A lot of management guru’s keep mentioning that focus is needed to outperform the competition and getting the best of yourself. To reach your goals. Distraction is a taboo. “Don’t let yourself be distracted by passers-by and side issues. They do not serve your objectives!”
In a way there is a lot to say for this “rule”. As long as you keep in mind this is general practice and there are exceptions on the rule. A lot of managers and ceo’s, however, practice this rule without an eye for exceptions. And believe me, they miss out a lot of valuable opportunities.
Accidental passers-by can be of a great value. But you never know for sure when a passer-by will be of value. So at least, when someone wants to meet, hear them out what purpose they have. If it is to sell you an insurance or decrease your electricity bill, you can safely assume this appointment will bring you nothing.
However, when the other person tells you he wants to meet to discuss a serious business opportunity, it’s a different story. So hear him out a little bit more before disconnecting. This might be one of the rare opportunities of great value.
I am a strong believer of serendipity. But to let this happen, you need an open mind. If your mind is closed, because of the hyperfocus on doing only things contributing to your goals, then you miss out a lot of valuable, coincedental opportunities.
So in general, stay focussed, but not hyperfocussed. Keep an open mind for opportunities!