Looking at the rules of good leadership

Think:Act Magazine "Breaking the rules"
Looking at the rules of good leadership

Portrait of Think:Act Magazine

Think:Act Magazine

Munich Office, Central Europe
April 10, 2019

Simon Sinek answers three questions on leadership problems and how we can start rewriting the rules


with Simon Sinek

Read more about the topic "Breaking the rules"

Visionary thinker and author Simon Sinek is dedicated to a world where everyone feels inspired at work and fulfilled at the end of each day. Here he answers three questions concerning the rules of good leadership.

Do you think there's a leadership crisis in the world right now and if so, why is that the case – and what can be done to fix it?
The vast majority of people do not wake up inspired, feel safe at work or fulfilled at the end of each day. That's a leadership problem. Leaders are the ones who set the tone. As the leader goes, so goes the organization. We are where we are because too many heads of organizations prioritize finite metrics and their own egos over the well-being of their people. Leaders need to realize the role they play. Real leaders take care of their people so their people will take care of each other. Once that happens, the rest – customers, shareholders, finite success – takes care of itself.

Simon Sinek seated on an illustration of a lighthouse with the word “why?” coming out from the top of the tower

Your latest book, "The Infinite Game", gives some ground rules about how there is no "winning" in business. So what are the rules for a game you can't win and what rules have you learned while writing the book?
Most leaders don't know the game they are in. If you have more than one player, you have a game. There are two types of games – finite games and infinite games. Finite games have known players, agreed-upon rules and the objective is to win. Infinite games have known and unknown players, the rules change and the objective is to stay in the game. There is no end. Business is an infinite game, yet most organizations play by finite rules. You can tell by the way leaders speak about their goals and priorities: be number one, win the quarter. Playing an infinite game by finite rules will always lead you into quagmire.

Your bestselling book "Start With Why" has been hugely influential, but why is a person's "why" so important and how can you help someone who is struggling to find theirs?
Your "why" is your lighthouse. If someone wants to find their "why," all that is required is an openness to share meaningful stories from your past. The patterns and themes that emerge are the golden thread that informs your "why." The "why" discovery process requires an objective perspective and we cannot be objective with ourselves. To find our "why," we require an objective and curious listener.

About the person
Portrait of Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek
The author of five books on the topics of purpose and leadership, Sinek teaches strategic communications at Columbia University.
Further reading
Our Think:Act magazine
Think:Act magazine "Breaking the rules"
Think:Act Edition

Breaking the rules


Is breaking the rules a crucial skill? We examine how the people who have made their own rules also significantly shaped the world of business.

Published March 2019. Available in
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Portrait of Think:Act Magazine

Think:Act Magazine

Munich Office, Central Europe