is a conflict of interest in the values of your company versus the values of your country? Which one should you choose? The company pays you a salary, potentially a good one, your country gives you implicit rewards such as security and sense of belonging, but in an increasingly interconnected world, does your loyalty to country really matter? This is the main problem with these giant global organisations (be it a Google or some mammoth industrial plant in Asia) loyalty tends to shift toward company over country. Dunno if we should advocate for a Google national anthem just yet.

  15. Great talk, good points. But I think he didn't answer the first question from the audience. The audience said that smaller companies can't afford value based decisions because they have to make money and avoid losing money. But Simon answered from the perspective of employees, which is not what the question is about.

  16. NYC Dept of Sanitation Management, is the complete opposite of what he is advocating. Perfect case study of what not to do.

  17. such an engaging speaker, also case in point…

  18. one thing I like to do is to take a vision and then take it one step deeper.  I like to restate the vision into what does that mean to me and my position.  how do I make the the vision a reality.  If I cant find a way to have it guide me then I think to myself…  how does one do "the vision"

  19. You are correct, Mr. Sinek. This country is obsessed with growth. The world is a pyramid scheme. Once everyone has a refrigerator, what do the refrigerator builders do next? Make them crappier?

  20. The CEO isn't the visionary. He is the executive to the Board of Directors. As the name implies the Board of Directors is there to set the direction, to have the visions and so on.

    The CEO or Executive Director as the position is called in some countries is appointed by the Board of Directors to execute their vision of the company.

  21. Game Theory: The Game of WeiQi/Go has almost limitless possibilities and the Objectives change Constantly,
    The Game of Chess has much more limited Objective and Possibilities.
    The Chinese and Asians already understood Finite and Infinite Games Long ago.

  22. If the leadership rules were understood by the uploader, he won't hack anyone phone to beg for recognition of their faith in Christ. These people they can't differentiate failure and successful.

    I don't agree on a full time housewife is considered failure while a non University graduate is considered failure or loser. Obviously the videos were uploaded to earn the popularity of the YouTuber. My phone has been hacked and forced to watched all these videos for the past few years just because I rejected the faith of Christianity. They choose to hack and humiliate me throughout those years until I finally agree to become a follower of Christ. I was wondering what is the meaning of their life limited the usage of Internet access to introduce the speaker for their popularity. They acted no different from gangsters yet they put themselves in the shoes of savior.

  23. Okay, Okay, Okay. I started watching this video expecting to gain new ideas or perspectives from such a talented and eloquent speaker of leadership issues. Don't get me wrong, I am a new fan of Mr. Sinek, (I just discovered his presentations here in YouTube about one and a half weeks ago. But on this one particularly, in the minute 05:16, I thought, I already know the storyline; about 70% of the Microsoft executives spent about 70% of their time planning and talking about how to beat Apple and in his talk to Apple people, is just the opposite, then about Microsoft giving him a Zune player. He have used the same anecdote at least 5 or six times (different videos) that I can remember.

  24. for everyone that likes this, read Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse to see where this story is going:

  25. I like the presentation and premise behind it, but Simon is seriously wrong at 5:00.
    No company went bankrupt because they "gave up".
    They were literally killed, bled out, lost the means to fight.
    Military equivalent of facing superior enemy while running out of ammo.

    That has nothing to do with leaving the game (say poker table).
    Going bankrupt is literally losing a proper, hot war, getting killed or taken prisoner.

    Bankruptcy is literally death of the company. How can you consider that "leaving the game"?!

    Am I getting something wrong (and if yes, what)?

  26. After watching this I realized that the same concepts exist in marriage. My wife tends to focuses on the vision of the future and the values we hold as a family. I tend to focus on the operational aspect of keeping the household afloat making sure we are viable.
    If I believe her vision and values are starting to impact the ability to keep it the household afloat I tend to migrate more and more into the operational aspect of running the house, and that in turn pushes her to focus on the vision and values of the household.
    Since we don't have a board of directors we don't have someone pushing one way or the other so it stays balanced between us– each helping to keep the other in check most of the time. But in a company often the balance between these two positions is upset due to external influences or pressures.

