Discover how to be More of Who You Are, rather than a Version of the Competition.

In business, you’re likely engaged in either a finite or infinite game. Think professional sports: The finite game is winning this Saturday’s soccer game. The infinite game is soccer itself—it will be around as a sport whether you win or lose.

It’s hard to do work you’re proud of if you’re focused on crushing the competition or making the next million. That’s finite. No one stays on top forever with that goal. 

Businesses like that are built to be cashed-out when the owner retires or sold to a competitor. Employees are the last to benefit, turnover is constant and your best people leave.

Elon Musk is operating an infinite game. Tesla isn’t concerned about crushing anyone.

(Feb 2, 2019) Elon Musk announced Thursday he had released all of the electric carmaker’s patents, as part of an effort to fight climate change. In a blog post, the colorful billionaire founder of Tesla promised the company "will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."

Finite is not evil and infinite is not grand and glorious. But they are different and it pays to know which game you’re playing.

Culture is Born, not Declared

The thing about company culture is that it doesn’t make it happen by stating you have one. The culture we belong to has to do with our tribe (and I mean by that our close friends and associates), our background and history and the way we were raised.

In the same way that who we are as individuals takes a while to shake out—and actually changes over time—the same is true of business. Do you trust your boss, like your workmates, leave for work with a smile and hope to stay there for a while? If so, your company earned that over the years you worked there.


…do you watch the clock, hungering for it to be the end of the day, drop everything at quitting time and bolt for the door, as well as pry yourself out of bed on a workday? It may say “We Appreciate What You Do” over the door, but it’s stated, not earned.

You won’t be there for long and neither will the person who replaces you.

What your company stands for is best understood when you look at the rates of turnover.

Ask For the Sale

If a member of my sales staff has eight or ten bids for work out there, he’s in trouble with me. There’s comfort in having  lots of possibilities and comfortable sales people are not out there generating more leads—they’re comfortable.

So if you manage salespeople, insist they ask for the sale. Now. Today. I guarantee their sales and motivation will both increase in direct proportion to that single effort—asking for the sale.

Remind yourself that without a sale, there is no company.