Entries from July 2007 ↓

Paradis ou Jouissance eternelle

Le  week-end dernier, avec des amis, nous discutions entre autres sujets, la motivation des islamistes fondamentalistes et la motivation de ses kamikazes. Mon ami ‘E’ pensait que les suicidaires sont convaincus qu’ils seront largement récompensés à leur mort : le paradis les attend. Un bonheur éternel qui consisterait à jouir des plaisirs sexuels que 72 femmes vierges (houris)  pourraient  leur donner sans fin. Le vrai bonheur! Je pensai que c’était assez simpliste et  grossier de réduire la pensée de l’Islam qu’au sexe !

Et voilà, dans une émission à la télévision que je regardais sur « Voyage » hier soir, je tombe sur  une citation du romancier Yann Moix dans son livre ‘Partouze’ qui se lit comme ceci :

AU LECTEUR

Le véritable enjeu du terrorisme, c’est le sexe. Le véritable combat d’Al Qaïda n’est pas tant religieux que sexuel. L’islam des fondamentalistes entend nous apporter la solution définitive à nos problèmes occidentaux de souffrance sentimentale, de romantisme, de romans d’amour, de chansons d’amour : il s’agit, tout simplement, de remettre, par une lecture très particulière du Coran, de l’ordre dans le désordre sexuel qui menace de s’installer partout sur la planète. En somme, l’islam de Ben Laden propose aux hommes de ne plus souffrir à cause de leurs femmes, de leurs maîtresses, de leurs petites copines, de leurs nanas, de leurs meufs. Il s’agit de maîtriser le chagrin amoureux en élaborant un système d’asservissement des femmes ; en se lançant, à travers les attentats, dans une entreprise folle, sanglante, apocalyptique de contrôle absolu de l’orgasme des femmes. C’est cette vision du monde qui fait que Mohammed Atta, le 11 septembre 2001, s’encastre dans les tours du World Trade Center, impatient qu’il est de se faire sucer pendant une éternité par des vierges, au paradis des islamistes. En attaquant l’Occident, les terroristes s’attaquent en réalité aux bites occidentales, aux chattes occidentales, aux plaisirs occidentaux. Le lieu suprême du Mal, c’est donc, symboliquement, la boîte échangiste. La partouze est la pire des provocations : c’est sur les lieux sexuels qu’Al Qaïda frappera désormais. Voici, à travers l’histoire d’un pauvre romantique converti bien malgré lui à la débauche sexuelle dans un univers où les ” obsédés ” sont sans aucun doute devenus les femmes, comment on peut lire ce choc des civilisations qui entraîne le monde dans l’horreur. » Yann Moix.

Est-ce la vérité ? ou de l’intox ?

F E A T

Is it a FEAT to be a successful Entrepreneur in Mauritius?

The management of your reputation to bring up trust with the people you deal with is of prime importance.

 Fear

Most people have reputations in crisis due to fear. They avoid doing the right thing because of fear. They hurt others because of fear, but most importantly, they hurt themselves because of fear. To overcome fear, we all need to think of someone bigger than ourselves. Being humble enough to ask yourself the following question is a good place to start: how am I hurting and affecting other people with my behavior?

 

 Ego management

Ego management is an important first step in reputation management. When your ego grows too big, it is impossible to best repair your reputation. Replace ego-driven communication with humble, honest and transparent communication and you will be on your way to repairing your reputation.

 

 Accountability

To best build, maintain or repair an excellent reputation for a lifetime, you must set up a true accountability structure in your life. Who is your accountability partner? Most people really don’t have one. A true accountability relationship includes honesty with a capital H. You must be fully honest and share all of your struggles and wrong doing with your accountability partner. You must also give your accountability partner permission to “call you” on the things you are doing wrong and also allow your accountability partner to praise you for the things you are doing right. Your friend, spouse, sibling, pastor or therapists are all excellent examples of accountability partners.

