– by Nico Bougas

A successful Christian businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. So 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. 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”

Feeling like a failure
One man, 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. 

The truth embarrassed him
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 fertilising 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 was totally embarrassed to take an empty pot to the board room. When he 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!

Honesty paid off
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. “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 asked him to come to the front. When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – and 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. He couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO? 

Courage and boldness pay off
Then the CEO said, “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 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, 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 CEO!”

Always be true to yourself
We are so keen to impress and ready to inflate our own achievements. We may get away with exaggerating our CV. But in the long run, transparency and honesty pays its own rewards. Let us determine to be WYSIWYG people.

Nico Bougas is the International Director of Development of  Hellenic Ministries. Email him on Nico@bougas.info, visit www.hellenicministries.com


Article source: JOY! Magazine

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