A successful businessman was growing old and knew
it was time to choose a successor to take over the
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
He said, “It is time for me to step down and
choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one
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
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
By now, others were talking about their plants,
but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a
Six months went by- still nothing in Jim’s pot. He
just knew he must have killed his seed but he
didn’t say anything to his colleagues.
He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil.
The 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 encouraged him to be honest
about what happened. Jim felt sick in 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 he arrived,
he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by
the other executives. Jim held his empty pot and
many of his colleagues laughed at him.
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and
greeted his young executives.
Jim just tried to hide at 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!”
Then 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, “Now he knows I’m a
failure! Maybe I’ll be 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.
Then he announced, “Behold your next Chief
Executive Officer! His name is Jim!”
Then the CEO continued, “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 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. So, he is the one who will be
the new CEO!”
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
If you plant consideration, you will reap
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap
So, be careful what you plant now; it will
determine what you will reap later.
Whatever you give to life, life gives you back.