There once was an old farmer who grew award-winning corn. Every year he entered his corn into the state fair and won the blue ribbon.
One year, after winning yet another competition, a young newspaper reporter requested an interview with the farmer to try and uncover the farmer secrets to his prize-winning corn. Although he expected to be turned down, the farmer welcomed the interview. He asked the old farmer several questions about his techniques and then discovered something interesting about how he grew it: the reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors!
“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering their corn into the same competition with yours every year?” the reporter asked. “Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? I can’t afford not to! The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it around from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn as well. It’s one of my secrets to success.”
The moral of the story is simple: If we are to grow “good corn” in our businesses, we must be willing to help our fellow business owners grow “good corn” too. When times are tough, it affects us all.
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