Stories that inspired me, Part -IV (You a failure?)

Here I continue my series (1,2,3) of short stories. I heard this story during his Aug 15 competition. Here we go:

A successful business man was growing old and knew 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. Everyday, 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 happened. 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 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 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 said? 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.

Being honest is more important. I will always prefer to work with a honest below average guy than dishonest smart guy. Failure is not bad just attempt honestly and keep the transparency in life. Happy Monday!

14 Replies to “Stories that inspired me, Part -IV (You a failure?)”

  1. That is really a very good story with a great moral and really inspiring too.These kind of stories help us to stay in the right path in life.If one is in right path some day or the other he is bound to achieve his goal.

    Hope we will get such great stories in near future too.

  2. sahi kaha sir jii

    being honest is very dificult task in todays world .
    but when ppl find successful ligands as jack welch bla bla it is the basic virtue of them .
    nice post ..
    keep posting like these motivational stuffs.

  3. >> being honest is very dificult task in todays world .
    We all have some dishonesty in us BUT let not that dishonest man in you takeover the honest one. I don’t know about the graph for success and honesty but I surely know the graph for power and honesty. Being honest adds on so much power to your life. Being top on hierarchy adds more responsibilities but being honest adds more power.

    I will keep posting it. Thanks for the comments Ravi.

  4. @Kinkini -> Being honest at times is very easy but to have an attitude of honesty is most difficult .. I wish I could do that 100% but I fail more often that I/others think. Thats ok as long as I know my journey and my Goal, I am happy.

    @Manojit -> A dishonest person will always score more with as he can be dishonest with the simple questions as well 🙂

    @Prasanta -> I will try to get more stories from the collection.

  5. hello Aji,
    it was really nice to go through the story,but i personally will not consider that to be a story but as a guide line which needs to be followed by each one of us at grm tech to uplift the company or rather i will say our family.I will request you to share some more of this kind of motivating guide lines more often

  6. Rana Deep, Welcome to Grmtech and the blog … honesty is important in the team than you brining success as this is a marathon not a 100 meter relay :). Looking forward to work with you.

  7. Hello Sir,

    Thanks for sharing such a nice stories in this present time were most of the people have forget about moral. This story is very inspiring in my opinion.Looking forward for some more good stories.


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