Don't Let Goals Get in the Way of Opportunities

Nitin Nohria: If you make others around you feel that you took the best advantage of every opportunity you were given, I promise you, you will get more opportunity in the future.

People get very goal-fixated.  If you decide from the first day that you are going to have this plan for how to get to the top, you may end up in fact, not being open to the right opportunity that might come to you. 


If people see you as being overly-obsessed with racing to the top, they may not in fact give you the opportunities that allow you to get to the top.  So I would say to them, "Do the work that you’ve been given at each moment in the best way possible. Remain open-minded about the possibilities and opportunities that will come to you. Don’t live always with the end in mind. At least think hard about what you can contribute every time you are given an opportunity.  And if you keep doing that, if you create value and if you make others around you feel that you took the best advantage of every opportunity you were given, I promise you, you will get more opportunity in the future."

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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