A Marine who coaches Fortune 500 execs explains why setting goals is a complete waste of time

Combat veteran Andrew Wittman was an infantry Marine for 6 years. Wittman is the author of “Ground Zero Leadership: CEO of You,” and coaches Fortune 500 CEO’s and top executives. Here, Wittman explains why setting goals can be a complete waste of time. Following is a transcript of the video.

Setting goals is the biggest waste of time on planet Earth. People are shocked when I say that. Setting goals is a complete waste of time if you don’t have a target destination. So I say it like this: Have you ever gone on a vacation and you didn’t know where you were going? And if that ever happened, how did you pack?

So I don’t know where I’m going. Here’s my goals. I’m going to set goals of getting a surfboard, getting skis, getting hunting rifles, getting fishing rods. OK, all those took time to research, I spent resources, I got them, “Yay, I accomplished my goals.” “Where you going?” “We’re going rock climbing.” Right? So, these goals did not help me.

In fact, I wasted valuable hours of my life and valuable resources I could have spent getting me to my destination on stuff that was a complete waste. So now think of it like this: If I said, “We’re going to Rome in 2 weeks.” All the goals self-populate.

What do we need to do? We’ve got to get our passport and visa. We’ve got to get plane tickets. We’ve got to get a hotel. We’ve got to figure out where we’re going to eat — and what we’re going to go see. So the goals self-populate. So stop wasting time trying to come up with goals. Just come up with a destination and a target of where you want to be and all your goals will self-populate.

Produced by Eames Yates

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on June 9, 2017.