The Dove Hunt That Changed Everything! #Leadership #GoalSetting #WisdomWednesday #CornerstoneLearning

Only three years into my career as an account executive for FedEx, I had one of life’s simple but defining moments for me.  I had just moved into a new house with my wife and two kids under the age of 5.  I felt like I had everything under control and headed in the right direction.  And then came the dove hunt invite that changed everything.

While I am not a big hunter, I did appreciate the invite from guys in the new neighborhood just trying to get to know one another.  It was going to be a day trip about 2 hours away.  The cost was $12.00 to hunt on the lease and the cost of shotgun shells.  While preparing for the trip I let the family know I was going to be gone on that Saturday but back that night and then the question came..."Does it cost anything?"  I said, “Yes, but not much, just $12.00 and some ammunition.”  I was completely shocked by the response. “While I would love for you to go, unfortunately we don’t have $12.00 for you to go”!  I had just had a bombshell dropped on me that I was not prepared for and I had to reevaluate everything. 

I work hard, we didn’t spen extravagantly, and a small opportunity to enjoy life I couldn’t do.  I was always told and heard motivational speakers all the time say you have to have goals if you are truly going to gain things you want or need in life.  That very meaningless event, when you look at the scope and complexity of life, did have a profound impact on me.

Rather than going hunting, I sat down that Saturday and started to write down goals, both personally and professionally.  I started with a list of things I wanted to do and needed to do but that required clarity and a focus to achieve.  Things like, I wanted to become a District Sales Manager in 3 years.  It is simply amazing how the law of attraction and achievement starts to take over when you commit to certain goals. 

You know, it may have just been pure coincidence or luck but within 45 days after sitting down that Saturday I was chosen, after an extensive internal interview process, to move to Memphis, Tennessee, the corporate headquarters for FedEx and become 1 of 5 Sales Training Facilitators, a 24 month program used to develop the future sales managers in the organization.

Not only did I achieve my goal of becoming a District Sales Manager in 18 months, I also found a love and passion for training and developing others that led me to co-found, with my manager at the time, David Cottrell, Cornerstone Leadership. That was now over 20 years ago.

I challenge you, take 30 minutes today listing out what you what to accomplish. You just never know where this simple act might take you.  I can assure you of one thing; If you don’t ever set goals, you will never achieve them.  Next week I will give you a simple and easy framework to set your goals.

Have a great week!

- Ken