  27. I think some stuff he is talking about is wrong. Dynamic is very important, even the biggest companies are researching smaller ones for innovations and there are some things about game theory he is talking about I do absolute not agree (I work with game theory since about 10 years or so now). The only thing that impressed me was the idea that a company leader should act infinite. Finally, the best plan is pure nonsense if you interact with people because they are acting in a way they are mentally programmed. If you have a good move on your strategy plan, that does not neccessary mean that your plan is being realized because of fear, trouble, blockers and other stuff. .. game theory can be very dynamic if you know exactly the right formula when to change or how to mix your strategy.

  28. question.! Can we try something? Take one Bot name it P1(u&i) its sole purpose is to learn and seek P2(i.e. goal, love, answers to life….)so> [p1 find p2] > if p1 finds p2=😍…got me so far? Now, take a game like #nomanssky and place each at diffrent points. If you dont know what no man's sky is, it's a game that's "vertually" infinite. Much like Minecraft. I wanna know what happens. Oh, and if 💑 then #babies! That should cover the cause and effect portion of the infinite loop, and the baby for the trifecta!

  29. It is about Stress, PTSD, Paranoia, Fear: that drains all Creativity, Energy, Productivity…Bad Leaders impose pressure and punishment…Bad Leaders reward Slaves Obedience…

  30. Great presentation but a tough crowd. However the first guy was a reealist. I work in the construction industry and people dont care about people only getting the project done on time.

  31. I wish the first questioner had been asked what he really means when he says "the small, scrappy company can't afford to miss their numbers…" Small companies might not be able to pay their bills, they might not make rent and get kicked out of their space, but the only reason someone loses a job for "missing numbers" is because of the finite game's arbitrary goals Sinek talks about. The questioner cannot resolve the difference between finite and infinite because his mindset is completely stuck in "finite" — it's difficult to imagine there is any other way to operate. "Missing numbers" results in "shareholder dissatisfaction" results in "board meetings" and the loss of a job. But the company may have done extremely well! They just "missed their numbers." THIS is what Sinek is arguing against — the companies who are focused more on their values, that have values well-integrated with their surrounding culture and society, will outlast those who are making up "numbers" that can be "missed."

  32. I love Simon, few people have done more to break down and simplify purpose and meaning in business….and….the language of game theory is very gendered – the male metaphor for business is team sport, versus the female metaphor is the classroom. The infinite game speaks to always learning, so speaks to the classroom metaphor….so I like Sinek’s metaphor however there’s something not quite working for me. This was further reinforced by the fact that not a single woman asked a question. Are there no woman playing the infinite game at Google or are the conditions not present such that they have a voice?

  33. Hmmm, i get the feeling that his speeches are based on rhetoric. Sure we should look at other ways to balance the books, but to NOT actually FIND WAYS TO IMMEDIATELY CUT COSTS, the company will become insolvent and actually fail. I mean what company HAS THE LUXURY of retaining employees and INVITING them to solve the problem while your accruals and debts up to your eyeballs?

  34. I regret to say that but… in most of the cases discussed in this talk, Google could fit well in the Finite player realm.

  35. No I don't agree with some comments here….. Simon is right Rome compromised it's values when Carthage fell. Do any of you consider the emperor's of Rome a good idea, no matter the achievements of that society they did decline Simon's is right!

  36. I believe everything and in everything you just said: a sense of Deja vu—yesterday once more. Talk to me.

    Here's my story—

    When I founded Ideafarms ( here in India in April 2002, it was because 8 guys showed up at my office (quite a dump it was), and said they wanted to work with me. These were young guys who could have moved to any other job when our division at the erstwhile company was suddenly shut down in response to 9/11. (Context: India doesn't offer any safety nets in terms of social security or unemployment benefits) They were making good money at the time but could ill afford to go without pay for more than a couple of months. But they were adamant on working together to create a company they could call their own. 6 of them didn't have the capacity to invest since they came from lower middle class backgrounds (Average annual income ≤$15K per capita). They insisted that I should lead them and offered to work without pay—they didn't take a single penny till the first revenues came in 4 months down the line. In the next step they agreed to take a pay cut for the whole year till we could get going.
    Therefore what you say is absolutely true. This is coming to you first hand. The founding team have all moved on since, to better opportunities, but our relationships, except for one, endure.

