The Long Shot (ASAE Edition)

Yesterday, the annual meeting & expo for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) kicked off with much anticipation and fanfare.  While you may not be familiar with this organization, they represent 21,000 members in over 9,000 organizations in 50+ countries.  These are the folks that hold those big conventions, bringing millions of dollars of business to destinations around the world.asae

In other words, if your city gets to host this amazing annual event, it’s like hosting the Super Bowl…but better. It is forecasted that in just a few years following an ASAE annual event, more than $500 million of convention business befalls the host city.

So where did yesterday’s meeting launch?  Las Vegas?  New York?  Orlando?

Try Detroit.

The good folks at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau had a dream.  Landing the mighty ASAE was more than a long shot, considering all the challenges and setbacks Motown has faced over the years.  Undeterred, Detroiters rallied together and went for it.  They made a thoughtful decision to pursue the biggest possible outcome, not shoot for a second-rate win.  Once committed, the team leapt into action and became totally focused on what it would take to land the whale.  After more than a year of world-famous Detroit hustle, they achieved the impossible. Detroit scored the long shot.


Unfortunately, many organizations and individuals quit before even trying. The big, game-changing outcomes they seek appear so distant and unachievable they don’t even give it a shot at all.  It’s a tragedy when potential is squandered by fear, laziness, or lack of confidence. Too often, we settle rather than climb. Years later, we then become overwhelmed with regret for the long shots we never summoned the courage to take.

Don’t fall into the trap of only pursing the chip shots of life. Instead, let your imagination soar while envisioning the ultimate long shot for your company, career, or community. Once that vision is crafted, spend every drop of energy pursuing it with the ferocity of a prizefighter. Redirect fear into action. Timidness into tenacity. Indifference into grit.

Pursuing the long shot may not yield victory every time, and if the goal is missed after an honest effort, we need to harness resiliency – instead of resignation – from our setbacks. Even if the outcome misses the mark, it’s certainly better to have taken the shot.

What’s the long shot that’s calling for you?  While it may seem like a stretch, the goal line may be closer than you think. The greatest achievements always appear farfetched at first, but those obstacles can be overcome when attacked with vigor.

Take a lesson from my brother and sisters in the City of Detroit, who are enjoying the delicious fruits of seizing an unlikely victory.

Take yourself to task. Take the long shot.asae3