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Leaders Teach us the Why, Playing Infinite Games & A Bit of Optimism w/ Simon Sinek - AZ TRT S05 EP10 (225) 3-10-2024

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Release Date: 03/15/2024

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More Episodes

Leaders Teach us the Why, Playing Infinite Games & A Bit of Optimism w/ Simon Sinek

 

AZ TRT S05 EP10 (225) 3-10-2024 

 

What We Learned This Week

  • Best Selling Author & Speaker Simon Sinek talks Leadership & creating safe environments
  • New Podcast A Bit of Optimism - inspiring stories
  • Start With the Why - tell people the Why, before the What & How
  • Playing Infinite Games - long term over short term
  • Leaders Eat Last - Empathy, care about employees

 

 

Guest: Simon Sinek, Best Selling Author & Speaker

Simon is an unshakeable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.

 

 

Described as "a visionary thinker with a rare intellect," Simon has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist; a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe wherever they are, and end the day fulfilled by the work they do.

A trained ethnographer, Simon is fascinated by the people and organizations that make the greatest and longest-lasting impact. Over the years, he has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act, and communicate, and also the environments in which people operate at their natural best.

Simon may be best known for his TED Talk on the concept of WHY, which has been viewed over 60 million times, and his video on millennials in the workplace-which reached 80 million views in its first week and has gone on to be seen hundreds of millions of times.

He continues to share inspiration through his bestselling books, including global bestseller Start with WHY and New York Times bestsellers Leaders Eat Last and The Infinite Game, as well as his podcast, A Bit of Optimism.

 

In addition, Simon is the founder of The Optimism Company, a leadership learning and development company, and he publishes other inspiring thinkers and doers through his publishing partnership with Penguin Random House called Optimism Press.

His unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention, and he has met with a broad array of leaders and organizations in nearly every industry. He frequently works with different branches of the US Armed Forces and agencies of the US government, and is an adjunct staff member with the RAND Corporation - one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world.

Simon is also active in the arts and with not-for-profit work, or what he likes to call the for-impact sector. In 2021, he founded The Curve: a diverse group of forward-thinking chiefs and sheriffs committed to reform modern policing from the inside-out. Their purpose is to build a profession dedicated to protecting the vulnerable from harm while advancing a vision of a world in which all people feel justice is administered with dignity, equity, and fairness.

 

 

A BIT OF OPTIMISM Podcast

 

The future is always bright.if you know where to look. Join Simon Sinek each week for A Bit of Optimism as he talks to inspiring people who teach him more about life, leadership and generally interesting things.



Episodes & Info: HERE  



 

Simon’s Books: HERE

 

 

 

 

Start with Why - how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound - Link to Video Talk HERE

 

 

 

The Infinite Game - Link to Video Talk HERE

 

 

 

Leaders Eat Last | Simon Sinek - Link to Video Talk HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

 

Seg. 1

 

Host Matt talking 3 Key Simon Sinek Concepts –

Start with Why, Infinite Game, Leaders Eat Last

 

 

Start with Why

'German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why, can endure any how.’ Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!). Indeed, only when you know your ‘Why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.' - excerpt from Forbes article

People buy why you do it, so start with the why.

Most business know the what, and how they do it - but rarely understand the 'Why'.

This is what your mission statement should be.

Starbucks does it for customer connection, to make interaction unique for the customer, make it an experience, more than just buying a cup of coffee. People believe Starbucks cares about them so they buy more coffee and keep coming back. It helps that customers enjoy the coffee, but there are lots of places to get good coffee. They go for the experience. Starbucks feels different than the other stores.

The Starbucks Mission Statement is: "Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."

People wonder about the future of Apple after Steve Jobs. Their current mission statement is about products and how much better they are than competitors. This is very different than what Jobs believed, and maybe that is why they have hit a bump recently. I pulled an excerpt from an investing article  -

'It is radically different from Steve Jobs' original ideals, which are encapsulated in his mission statement: "To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind." This reflects Jobs' ethos and statements from his family members after his death – that what satisfied him most was watching kids use Apple products in the classroom.'

The most fundamental difference between Apple's current ideals and Jobs' vision is that Jobs saw Apple products as a tool to improve the quality of life for mankind.' (You can read more here.)

There is a great TED Talk by Simon Sinek called 'Start With the Why'. He explains perfectly this point. He even gives a good summary of Apple's marketing and what makes it so effective.

The rise of social media has taught us a lot about ourselves. One thing is the need for more connection, to feel important, and often to be a part of something bigger. 

That is why the 'Why' is so important in business. People can get a bottle of water anywhere. But they would rather buy a brand that is environmentally friendly and trying to help the world. And they will pay more that bottle of water. 

Do you know your 'Why' in life? What motivates you to work so hard during the week? 

How well we do at our career is often affected by what our motivations are. It is more than just passion (though that helps also). It can be your family, or life mission, or some core belief. Whatever it is , it is always personal. No one else can tell you your 'Why'. 

When you are making a plan and it seems like it will be too difficult to carry out, the 'Why' can help. Even if you enjoy your job, relationship, or hobby, there will be tough times. Knowing the 'Why' will carry you through those tough times, and keep you believing. If you know the 'Why, you will find the 'How'. 