    PS: The reason they moved out was because they saw me falling out of the infinite game and focusing on the finite. Although that was more oversight on my part, than a conscious move to play the finite one. As a consequence, the company's growth got stymied and we are still in he woods for the last 8 years. Totally agree with you Simon. I've seen and lived both lives. How I wish I could turn the clock back!

  37. Ok, the answer to the last question was nowhere near the finite/infinite theory. For infinite game you don't really need an opponent. You play just to (continue the) play and not against another player. The examples he brought for confirmation where actually all finite games. And in fact it's not like infinite player always wins over finite player. Infinite player does not win, cause he does not compete. On the other hand Finite player can not win over infinite player, because the later won't participate in a game. But this does not win the finite player can't eliminate the infinite player. Say you are some nation or country, you are playing an infinite game, you play for the continuation of the game and to get better and better. And then comes some other nation and destroys your civilization. Did the later win? No. There was not a game. Did the former loose? No. For the same reason. But the infinite game the former was playing, has ended, cause there is no player anymore. Hence the former should have played a finite game against the later and tried to win the finite game so that he can continue the infinite one.

  38. Tom Brady plays an infinite game against himself. So did Kobe and MJ. Mike trout does too. It’s what makes them different. Sorry just a random thought of other examples in sports. Don’t rip my head off I’m a Bay Area fan but recognizing greatness should be done without bias or loyalty.

  39. Regarding the first questioner: Don't confuse "feeling like you belong" and "coushy." Take away Google's benefits. Would the employees stay? Maybe. But more importantly, would the vision and sense of purpose sustain? It's community and vision that makes an infinite approach, not the thick resources and ample benefits.

  40. 36:15 I gave orders for my horse to be brought round from the stables. The servant did not understand me. I myself went to the stable, saddled my horse and mounted. In the distance I heard a bugle call, I asked him what this meant. He knew nothing and had heard nothing. At the gate he stopped me, asking: “Where are you riding to, master?”

    “I don’t know,” I said, “Only away from here, away from here. Always away from here, only by doing so can I reach my destination.”

    “And so you know your destination?" he asked.

    “Yes,” I answered, “didn’t I say so? Away-From-Here, that is my destination."

    “You have no provisions with you,” he said.

    “I need none,” I said, “The journey is so long that I must die of hunger if I don’t get anything on the way. No provisions can save me. For it is, fortunately, a truly immense journey.”

  41. I've been watched more than 3 videos with Simon and on all of the videos, he told the story of the Microsoft and Apple)))

  42. An infinite game is played to create and strengthen a sustainable relationship between players … A finite game is played to win a goal and strengthen the our own players … An infinite game tends to a Shapely Value .. A finite game tends to a Nash Equilibrium. An infinite game normalizes itself but a finite game ends in an end game scenario

  43. Human innovation in game theory is based on an infinite games where humans will attempt to change the rules of the game over time to optimize and advance and advocate their own self interest….

  44. all finite games are competitive games ..all infinite games are cooperative games …competitive game focus on a payoff or goal and has an end game strategy…. cooperative games focus on relationships that are sustainable….like a marriage. or a friendship

  45. The most insightful of 'The mind of Simon Sinek'.

    I love this more than any other speak I've ever watched.

  46. In 21st Century reality of business finite is limited by capital which start ups generally struggle with. Large corporations have the ability to play the infinite game.
    Similarly, with politics the larger countries can play the infinite, while the smaller are finite limited.

  47. While the narrative of the "Infinite Game" sounds appealing, Apple almost went bankrupt and MSFT is one of the most successful companies of ALL time that has made the turn from B2B to B2C better than anyone else.. To quote Mark Twain, "It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so." I love Simon Sinek but this gospel sounds good but its not true..

  48. Shia LaBeouf is gay, I just learned that today! And he – and I didn't know he was gay either – and Andy Samberg have been on and off lovers since 2007, blew my mind too because Andy Samberg is such a crude guy too I thought he was straight.

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