Rabu, 28 September 2011

The Seed of Honesty

Once upon a time (no, it's not a fairy tale), there was a CEO from a successful, multinational, billion-dollar company who is nearing his retirement age and in a need of finding a replacement. So, in order to find someone worthy enough to continue his legacy, he called all of his employee - from the top-level executive to "just-ordinary" employee - and told them to gather in one place (mess hall, probably).

After all the future inheritors gathered, he gave each one of them a seed of a plant (yes, they don't know what plant it is).
"Take care of the seed, raise them properly to a full-grown plant, and one year from now we will gather back here to show me what you have grown. Anyone with the best plant will take my position as a CEO, therefore taking the chance to lead one of the most successful company in the world.", said the CEO.

And they all set out to grow the best plant. One of the ordinary employee, Rahmat, also did the same. Everyday he watered the seed, gave it nutrients and did everything he can to make the seed grow (which is fairly difficult since he didn't know what plant it is).
Unfortunately, it wouldn't. The seed didn't even change it's shape, never mind growing into a full-grown plant of whatever plant it is. Even after 6 months, when all the other top-level and better-educated executives talked proudly about how they seed grew beautifully (even though each plant was of different kind), Rahmat's seed didn't even make a hint of it - it's simply lying dormant in the vase he bought for it.

Ultimately, he felt that he had failed.

Nevertheless, he continued to grow the seed. His intention just changed from doing it for the highly prized position to simply keeping the seed fresh, so it wouldn't look dead when he brought it back to the CEO. Once he thought of simply bringing a different vase with a different plant - a full-grown one - just so he wouldn't be embarassed. But his wife encourage him to brought the truth, not wanting to see his husband stray himself from his honesty.

And on the 12th month of the "quest for legacy", everyone gathered back at where they did it the last time. All the executives and the employees brought their vases - with a full-grown plant - in it, boasted to all their friends and colleagues how hard it was for them to grow such plant. And as mentioned before, most of those plants were surprisingly of different kind.
Rahmat brought his vase and his failed-to-grow seed, putting it between all the full-grown plant. Everyone else was shocked, amazed of how dare of him to bring "failure" in front of their CEO.
Rahmat simply put his head face-down, afraid to even look straight. Not even when the CEO walked around the plants, inspecting each and every of them.

Finally, the CEO catch sight of Rahmat's vase, then went to further inspecting the dormant seed in it. Then he looked at Rahmat, and after asked if it was his vase - after which Rahmat simply nodded - the CEO grabbed his shoulder and said loudly:

"Congratulations. Let us all give applause to our next CEO."

Everyone was shocked (again), stared at Rahmat and the great CEO who surprisingly shake his hand with a big smile, his eyes clearly reflecting great happiness, as if he is a parent seeing his long-lost boy for the first time.

As soon as the CEO realized he was the only person clapping his hand in the room for the next 5 seconds, he explained the true purpose of the test:

"In case you didn't notice, from the very beginning I only gave you a dead seed. A seed which I've been boiling in hot water, in a rate that I made sure the seed was already dead, not capable of growing into anything. No matter how much treatment you gave it, it will still be the dead seed, just like the one I gave you a year earlier. Just like this one.", said the CEO while showing everyone Rahmat's now prized vase.

"And yet, you all brought to my face a full-grown plant. And worse - most is different then the rest. I'm pretty sure I gave you all one kind of seed, and unless you are God yourself, how in the world would you grow something from a dead seed?", the CEO asked. Everyone else just face their head down, their eyes told the other one of their tricky plan: just buy a full-grown one and call it even. That explained the "biodiversity".

"So all of you tried to deceive me, maybe believing that I am not aware of the dead seed or maybe you just do that out of your impatience. But not this man, Rahmat. A man who held high his honesty and honor. A man from now on you will call, The CEO.", the former CEO concluded his highly-effective recruitment plan.

Moral of the story? Don't lie. At all costs.

Based on the story at with changes.

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