 Trust :Truth vs. Spin

Truth and honesty are the greatest building blocks or “bricks” of reputation management. Spin is a four-letter word. Spin is a lie and it is not your friend. Avoid spin (lies) to avoid a reputation in crisis. To be honest with others, you first must be honest with yourself. Honesty creates trust and trust is your reputation’s greatest friend.

Reflexion Dominicale

Lc 11,1-13.
Un jour, quelque part, Jésus était en prière. Quand il eut terminé, un de ses disciples lui demanda : « Seigneur, apprends-nous à prier, comme Jean Baptiste l’a appris à ses disciples. »
Il leur répondit : « Quand vous priez, dites :’Père,que ton nom soit
sanctifié,que ton règne vienne. Donne-nous le pain dont nous avons besoin pour chaque jour. Pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui ont des torts envers nous. Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation.’ » Jésus leur dit encore : « Supposons que l’un de vous ait un ami et aille le trouver en pleine nuit pour lui demander : ‘Mon ami, prête-moi trois pains : un de mes amis arrive de voyage, et je n’ai rien à lui offrir.’ Et si, de l’intérieur, l’autre lui répond : ‘Ne viens pas me tourmenter ! Maintenant, la porte est fermée ; mes enfants et moi, nous sommes couchés. Je ne puis pas me lever pour te donner du pain’, moi, je vous l’affirme : même s’il ne se lève pas pour les donner par amitié, il se lèvera à cause du sans-gêne de cet ami, et il lui donnera tout ce qu’il lui faut.
Eh bien, moi, je vous dis : Demandez, vous obtiendrez ; cherchez, vous trouverez ; frappez, la porte vous sera ouverte.
Celui qui demande reçoit ; celui qui cherche trouve ; et pour celui qui
frappe, la porte s’ouvre. Quel père parmi vous donnerait un serpent à son fils qui lui demande un poisson ? ou un scorpion, quand il demande un oeuf ? Si donc vous, qui êtes mauvais, vous savez donner de bonnes choses à vos enfants, combien plus le Père céleste donnera-t-il l’Esprit Saint à ceux qui le lui demandent ! »

 

 

Ce dimanche, la lecture de l’Evangile m’a renvoyé à une personne que j’avais rencontrée dans les années 60. A travers l’Internet,  et à ma grande surprise, j’avais découvert les écrits d’Arlette Orian. J’étais heureux de  lui avoir parlé au téléphone pour la féliciter quelque temps avant son départ vers l’Eternel.

Voici un texte d’elle sur le Notre Père :

Redécouverte du Notre Père

J’avais, il y a quelques mois, pour des villageois d’un petit village au pied d’une montagne, pour des enfants de 5 à 12 ans, qui comprennent le créole (le patois dérivé du français et qui est compris de toute la population) expliqué les prières essentielles : le “Notre Père”, le “Je vous salue Marie” et surtout le “Credo” qui est la prière la plus compliquée que je connaisse même pour des jeunes parlant très bien le français…

J’avais donc expliqué, entre autres, le Notre Père. Mes “enfants” l’ont bien assimilée. Or, aujourd’hui, lors d’une réunion à la cure de ma paroisse, à Bambous, notre curé, un polonais, nous a expliqué le “Notre Père” et il m’a fait réfléchir car les deux phrases : “Que ton nom soit sanctifié”, “Que ton règne vienne” avaient un autre sens.

Pour moi, “Que ton nom soit sanctifié” voulait dire : Que ton nom soit reconnu, admiré, glorifié par tous les hommes et la seconde phrase “le règne de Dieu qui devait arriver” voulait dire, pour moi, tout simplement la seconde venue de Jésus sur la terre.

Or l’interprétation toute simple qu’il donna basée sur le mandement de Carême 1998 était celle-ci : “Que ton nom soit à nos yeux d’hommes et de femmes de ce monde reconnu comme Unique et que nous apprenions, grâce à l’oeuvre de l’Esprit Saint en nous, à reconnaître sa grandeur, sa sainteté en même temps que son humilité et que, par la grandeur et la sainteté de son nom, nous soyons sanctifiés.

