How to Create an Infinite Mindset and Why You Need It


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According to Simon Sinek, there are two types of games in business—finite and infinite (Forbes, 2019a).

Football or chess are examples of a finite game. They:


  • Have fixed rules (Forbes, 2019a).
  • Have agreed upon objectives (Forbes, 2019a).
  • Are played for the purpose of winning (The Infinite Games, 2011).
In contrast, the evolution of our planet or a relationship are examples of an infinite game. They:

  • Have a purpose of continuing to play (The Infinite Games, 2011).
  • Have known and unknown players (Forbes, 2019b).
  • Have changing rules (Forbes, 2019b). 
  • Are not made to be ‘won’ (Forbes, 2019b). 
If we transform these ‘games’ into ‘mindsets’, which mindset do you adopt in your role in learning and development?

If you have a finite mindset you are more likely to:

  • Want to be the best in the industry.
  • Want to receive better feedback than your industry peers.
  • Look for quick wins.
If you have an infinite mindset you are more likely to:

  • Love the process of learning and development.
  • Be committed to the process of learning and development.
  • Be in it for the long-term.
You see, business (and learning and development) is an infinite game. “There’s no such thing as being the best... because in the infinite game there’s no such thing as winning business. The goal is to outlast… outdo yourself.” (Forbes, 2019a).

Whilst it is important to have goals and strive to be the best version of yourself in the industry, your consistency and passion are more important and sustainable (Sinek, 2020a).

Let us put this into context. Imagine a newly appointed training officer—Sarah.

Sarah is passionate about learning and loves creating training programs. She wants to deliver the best training in the industry. She is competitive, confident and knows that she can receive 10/10 feedback from her learners and make a difference.

Sarah receives negative feedback on her training programs.

How Sarah responds to this feedback will be dependent on her mindset. This is where the infinite and finite mindsets come into play. 

If Sarah has a finite mindset, she will:

  • Feel that she has lost.
  • Seek another job/career.
In contrast, if Sarah has an infinite mindset, her goal is not to win. She will:

  • Learn from her mistakes.
  • Continue to enjoy the process.
  • Look for opportunities to improve her training.
  • Stay in her job/career because she is passionate.
Do these mindsets sound familiar to you? Have you identified which mindset you have adopted?

If you think you could improve your mindset, stick around. Here are some practical actions that you can take to transition to an infinite mindset (thanks to Simon Sinek!). 

An infinite mindset creates a reality that works for your best interests—“A reality that is vastly more conducive to our deep-seated human need to feel safe, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and to provide for ourselves” (Sinek, 2020b).

1. Know Your ‘Just Cause’

A ‘just cause’ is the ideal vision of a future that you have committed to. No matter what happens, you stick to that ‘just cause’. You are passionate about your 'just cause' and you work towards it consistently (whether you see it achieved or not) (Forbes, 2019a).

Practical Actions

  • Become clear on what your ‘just cause’ is. 
    • E.g. I want everyone to have the opportunity to learn. 
    • E.g. I want to create a world where learning is not a burden. 
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

2. Work in a Trusting Team

When you work in an environment of trust, you are able to be vulnerable and ask for support. Receiving the support that you need to progress is important. It enables you to make a difference (and contribute to your ‘just cause’).

Practical Actions

  • Work in a team that has a foundation of trust. 
  • Create a culture of trust in your team. 
  • If you work solo, connect with like-minded industry peers that you can build a trusting connection with. You can meet industry peers through:
    • LinkedIn (connect with us, we will be your friend!).
    • Instagram (we are on Instagram too!).
    • Networking events.
    • Conferences.

3. Admire Worthy Rivals

Simon Sinek says that trying to beat your competitors is a waste of your resources. Instead, admire your competitors and improve yourself to reach their level (Forbes, 2019a). 

You are unique and can bring something special to the industry if you focus on being the best version of yourself.

Practical Actions

  • Be inspired by your competitors. You could:
    • Recognise and complement the work they produce.
    • Follow them on Instagram.
    • Connect with them on LinkedIn.
    • Speak to them at networking events/conferences.
  • Try not to react negatively when a competitor has a ‘win’. If they have strengths that you want, make a plan to build those strengths for yourself. 
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Practice Existential Flexibility

It is important that you have the capacity for flexibility. To continue to contribute to your ‘just cause’, you may need to make big decisions, changes or shifts. Even if this results in short-term loss (Forbes, 2019b).

Practical Actions

  • Change direction if it is required to continue contributing to your ‘just cause’. 
  • Be flexible about the specifics of your future strategies. Listen and respond to needs.
Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

Have the Courage to Lead

To play an infinite game, you need to have the courage to make the right decisions. If a decision does not align with your ‘just cause’, say something (Conley, 2017).

For example, imagine that your biggest stakeholder makes discriminatory comments and decisions. If discrimination goes against your core values and ‘just cause’, you should say something right? Doing this would take courage. You may lose your stakeholder, lose opportunities and lose your reputation with their company. In the long-term you will attract and work with stakeholders that align with your values and ‘just cause’. Short term losses but the reward of a long term win.

Practical Actions

  • Stand up for what you believe in. 
  • Make the right decision over the popular decision. 
  • Accept that making the right decision is not always easy in the short-term.

That is it for this blog on How to Create an Infinite Mindset and Why You Need It. We hope that you gained value from the insights. Have a go at applying the practical actions to your world.

If you would like to discuss this topic in further detail, contact our passionate founder Kim via kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

References


Conley, R. (2017). Simon Sinek’s 5 Steps for Mastering the “Infinite” Game of Leadership. Retrieved from https://leaderchat.org/2017/10/27/simon-sineks-5-steps-for-mastering-the-infinite-game-of-leadership/.

Forbes. (2019a). Five Leadership Lessons: How To Build An Infinite Mindset. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2019/04/18/five-leadership-lessons-how-to-build-an-infinite-mindset/#8e5ab6711f55.

Forbes. (2019b). Simon Sinek: Applying The Infinite Game Mindset To Business. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/workday/2019/04/30/simon-sinek-applying-the-infinite-game-mindset-to-business/#44de121f33dd.

[Simon Sinek]. (2020a, Feb 14). The Lifestyle of an Infinite Mindset | Simon Sinek [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/UY-1-9ObaLE

Sinek, S. (2020b). The Infinite Game. Retrieved from https://simonsinek.com/the-infinite-game.

The Infinite Games. (2011). What Are Infinite Games. Retrieved from http://www.theinfinitegames.org/e01/03.php.

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