 

The Infinite Game

 

There are two types of games: finite and infinite games. Finite games have clear rules, well-defined beginnings and endings, and clear winners and losers.

Infinite games have fuzzy rules, no clearly defined "win," and players can change the way they play anytime. The objective is to keep playing for as long as possible.

Finite games work when both participants understand the game and rules – like sports, football or basketball.

 

Infinite Games also work when both players have the same objective – The Cold War, just survive and do not kill each other.

 

Confusion happens when the opponents are playing different games.

 

The example Sinek uses is the Vietnam War. USA was trying to kill the enemy and win the war thru military combat. Vietnam was just trying to survive and outlast the Americans, no matter how long it took.

 

Another example is the rivalry of Microsoft vs Apple. Per Sinek’s experience speaking at events run by each company – Microsoft talked and focused on beating Apple. Apple focused on making better products. Microsoft was short term and short sighted. Apple was long term and had a vision.

 

 

Companies that operate with a finite mindset are designed for stability. While they might produce quarterly results, they are not prepared to handle disruptions.

In contrast, companies that play the infinite game are designed to embrace unpredictable situations and adapt to them. Infinite minded organizations think in terms of generations, not quarters.

The five essential principles for the infinite mindset are: 1) exist to further a just cause, 2) build trust in teams, 3) find worthy rivals, 4) display existential flexibility to make extreme strategic shifts, and 5) find the courage to lead with an infinite mindset.

A Just Cause is a clear future vision that is bigger than the organization that it serves to further. The Just Cause provides the long-term motivation, direction, and purpose required to play the infinite game. It creates customer loyalty, brings out the best in employees, and gives the organization both strength and longevity.

The core task of a CEO is not to manage operations. The CEO should be the Chief Vision Officer who communicates the Just Cause to the team and ensures that C-level executives direct their efforts to advance it. The best-run organizations have a CEO who focuses on the long-term and a COO who focuses on business plans and operations.

In an infinite game, competitors are not opponents to be defeated but "worthy rivals" who continuously push the organization to do better. In an Infinite game, more than one organization can simultaneously do well.

Build a company with a culture and good product development that lasts…..

 

 

 

Leader Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

 

Real Leadership is about empathy, and a circle of safety for employees

Long term leaders focus on people, work as a team, & help each other

 

Build an Environment of happy employees who feel inspired - happy chemicals

Employees who are not afraid to fail, not concerned they will be punished for mistakes

 

Simon does not like the modern capitalist picture created in the 1980s by GE CEO Jack Welch – aka The Welch Way or the Wrong Way per Simon

Sinek’s argument that leading for long-term is better than leading for the short-term by comparing GE & Welch vs Costco  

·         The short-term leader:  Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric

  • The long-term leader:  Jeff Sinegal, former CEO of Costco

Sinek compares GE vs Costco by measuring profits via the rise and fall of their stocks, and then connecting those price moves to the decisions made by the leadership.

GE / Jack Welch / Short-term leadership:  

  • Profits at GE were like a roller coaster ride due to irrational decision making without regard for long-term implication
  • Every year Jack would fire the bottom 10% of his managers at GE to balance the books
  • GE did indeed make profit, but it was more like rolling the dice and gambling with lives of employees for selfish gain — this is not strategy, this is a man on high on dopamine

Costco / Jeff Sinegal / Long-term leadership:

  • While Welch was striking fear into the hearts of his managers, Jeff Sinegal was concerned about giving his employees a raise — at a time when the US was in an economic crisis… Sinegal would say that they should be helping the employees in bad times, not letting them go.
  • Costco’s stock was (and still is) stable and predictable — nothing exciting about it, just great, clean, predictable progress, performance and profit… when you’re the 2nd largest retailer in the country, predictability is better than spontaneity.

 

 

 

Seg. 2

 

Interview With Simon Sinek discussing his concepts, leadership, creating a safe and optimistic culture, and his new podcast – A Bit of Optimism

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Topic: HERE

 

Investing Topic: HERE

 

Tech Topic: HERE

 

‘Best Of’ Topic: HERE 

 

 

Thanks for Listening.

Please Subscribe to the BRT Podcast.

 

 

AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0 with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursTop Executives, Founders, and Investors come to share insights about the future of business

AZ TRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, & how classic industries are evolving

Common Topics Discussed: Startups, Founders, Funds & Venture Capital, Business, Entrepreneurship, Biotech, Blockchain / Crypto, Executive Comp, Investing, Stocks, Real Estate + Alternative Investments, and more… 

 

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‘Best Of’ AZ TRT Podcast: Click Here

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the Hosts, Guests and Speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent (or affiliates, members, managers, employees or partners), or any Station, Podcast Platform, Website or Social Media that this show may air on. All information provided is for educational and entertainment purposes. Nothing said on this program should be considered advice or recommendations in: business, legal, real estate, crypto, tax accounting, investment, etc. Always seek the advice of a professional in all business ventures, including but not limited to: investments, tax, loans, legal, accounting, real estate, crypto, contracts, sales, marketing, other business arrangements, etc.