C’était à peu près cela que je pensais mais, lui, en le disant, donnait à cette phrase une grandeur, une dignité nouvelle.

Quant à la seconde phrase : “Que son règne vienne”, il l’a expliquée tout simplement par : “Que tout le travail de l’Esprit Saint à l’intérieur de nous-mêmes purifie notre coeur. Nous rende libre, fraternel et responsable de nous et des autres, nous façonne, refasse en nous l’image de Dieu”.

Je n’avais jamais songé à cette façon de penser au règne de Dieu : Que le règne de Dieu vienne en nos coeurs actuellement, maintenant. Non pas, dans un avenir plus ou moins lointain mais dès maintenant. Qu’avec l’aide du St Esprit, Dieu règne dans noscoeurs.

Cette phrase a maintenant pour moi un sens profond. Quand je la dirai, j’y attacherai ce sens profond qui m’a bouleversée.

J’aime aussi quand je dis : “Donnez-nous notre pain de ce jour” dire à mes petits villageois : ce n’est pas du pain seulement qu’il vous faut demander, du pain vous en avez. Demandez à Dieu de vous donner ce qui vous manque le plus, ce qui vous marque le plus, qui vous fait souffrir : désunion de vos parents, alcoolisme, manque d’ardeur dans la prière, etc.

Si je le dis ici (ce que je dis est bête et comme je le répète, c’est surtout aux jeunes que je m’adresse) : Quand nous récitons le Notre Père, ne le banalisons pas. Donnez-lui tout son sens et, en y réfléchissant, comme ce soir, nous lui découvrons chaque soir une richesse nouvelle. C’est tout. Cette prière vieille de presque deux siècles, je l’ai redécouverte ce soir et je voulais vous faire partager mon émotion.

Death Bond?

Do you know what Death bonds are?
According to Matthew Goldstein in a recent edition of Business week: “Death bonds may be the most macabre investment scheme ever devised by Wall Street.”

I was first hinted about these bonds when it was proposed to me by an investment company. It was part of the package offered as Insurance policies buy back. I further investigated the issue and found out that one of the options in the Insurance policies buy back was Death bonds.   

How a life Insurance Policy becomes a Death Bond?

A person, typically 70 or older, who wants to cash out of a life insurance policy, hires a “life settlement” broker to find prospective buyers. The buyers keep paying the premiums until the sellers dies, and then they collect. The up-front payout to the seller varies widely, from 20% of the death of the death benefit to 40%.

A whole business is organized around a chain of professionals ranging from the broker, investment banker or hedge fund, investor and bond rater to ensure the death bonds are fabricated and marketed.

For sure the owner of the Insurance holder will one day die. The question is when? Actuarial studies will forecast very well the date and determine the up-front payout.

How ethical are the Death bonds?

 

Boeing versus Airbus

One of the subjects of consultation of President Sarkosy with the German Chancellor was to compare and adjust their notes for an action on the holding company of EADS. The two countries main shareholders of EADS have to get their act right as their actions will have an impact on the work force of each country. Besides the fierce competition of the aircraft manufactures could well be fiercest of the many competitions between the US and the EU. China & Dubai will be investing in Airbus. Much is at stake.

There have been a couple of books written on the Boeing Airbus rivalry. Flight of the titans (2005), Boeing versus Airbus (2006) are the recent books. I read through the summary of the 2006 book written by John Newhouse, the prolific author and former columnist of a renowned American newspaper: The Newyorker.

Who will ultimately win the battle? And which battle are they fighting?

Is it the battle of the survival of the firms? Much has to be said about the financial structure of each company and the support given by the respective governments. On the one hand, the US had accused the Europeans to subsidize Airbus on the other technological break through researched and paid by the NASA are used by Boeing. Conveniently, Boeing is also a manufacturer of strategic aircraft for the military.

Will the battle then be about market share?

