My thanks to George for submitting the story:
The CEO's Choice!
A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.
Instead of choosing one of his children or Directors, 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 their boss continued. "I am going to give each of you a seed today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back one year from today with what you have grown from the seed that 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 news of the day. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost, they then planted the seed.
Everyday, Jim would check his seed. He would water 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 and still nothing! By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant yet and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed somehow. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing.
Jim didn't say a think to his colleagues, however he just kept tending to his seed... 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 had told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot.
However, his wife asked him to be honest about what had happened with his seed. 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. So, Jim took his empty pot to the board room.
The CEO called all his executives in to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by his c0-workers. They were all 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!
The CEO walked around surveying the room and greeting 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!"
Just 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 of the room. Jim was terrified, he thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front of the room, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed, so Jim told him the whole story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down, except Jim.
He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young workers, "Behold, your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!"
Jim couldn't believe what he just heard. He couldn't even grow his seed. The other blurted out, "How could he be the new CEO?"
Then the CEO explained, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to, take the seed I gave you, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today."
He continued on, "But, I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead -- it was not possible for them to grow! Still all of you, except Jim, have brought me trees, plants and flowers."
He concluded, "When you found the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one that 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 Officer!!"
* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
* If you plant joy, you will reap satisfaction.
* If you plant goodness you will reap good things.
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
* If you plant harmony, you will reap peace.
* If you plant hope, you will reap faith.
* 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.
* If you plant love, you will reap friendship.
So my friends, be careful what you plant today; for it will determine what you will reap tomorrow.