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In this week's A Call to Lead I talk with Simon Sinek. You may know Simon from his TED Talks, which are viral phenoms, or his best-selling books. Start With Why, his first book, is a guide to discovering and honing purpose to help build extraordinary teams. In his upcoming and fifth book, The Infinite Game, Simon explains how to lead in a world where the competition comes and goes, where rules are changeable, and where there is neither a finish line nor definite winners. Simon spoke about playing "the infinite game" as part of a keynote I gave kicking off the year for SAP last month, and in this podcast he talks about that and much more. Here are our team's five takeaways from the episode of A Call to Lead with Simon:

 

17:39 - To play the infinite game is really hard. Among all the important leadership traits, courage is No. 1. To do the right thing in the face of pressure is hard.

 

17:39 - Empathy is another critical leadership trait. Our common humanity matters. Whether they're customers or vendors or employees, we're dealing with human beings.

 

20:55 - Annual evaluations are a thing of the past, and it's not so much what the evaluation says, it's what the trend lines say. If you had a bad evaluation first and second quarter, but third and fourth quarter start to show signs of looking up, that's a good person. You’ll want to give that person a shot to keep improving.

 

24:10 - It's the responsibility of businesses to provide their people and their customers and their vendors a sense of purpose and a cause that we're all advancing - something that’s bigger than ourselves, and that's why all of life’s blood, sweat, and tears are worth it.

 

24:48 - Metrics are very important. Metrics help us measure speed and distance. But they don't indicate the end of the game.

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