In What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack refers to a study conducted on students of the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In the study, students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only 3 percent of the graduates had written down their goals and plans. Thirteen percent had goals that were not in writing, while 84 percent had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings were truly shocking. The 13 percent of the class who had had goals were earning on average twice as much as the 84 percent who had had no goals at all. And what about the 3 percent who had had clear, written goals? They were earning on average 10 times as much as the other 97 percent.