Thursday, January 18, 2024


 The World Athletic Championships just got concluded in Budapest, Hungary. While many of us know the sport of javelin through Neeraj Chopra (World Championship 2023 and Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist), India's men's javelin team also features exceptional athletes Kishore Jena and DP Manu, who finished a respectable 5th and 6th in the finals.

A few days before the championships, Neeraj became aware of administrative issues regarding Kishore's visa. In Kishore's support, Neeraj tweeted-
"Just heard that there are issues with Kishore Jena's VISA, preventing him from entering Hungary for the World C’ships... Let’s do everything we can. 🙏"

Ultimately, the issue was resolved, likely aided by Neeraj's influence.

Another inspiring story comes from the recent Chess World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan. An impressive 4 out of the 8 possible quarterfinalists were Indians. Among them, R Praggnanandhaa advanced to the finals, winning a silver medal. This generation duly credits Vishwanathan Anand for the role he played in their rise.

Anand, still an active player, could have easily chosen to focus solely on competing. However, he decided to embrace the role of mentorship, nurturing the next generation of Indian chess talent for the greater good of the sport in our country.

These stories resonated deeply with me and reminded me of the concept of 'Infinite Game' that Simon Sinek popularized. (video i saw recently:

In a finite game, such as football or chess, the landscape is well-defined: players are known, rules are fixed, and the goal is a clear endpoint—winning. Success is measured by outperforming opponents within a specific timeframe.

In contrast, infinite games, like business or life itself, operate in a more fluid context. Players may come and go, rules are changeable, and there's no ultimate 'winning' because the game itself has no defined endpoint. Here, the focus shifts to long-term sustainability, fostering collaboration, and creating value that benefits not just the individual but the entire ecosystem. The aim is not to 'win,' but to ensure that the game continues, evolves, and includes as many players as possible in a positive, ongoing process.

Neeraj's proactive efforts to help Kishore resolve his visa issues and Anand's decision to mentor younger talents instead of solely competing illustrate the principles of Infinite Game Leadership. In both cases, they looked beyond their individual pursuits, focusing on the collective good and long-term growth of their respective sports. Their actions align with the idea of playing an 'Infinite Game,' where the objective isn't merely to win a single event, but rather to ensure the game itself continues, contributing positively to a broader, ongoing process.

What are your thoughts?

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