I am very excited as I finish the final preparations
for my trip to Madrid where I am presenting at the
European Coaching Conference.
If you’re there, please find me and say hi!
The story I want to share with you this week is one
I have known for a long time but heard it again
recently. It reminded me of how integrity, patience
and faith are such important business skills! Enjoy!
The Emperor and The Seed
(unknown author & source)
Once there was an emperor in the Far East who was
growing old and knew it was coming time to choose
his successor. Instead of choosing one of his
assistants or one of his own children, he decided
to do something different.
He called all the young people in the kingdom
together one day. He said, “It has come time for
me to step down and to choose the next emperor. I
have decided to choose one of you.” The people were
shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to
give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is
a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant
the seed, water it and come back here one year
from today with what you have grown from this one
seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring
to me, and the one I choose will be the next
emperor of the kingdom!”
There was one boy named Ling who was there that
day and he, like the others, received a seed. He
went home and excitedly told his mother the whole
story. She helped him get a pot and some planting
soil, and he planted the seed and watered it
carefully. Every day he would water it and watch
to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths
began to talk about their seeds and the plants
that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home
and 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
Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a
failure. Six months went by, still nothing in
Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.
Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he
had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his
friends, however. He just kept waiting for his
seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the
kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for
inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t
going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him
to go, and to take his pot, and to be honest about
what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but
he knew his mother was right. He took his empty
pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of
plants grown by all the other youths. They were
beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his
empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds
laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just
said, “Hey nice try.”
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and
greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide
in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and
flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today,
one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the
back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered
his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was
terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe
he will have me killed!”
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his
name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids
were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor
asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling,
and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new
emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe
it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he
be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave
everyone here 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 which would not
grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me
trees and plants and flowers. When you found that
the seed would not grown, you substituted another
seed for the one I gave you. Ling 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 emperor!”
If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness.
If you plant pride, you will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, you will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation.
If you plant greed, you will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles!
But 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 victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.
What are you planting for your life and your business?
Please share with us here!
Best wishes and best stories