At this stage, it would appear that the strategic decisions taken by each company are different. Seattle-based Boeing didn’t want the super-jumbo jet to carry fewer than 600 passengers, so that it could preserve the market for any expanded version of its 747 jumbo jets, which have a current maximum capacity of 420 seats…Some Airbus members wanted any joint US-European line of super jumbo jets to begin with a 500-seat version to prevent Boeing from increasing its own overall share of all airliner markets.

The two firms also disagreed at a fundamental level about future demand dynamics. Boeing maintained that increased fragmentation in the form of point-to-point travel would solve the problem of congestion at major airports. Airbus, on the other hand,believed that hub-to-hub travel, particularly at the major airports in London, New York,Los Angeles, and Tokyo would continue to grow. While it agreed with Boeing that some increases in fragmentation and frequency would occur, it did not believe that theyrepresented long-term solutions to increasing travel, especially at major hubs in Asia. Asa result, Airbus saw the development of airplanes with greater capacity as essential.

At any rate, once their collaboration ended, both competitors reverted to independent efforts in this product space. Airbus quickly set up a Large Aircraft Decision to pursue the market opportunity in VLA. Thus in 2008 the Airbus 380 will be on stream. And for its part, Boeing considered two updated and “stretched” versions of its popular 747 jumbo jet, the 747-500X holding up to 490 passengers and the 747-600X holding up to 550 passengers, at a total cost of $5to $7 billion. Boeing is also pursuing its efforts and energies in a more efficient and ecology efficient aircraft, the dream liner 787 using new engines and new material for the aircraft body.

It looks like now and in the future Boeing is ahead in market share, and ahead in the game of the future which will be a more efficient and pollution friendlier technology. Whilst Airbus battle ground is still on today’s turf it looks as if Boeing is furrowing in the new rules of the Future, the fuel efficient aircraft and reduced pollution.

OLPC Yves Behar

Do you know Yves Béhar? What a fantastic entrepreneur he is. In 1999 he created fuseproject an industrial design and branding firm and has collected a myriad of awards since.

The design studio works across a wide array of industries as diverse as beauty and fashion to furniture and technology. The studio takes a long-term strategic approach to developing and enhancing brands. Its concepts are visual expressions of brand attributes and the entire customer experience. It aims to help companies innovate through product design and branding.

I came to know of him through one of his project through an article published by wired called “The Laptop Crusade”. He made the news again this week as now the laptops will be powered with a mechanical generator which is actioned by hand pulling a pulley.

The mission: Create a $100 computer for millions of poor kids around the world.

“It’s like there’s this virus of cheap laptops,” Béhar says, laughing. “That’s what happens when you plant an idea.”

Wow! To think that a laptop will only cost 3300 rupees gives me immense joy. I cannot imagine the wealth of knowledge that will open up to the underprivileged, to our school children all over the world.

OLPC, one laptop per child is his vision!

And now thanks to Yves Béhar’s determination OLPC has become a reality.

It’s an education project, not a laptop project.

Nicholas Negroponte

This is the wiki for the One Laptop per Child association. The mission of this non-profit association is to develop a low-cost laptop—the “$100 Laptop”—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world’s children. Our goal is to provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment, and express themselves.

Why do children in developing nations need laptops? Laptops are both a window and a tool: a window into the world and a tool with which to think. They are a wonderful way for all children to learn learning through independent interaction and exploration.

OLPC espouses five core principles: (1) child ownership; (2) low ages; (3) saturation; (4) connection; and (5) free and open source.

