I heard a story of a Managing Director (or at least I think that was the position I heard), anyways, the position does not have much to do with the story.
Now this MD was about retiring, and he was looking for a successor. He knew he was leaving big shoes to fill and wanted to make sure he got the right person to fill them.
After thinking it through, he called all the people qualified for that position and gave them each a seed. They were asked to nurture it and bring the plant at the end of a particular time (I cannot remember the time either but in my defense, I have a lot on my mind – I am getting old after all – and it is not really relevant to the story).
So, they were told they would be judged by how the plant turns out.
Everybody left and got busy.
But there was a particular man who, despite all his efforts, nothing came out of the seed. He was worried because he had put in all he had but had nothing to show forth for it.
He complained to his wife and she told him he had done his best, so it was not his fault. He answered that he was sure a lot of people would come with great plants and he didn’t want to look like a failure.
His wife just simply told him to satisfy his conscience.
And so he did.
On the said day, just as he predicted, everybody came with beautiful plants, well arranged. Of course he was ashamed and hid his face.
The MD went round assessing everybody’s plant and when he got to him, he asked who the failure was. The man ashamedly presented himself and explained that he did everything but got no results.
Everybody was shocked when the MD announced that the “failure” was his successor because he was honest.
He told them all he had given them all artificial seeds and there was no way they would have gotten results without manipulations.
He wanted his successor to be a man of integrity.
Integrity may make you look a fool, but you can never go wrong with integrity.
Integrity is premium.