I recently read the book Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse. Essentially, the idea of the book is that reality is broken into two types of games.
In the author's own words, " 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 game”
After reading the book I began to think about the applications of the concepts in a work context. I quickly began to realize that the majority of work that I enjoy is finite in nature. That is, work with clear rules, clear winners and losers, and a clear end. While the work can be varying and abstract, I prefer when the frame is set.
I think some of this preference may have come from a background in athletics where games are always finite. I also think some comes from a practical view on work. There are things to be done and incentives should be in place to push players towards those goals. Once the goals are achieved, play a new game. Move on.
I've always had a difficult time understand work roles that involve maintenance over progression. I think a lot of work at large companies falls in this category. It's not that I disagree with anyone that prefers that style, I just have a difficult time balancing motivation and priority when the target is moving or non-existent.
Anyway, the book is a quick, thought-proking read and definitely suggest picking it up.