The CEO of a shipping business wished he could make his company more profitable. He had great success when he first became CEO, but now shipping orders are down and the company’s profits have been stagnant. Daily the CEO askes himself, “What can be done to improve my company.” Often he would meet with the board of directors and staff to brainstorm together. Occasionally some good ideas would come out of the meetings and new policies would be made. All of the good ideas were implemented, but they never seemed to produce the desired outcome. Frustrated and flustered, the CEO went for a hike on a trail near his home. As he was walking and pondering about the plight of his company, he saw something very peculiar in the distance. There was a rainbow colored turkey coming his way on the trail. He first thought to himself that this turkey must be the victim of a cruel joke and had gotten away from the painters. Turkeys are not indigenous to the CEO’s area so it could have gotten out of a farm or ranch. The CEO continued to walk towards the rainbow turkey expecting it to run off as he got closer, yet it continued to talk towards the CEO. They both came to a stop right in front of each other, the turkey looking up and the CEO looking down both staring into each other’s eyes. The CEO said, “I am surprised you haven’t run away by now, aren’t you afraid of humans?” to this the turkey replied, “I am surprised you haven’t run away by now, aren’t you afraid of rainbow turkeys?” Taken back, the CEO replied, “I am scared now that I know you can talk.” The turkey continued to stare as the CEO as he stood there with a gapping mouth. “Well, let me introduce myself,” the turkey said, “I am the magical rainbow turkey. I appear on this trail once a year between 2:00 pm and 3:12 pm; I grant the wish of the first person I meet and you are the first person I have met, so what is your wish.” The CEO was amazed, not only was he surprised to meet a talking turkey, but he also got to have one wish, “his is to good to be true,” he thought. The CEO stood there still gaped mouthed, but now he was thinking about what his wish would be. He thought “I could ask for super powers but then I would have to deal with the whole responsibility and secret identity crap, no I know what I will wish for…” he paused for a second between his thoughts and what he would say. He then said, “I work for a shipping company and all I want is for my company to be profitable and flourish.” After this was said, there was a flash in the sky and the turkey was gone. Rubbing his eyes from the flash, the CEO stood there wondering if what he had just seen was real. He saw no turkey tracks or trace that the turkey was even there at all. He thought the whole thing to be weird and decided to go home.
A few weeks went by and the CEO often thought of the turkey incident. He thought that if the turkey was real and his wish really was granted, then the company should have changed by now. In the CEO’s head, he always thought as wishes coming true instantly. Kind of like the genie in the Aladdin movie. When the wish was made, the wish would come true. A few more weeks went by and nothing had changed. The CEO thought, “If that whole turkey thing really happened something should have changed by now.” “Whatever,” said the CEO as he decided to forget about the whole thing. He also decided to see a shrink just in case he was losing it. He then packed up work and went home for the weekend. Little did he know what would happen the following week.
The next week came around and things seemed normal for the first couple of days. The shipping docks were working fine, the employees were working well, and the office seemed fine, everything was normal. On Wednesday, a surprise audit was conducted by an accounting firm that was hired by the CEO as an independent auditor for the company. Not being a huge corporation the audit only took a couple of days. The auditors in their search found things the CEO would have never dreamed of. They found that the CFO and a few other accountants had embezzled money from the company. This had been going on for years and no one knew until now. The CEO was shocked, not only had his trusted CFO been stealing money from the company for years, but also he was not alone. It was a huge embarrassment for the company. Once word got out, the news reporters grabbed hold of the story and ran with it. The story was in the papers and news casts for weeks.
Embezzlement alone is enough to hurt a company’s image and workflow, but other things started to go wrong. Machines on the factory floor started to break. First, the scanning tools used to keep inventory went out of whack and when those were fixed or replaced, the conveyer machine broke. All these problems started to show up in the news also. The headlines read, “CFO of shipping company caught for years of embezzlement” and “Shipping company falling apart inside and out.” Weeks and months went by like this making life very stressful for the CEO and the remaining employees who didn’t leave. Many of the employees left thinking the company was going under and others left because they didn’t want to deal with a company that had accounting and machine problems.
The company was not in good shape; customer satisfaction was at an all time low. Deliveries were either late or not delivered at all. The CEO was about at the end of his wits. “What has gone wrong?” he thought, “I had a dream that I wish on a magic turkey for my company to be profitable and flourish and all that has happened is just the opposite.” Everything seemed to go wrong for the CEO and his company. One night as the CEO was lying in his bed staring at the ceiling, he was thinking about all the stress and problems at work and he just broke down. “Why has everything gone wrong?” he thought as he started to sob. He laid there for a long time crying and feeling helpless and hopeless. In that moment of depression, he thought to himself, “I and my company will make it through this lull and be better for it. I need to lift up my head and move forward”. He did not believe what he had just thought, but for some reason he felt better and decided to move forward. The next day at work, he called all the executives and managers into a special meeting to discuss the current company status and figure out how to get the company back on its feet. Often when a company meeting is held, about half of the room is daydreaming and the other half is anger at the first half. For some reason this meeting was not like that. All those in attendance seemed to care about what was said. The room radiated with energy and the ideas flowed like water. After the meeting was over all departed with a sense of accomplishment and drive to improve the company.
