Boundless Leadership: Drive results now, lead impact for a lifetime

Australian Cricket has had a bit of a big bash these last few months. Caught in the act of ball tampering, three players were suspended and a broad culture and ethics review was undertaken by the Ethics Centre.

The report states,

"We have seen evidence that the structures built around elite cricket are oriented to winning, without properly counting the cost."

There was much good stuff about Australian Cricket written in the report about the aspirational intentions of the team. These were Australian Cricket values identified by the report:

  • Show respect, talk straight

  • Never be afraid to challenge or be challenged

  • PLAY HARD AND PLAY FAIR

  • Embrace diversity. Listen. Customer’s Voice 1st. Do what’s best for cricket.

Guidelines without focus are results without ethics, as Cricket Australia discovered in hindsight.

As leaders, this is what we can learn:

Don't sacrifice long-term contribution for short-term results! Results need to be signals for effective and quality execution, not an end in themselves.

If all we focus on is results, then we will bend and jiggle and warp the means to get there.

We’ve seen it time and again with the high profile governance scandals: AMP and other banks as exposed in the Banking Royal Commission. Short term profit goals drove unethical and illegal behaviour.

It’s not about throwing results out the window and standing on principle. We still need to drive results. But we also need to lead impact for a lifetime. This means that we see beyond the short-term win to the long-term meaning of our activities. It’s not about the scoreboard, it’s about the game.

Finite and Infinite games.png

In his remarkable book, Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse says:

"Infinite play is inherently paradoxical, just as finite play is inherently contradictory.

Because it is the purpose of infinite players to continue the play, they do not play for themselves.

The contradiction of finite play is that the players desire to bring play to an end for themselves. The paradox of infinite play is that the players desire to continue the play in others. The paradox is precisely that they play only when others go on with the game."

Basically Carse is saying that you can play the short view and play only to win. This is selfish and what Carse would say is a Finite Game.

The Infinite Game is relishing in the impermanence of things and that the joy of the game is playing it so others can play after you. The Infinite Game elevates play because its purpose is about what comes after us.

So in our work as leaders, there are finite games: these are projects that create results. And there are Infinite Games: the transformation we are creating as Amplifiers, the purpose that gives the results and projects meaning.

Where do you put your focus? Is it on short terms results or long-term impact? How can you swing your focus between the two?

***

P.S. And, whenever you’re ready... here are 4 ways I can help you:

1. Grab a free copy of our Boundless Leadership Toolkit

It’s the roadmap to develop a boundless organisation: e-books, white papers, checklists to have more impact, less struggle.

2. Join our Boundless Leadership Basecamp

It’s our new Facebook community where leaders come to learn how to have more impact with less struggle. We explore tips and hacks for corporate culture, strategy and personal excellence.

3. Get equipped at our next event

Meet other adventurous leaders seeking do be, think, and do more. Sharpen your leadership thinking skills Leadership training and tribe meetings are listed here.  

4. Work with me and other Renegade Pathfinders in the Leader’s Edge Mastermind

If you’d like to work directly with me to build a boundless life, team, or organisation, send me a message with PRIVATE in the subject line and let me know a little about your work and what you’d like to work on together.

***