successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his
directors or his children, he decided to do something different.
He called all the young executives in his company together.
"It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO," he said. "I have
decided to choose one of you."
The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to
give each one of you a seed today - a very special seed. I want you to
plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what
you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants
that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a
He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a
pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.
Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about
three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds
and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but
nothing ever grew.
Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others
were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt
like a failure.
Six months went by - still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed
his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim
didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and
fertilizing the soil - he so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought
their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't
going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what
Jim felt sick at his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing
moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.
He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at
the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful in
all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his
colleagues laughed. A few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young
Jim just tried to hide in the back.
"My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO.
"Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty
pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front.
Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will
have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed.
Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then
announced to the young executives, "Here is your next Chief Executive! His
name is Jim!"
Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be
the new CEO the others said?
Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a
I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me
today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not
possible for them to grow.
All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.
"When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed
for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty
to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be
the new Chief Executive!"
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
And at the last, If you plant love, you will reap