Over the next few months, things could not have been better. The CEO looked from with in the company to hire a CFO. The factory was updated with new and improved machines that operated with a more user-friendly system then the old ones. New trucks were purchased and other upgrades were made to the factory. Best of all the employees were ten times happier then they have ever been and that translated to the customers. Business started to pick up. Soon there were orders coming in left and right. The level of shipping orders had never been so high. The company had no problem handling the increased load because of the recent upgrades.
While pondering about the recent inflow of business and the amazing turn around the company had made, the CEO noticed that it was about a year ago when he went on that hike. Then the thought came to him that the turkey said, “I appear on this trail once a year between 2:00 pm and 3:12 pm; I grant the wish of the first person I meet…” The CEO got up from his chair and went through his old schedules to see if he could pinpoint the day he went on that hike. He found that it was a year ago in three days from now. He had never really ruled out that the turkey was not real, yet he still had doubts. Therefore, he decided to check out the trail to see if it was all a dream or not. He told himself that the turkey could have talked but he would never believe that the wish came true because of all the bad things that had happened. The day of his one-year anniversary came around and he went for a hike. He walked down the trail between the hours of 2-4 and stayed close to the area where he thought he remembered he saw the turkey. After about a half hour of hanging out, he started to lose hope. Then in the distance, he saw something familiar. Something short and rainbow colored. Lo and behold, there was the same turkey the CEO had so often said was not real. The CEO walked up slowly and so did the turkey. “So we meet again,” said the turkey seeming as though he was smiling. “Yes we meet again,” replied the CEO still in shock to be talking to a turkey. It took a lot of courage for the CEO to ask this question, but he had to know one thing. “Why did you say you would grant me one wish, why did you lie to me like that? Are you some jokester or something?” To which the turkey replied,”What do you mean I lied? Is not your company prospering and flourishing as we speak?” “Well yes it is no thanks to you Mr. poopy-head. My company went through hell to get to where we are and we worked our butts off to get there.” The turkey’s reply will forever ring in the CEO’s ears, “Sure you are the one who did all the work but I am the one that made it all possible. Your company had problems that needed fixing before you could grow. First, the embezzlement was put to a stop. Second, all the lazy and apathetic employees were weeded out. Third, your operating systems were improved to a capacity that could handle the new inflow of business and now there is room to grow. The old system had reached its maximum capacity, and there is a unity among your employees that all other companies envy. Fourth, when you were at your lowest, I am the one that gave you the final determination to go on no matter what. I whispered to you “Lift up your head and move forward” and you did. Now look where you are… your wish has come true and you are better for it and happier than you have ever been. If I gave to you all that you wanted instantly, you would still have the embezzlement problems and your employees would freak out from all the new machines they wouldn’t know how to use. A wish that is granted instantly is appreciated for but a short time and never benefits the life of the wisher. You wished that your company would prosper and flourish but you were not mentally ready for all the changes that needed to happen so I refined you at the same time I granted your wish”.
The CEO stood dumbfounded. He realized that the wish had come true even if it was not in the way he expected. The turkey was right about him being happier now then he had ever been. Slowly the CEO responded, “I guess you are right. Do I get another wish since I have you here?” “No, I just gave this years allowance to some old lady down the road. I just kept walking this year because I knew you wanted to talk to me.” The CEO stood in amazement to everything that the turkey just said. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to hug the turkey for granting his wish or if he wanted to strangle him for putting him through all the trouble over the last year. The turkey had finished all he had to say so he bid the CEO adieu and started to walk on. After the turkey had gotten a bit down the path the CEO yelled out “Just out of curiosity, what did the old lady ask for.” To which the Turkey said back, “She asked for a new pair of dentures because she can’t afford to buy any, but instead of giving her a new pair of dentures I am going to get her care taker thrown in jail.” With a confused sound in his voice, the CEO asked, “Why!” The turkey said, “her care taker has been taking money from this lady for quite some time, if the care taker is taken out of the picture and a new honest one is put in his place the lady will have plenty of money to buy dentures”. The turkey went on to say just before he disappeared in a bright flash of light,”I give people what they need when they ask for what they want”.
The CEO stood in the same place for quite some time thinking about what he had seen and heard. He thought about how grateful he was for all the turkey had done for him and how his life has turned out. The CEO left the trail and never returned but he never forgot the turkey or what he learned over that one year. The CEO never spoke of the turkey to any one and when ever he was confused or thought he needed the turkey’s help he would think, “What would the turkey do” and some how he would figure out what need to be done. The End