A successful businessman was growing old and he knew that it was time to choose a 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.
He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. 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 – one 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 seed. 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 with the CEO about what happened. Jim felt sick to 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 executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “I can see that only one of you should be appointed the next CEO!” The CEO had 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, “Behold 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 mumbled. Then the CEO made this announcement, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But what you did not know was that I gave each of you a boiled seed; they were all dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees, plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you or even worst, without effort, went out yesterday to buy a one year old plant to present to me today. Jim, on the other hand, was the only one among you with the courage, integrity, and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed still in it. Therefore, he is the one who has the character to be your new Chief Executive!”
What a great story with immense meaning demonstrating once more the Wisdom of Three and its ties to the Natural Laws. To further build on the analogy of how wisdom is explained through the examples given to us by the Natural Laws consider the following. Did you know that a healthy seed requires only three things in its environment in order to stimulate the germination process; water, oxygen, and proper soil temperature? As we learned in the story, the old CEO was looking for three things in the new leader; Courage, Integrity, and Honesty. It was Jim’s courage that acted as the water, seeping deep into his heart, pushing him to stay true to the course given to him by the old CEO. The young man’s integrity was the life-giving oxygen; delivering the fair and true results regardless of what others might have thought, said or did. The honesty demonstrated by Jim set the company’s temperature for an environment of trust; eventually allowing the organization to thrive. By possessing all three character traits, the new CEO has the foundation needed for his business to sow, produces and flourish a rich harvest just as a healthy seed would.
Consider as well, the tree produced by the seed and the fruit that will produce additional seeds. A person is ordained to become a “Solutionary tree” which will one day produce fruit. The fruit of a Solutionary tree is the wisdom to solve problems; wise decisions to be shared with and consumed by others. Just as a tree does not produce fruit until it is mature, so too we must have the luxury of time to grow in experience, education and the discernment of ethical / moral fortitude in order to produce wise decisions. Hopefully, as we share our fruits of wisdom with friends, family and co-workers they will in turn plant, nurture and cultivate their seeds into their lives so they too can grow into productive Solutionary trees.
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.
So, be careful what you “plant”, how you tend to it, and the environment in which it will grow; it will determine what you will reap later.
If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
Anthony “Tony” Boquet
Author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”