Excerpted from Knowledge@Wharton:

When Raj Gupta, former CEO of specialty chemicals firm Rohm and Haas, came to the U.S. from India as a young man, he had just eight dollars with him. Over the course of his career — he was with Rohm and Haas for more than 40 years — Gupta worked in different parts of the world and rose to leadership positions. “Selecting the right organization you work with and then having the belief in yourself, that it’s going to be a fair place for you to realize your potential, if you get that combination, I think the sky is the limit for most of us,” says Gupta.

In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton and Michael Useem, director of the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management, Gupta talks about his book Eight Dollars and a Dream: My American Journey, which he wrote with Syd Havely, president of Havely Consulting.