On Friday I had a meeting with the leaders of Fredonia’s cheerleading team. I told them they had to answer this question before we could begin their training program:
What is this training program for?
“To learn how to exercise,” was one answer. I responded: “That’s what we’re going to do, but that’s not what the program is for.”
“To become better athletes.” Still not good enough.
“To win Nationals.” This was the best answer I heard, but it could have been better. Winning a competition is a finite game. Finding a purpose is an infinite game*.
I won’t give away the answer I have in mind. I’ll let you ponder that.
* Simon Sinek is releasing a book in November called The Infinite Game, a modern take on James Carse’s classic, Finite and Infinite Games.
In his talks, Sinek compares his experiences at Apple and at Microsoft. He says: “At Apple, everyone is obsessed with making products that help teachers teach and students learn. At Microsoft, everyone is obsessed with beating Apple.”
This is the difference between playing a finite game and an infinite game.