Reflexion Dominicale

Lc 10,38-42.
Alors qu’il était en route avec ses disciples, Jésus entra dans un village. Une femme appelée Marthe le reçut dans sa maison.
Elle avait une soeur nommée Marie qui, se tenant assise aux pieds du
Seigneur, écoutait sa parole.
Marthe était accaparée par les multiples occupations du service. Elle
intervint et dit : « Seigneur, cela ne te fait rien ? Ma soeur me laisse
seule à faire le service. Dis-lui donc de m’aider. »
Le Seigneur lui répondit : « Marthe, Marthe, tu t’inquiètes et tu t’agites
pour bien des choses.
Une seule est nécessaire. Marie a choisi la meilleure part : elle ne lui
sera pas enlevée. »

 

Trop souvent j’ai entendu la réflexion de mettre en opposition la façon d’agir de Marie contre celle de Marthe. Est-ce un procès de l’action contre la contemplation ?  Le fait que le Seigneur ait dit : « Une seule est nécessaire. Marie a choisi la meilleure part : elle ne lui sera pas enlevée. » semble indiquer que la contemplation est supérieure à l’action.

Ma réflexion ce dimanche m’oriente à penser que la contemplation du Seigneur est le but ultime de notre vie. Au fait, au terme de notre route terrestre, passer à l’éternel pourrait-il signifier être en contemplation permanente de Dieu? J’y crois. Ainsi, Marie serait déjà à l’éternel en se tenant assise aux pieds du Seigneur, écoutant Sa parole : vivre de la relation avec notre Dieu créateur.

L’action de Marthe, ne serait-elle pas l’illustration de notre vie terrestre ? Nos souçis et inquiètudes ne nous conduisent- ils pas à l’action? Pourquoi opposer les deux façons de faire? Considérons les comportements de Marthe et de Marie comme étant complémentaires. Et si l’action de Marthe, c’est-à-dire ‘servir’, nous mènerait vers l’ultime, qui est la contemplation? Et encore, les actions de Marthe et de Marie néccesiteraient-elles une alternance de notre part?  Ne nous faut-il pas allouer un temps pour l’action de service, et un temps de prière?

Pouvons nous être dans l’action tout en étant à l’écoute du Seigneur ?

Global Business Coalition

“HIV aids” is a threat to the world. The extent of the possible damage to humanity, up to now cannot be measured. Whilst the cure for the disease has not been found, medicine to control the affliction on the patients exists. Prevention of the spread of the disease requires enormous amount of resources which the under developed and developing countries’ governments cannot afford to bear the costs of and do not have the know-how and will to cope with. The Global Business Coalition has been instituted by Businesses to fight the “HIV Aids” and help to contain this world plague.

We have been talking and discussing about the social responsibility of businesses in our country. How many of our firms in Mauritius have social responsibility programmes? Of the Mauritian firms who are reaping in annual profits of over hundreds of millions of rupees how many have an allocated annual budget to its social responsibility?

Fortunately some firms do take the issue seriously. For what I can glean from the press, Beach Comber group allocates substantial resources through the “Fondation Espoir et development” to put to action their social responsibility targets. Barclays Bank has a full time person looking into its social actions. What about the other firms?

Some would argue that you can only be philanthropic after you have collected enough wealth. I am of opinion that all businesses have a duty to have a social responsibility program what ever the size of the enterprise.

Is it possible to have a concerted effort to have a higher impact on the priority issues? In Mauritius we could well have a business coalition, along the line of the Global Business Coalition, to fight off the plagues that are rotting our society such as drug addition and HIV aids. Where are the leaders who would take up this challenge?

Interestingly enough, it may inspire you to visit the website of “The Leaders” of which Nelson Mandela is one of the figure head.

Mauritius Aquaculture Threats or Opportunities

This week again, Newsweek in its issue, highlights the danger of consuming food imported from China. Newsweek is right in alerting the US population on the subject because of the increase dependence of the US on supply from China.

China became the leading exporter of seafood to the U.S. in 2004 – and amounts are rising fast. Chinese imports were up 14 percent in 2005 and 23 percent in 2006. This year, so far, they are up 34 percent over 2006.

“China’s imports of aquaculture products are increasing despite the country’s history of violations for veterinary drug residues,” says Food & Water Watch. “Between 2003 and 2006, 35 percent of all refusals for veterinary drug residues were found on shipments from China. In 2006, 62.4 percent of all refusals for veterinary drug residues came from there.”

