Monday Morning Edge (12/21/2020)

Welcome to the Monday Morning Edge newsletter!

Greetings from Oostburg, WI!

✈️ With Christmas right around the corner, Jess and I are back in our hometowns with family. As I write this, there’s no snow on the ground — something that’s become unfortunately common in recent years if my memory serves me right. To me, Christmas and snow go together, but it looks like that won’t be the case this year in the Frozen Tundra.

Anyway, whether you’re traveling or staying home this Christmas season, I wanted to wish you and your loved ones a healthy, fun, and blessed time together. 

With each passing year, I’ve grown to appreciate this season more and more. I love the slower pace as we step away from our day-to-day, spend time with loved ones, and reflect. 

While I’ll still be working remotely this week, I’m planning on taking some time to reflect on 2020 and think forward to 2021 using ​Brett Bartholomew’s Self-Reflection Guide​ and Taylor Pearson’s Antifragile Planning Process. If you want to join me in making sure you’re entering 2021 with your best foot forward, just click those links!​

Just one more order of business before we get into the newsletter: in the spirit of reflection, slowing down, and celebration, Monday Morning Edge will be taking next week off. I’ll be back Monday, January 4!

With all of that taken care of, let’s dive in ⤵️

​Around the Web

The best of what I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to.

♾ 1. Finite and Infinite Games​ by James Carse (Full Book PDF)

If you’re a Simon Sinek fan, you might be familiar with his latest book, ​The Infinite Game​. Well, did you know that the book is based on an earlier book by James P. Carse, written in 1986?

The book starts by saying:

There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.

One of the most profound ways this book has affected my life has been in realizing that in order to innovate, you must play an infinite game. And as I’ve written before, competition is a zero-sum (finite) game that stifles true innovation (going from zero to one).

Finite games are inherently zero-sum. Infinite games are positive-sum. Therefore, all innovation that leads to positive-sum wealth creation is rooted in an infinite game.

The idea of finite and infinite games infiltrates almost anything in life. So if you’re interested in that kind of thing, make sure to check out the book.

And with the theme of infinite games top of mind, I’d like to use this newsletter to introduce you to two of the most infinite-minded players I know.

📈 2. [Podcast] – Sam Hinkie – Find Your People on Invest Like the Best ​(1hr, 17min)

As I’ve said before, when Sam Hinkie speaks, I listen. This episode is no different.

One of the things I so appreciate about Sam is the importance he places on people. To some, he has a reputation of being a cold, data-driven former NBA General Manager. But after listening to him talking, I don’t think that’s who he is at all. 

Rather, Hinkie is all about compounding trust, downstream dividends, and following people’s breadcrumbs.

For example, I love Hinkie’s insights into how bringing great people into your team raises the standards of who you bring on next. There’s a really cool flywheel where adding A-players attracts other A-players and played out over the long-term, you end up with a savage team.

This flywheel is a product of playing an infinite game. When the goal is hiring great people with who you can compound trust over a long period of time, you’re playing an infinite, positive-sum game.

👀 3. The Observer Effect – Tobi Lütke​​ (Article/Interview, 39-minute read — but well worth it!)

Last week was a great week for new content. Not only was there a new Sam Hinkie episode, but Sriram Krishnan released a brand new interview with Shopify’s CEO, Tobi Lütke.

Lütke is a fascinating person who thinks differently about how to run and operate a modern company. For example, his ideas on making Shopify antifragile have me thinking about what that may look like in my life and work.

🔋One of my favorite “Tobi-isms” is his idea of the trust battery. The idea is simple: every relationship has a trust battery that either gets filled up or depleted with each interaction

The core of the idea is that trust exists on a sliding scale, not an on-off switch. This has obvious applications for coaching, and goes a long way towards building buy-in with your players, staff, and front office.

If you find Lütke as fascinating as I do, you’ll also love his podcast interviews with Farnam Street and Patrick O’Shaugnessy. I’ve listened to both of these multiple times and can’t recommend them enough. 

The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”​​ (Article, 20-minute read)

7 Rejections ​(Article, 3-minute read)

​That’s all for today’s newsletter. 

Appreciate you spending some time with me.

Hope you have a great week,