The sanitary conditions in China, is being addressed by the authorities of China who have reproduced a report by Zhou Qing on the theme and distributed to the producers. It may take some time for china, to address the ecological issue. The rivers are polluted; there is no control on the fertilizers and pesticides used which find their way in the waters. How long will China take to produce acceptable quality?

The threat of Aquaculture in Mauritius is to be able to produce a proper product at a competitive price. The opportunities are by far larger provided we produce a clean product, a bio one, and target a niche market where the sanitary quality is the premium and price is second. Branding Mauritius as an ecological producer and living the label will be our biggest assets.Government authorities have to be very vigilant in making sure that the farms are within the norms of sanitation. The development of the sector will be long live if the very stringent environmental rules are followed. Let us take the benefits of learning from the mistakes other farms in the world to build our own. Much have to be learned.

The Food & Water website is worthwhile visiting.

Extract on the theme:
Concerns
Salmon farming
Dichlorvos is licensed as a veterinary medicine by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate for use against sea lice (Lepeophteirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus) that afflict salmon. The UK salmon farming industry is mainly based in the western coast and Islands of Scotland there are about 130 salmon farming companies on 280 sites. Production has increased from 600 tonnes in 1980 to 48,000 tonnes in 1993(10). There have been concerns about the discharge of dichlorvos as a result, and the possible effects of dichlorvos on wild salmon. There was an increase in the incidence of cataracts and blindness in wild salmon in the 1980s and this has been linked with exposure to dichlorvos(11).
Alternatives to dichlorvos are now being introduced including the use of sea wrasse as ‘cleaner fish’, and the use of hydrogen peroxide as an alternative disinfectant.

Developing country use
Because of its high acute oral and dermal toxicity, its availability in developing countries is a cause for concern. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Bank, GTZ (Germany) and ODA (UK) generally discourage the procurement of such products. The accepted international guide to best practice in the procurement of pesticides is set out in the FAO’s Provisional Guidelines on Tender Procedures for the Procurement of Pesticides(12) which state:
“Pesticide formulations that fall into Class IA or IB … usually have severe restrictions in developed countries; in general they can only be used by specially trained and certified applicators. Such pesticides should not be used by small farmers or untrained and unprotected workers in developing countries”.
Nevertheless research by the Pesticides Trust [now PAN UK] shows that dichlorvos is widely used in a number of countries where the conditions of use have raised concerns. Dichlorvos has caused poisonings in China, Costa Rica, Paraguay, India, Papua New Guinea and Egypt. It is also widely produced – there are facilities in India, Brazil and Mexico(13). For these reasons PAN groups have strongly urged that dichlorvos be included in the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) process from the outset(14). One manufacturer, Ciba Geigy, has agreed to withdraw dichlorvos from sale in the Colombian flower industry (see p14).

Conclusions
It is accepted that dichlorvos is dangerous to a number of aquatic species and that the discharge of dichlorvos to water should be reduced. Dichlorvos can inhibit cholinesterase levels in humans which may lead to short or longer term neurotoxic effects. Although it has been used for some 40 years, considerable uncertainties remain about whether or not it is implicated in cancer, and the wider environmental consequences of its use. In general and specifically in developing countries and in UK fish farming less hazardous alternatives are available

The Seed

My good friend Ahad made my day today. He sent me this story which I feel compelled to publish on my blog. Dear friend I am so grateful to you.Seed has a special connotation to me. A few years ago together with a group of social workers, we were brainstorming to find a name for our group. We together coined: Service Ecoute Et de Developpement. Today there are some twenty “SEED” cells operating on the island. The cells are run by trained benevolent women courageously listening to the pains of the underprivileged of the society and accompanying them in their state and together will them working out solutions to their problems. The Motto of the cells is: Empowerment through respect of human dignity.

The Seed

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 Directors or his children, 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 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 excitedly, 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 nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept 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 rought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. 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. He took his empty pot to the boardroom. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were 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!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted 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!”

All of a sudden, 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, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me 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. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!

His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “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. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”