One of the blogs that I have a subscription to comes up with some interesting points sometimes — His blog is called "A Forum for Rainmakers (And Soon-to-Be Rainmakers)." Its written with the people who want to make a difference in their careers in mind.
His latest post (Saturday evening) documents a story told by the class president of 2006 from MIT, as he was attending their graduation for his son. The story is about corn and how sharing impacts us all.
"There was a farmer who grew corn. Every year his county held a contest to determine which farmer grew the best corn. Every year he won. Year after year this farmer grew the best corn in the county and he won the award. One day, a visitor noticed that this farmer gave some of his best seed to one of his neighbors. The visitor asked why he was sharing his best seed with his neighbor. Wasn't he concerned that their corn would be better than his? Wasn't he concerned that they would eventually win the contest for having the best corn in the county? The farmer explained that the winds in the county pick up the corn pollen from all of the neighboring farms and deposit it to all of the other neighbors, so some of his corn pollen ends up on his neighbors' farm and some of his neighbors' corn pollen ends up on his farm. If his neighbors' corn was very inferior and it was deposited on his award winning corn, wouldn't his own corn become less superior. By sharing his best seed with his neighbors, the pollen that was deposited on his farm was better than it would have been had he not shared and his corn wasn't degraded by the blown in pollen." (Kimberly Wu, class president of MIT, 2006 as posted by Rick Roberge).
The story felt very poignant as it made full sense to me. Working together, one has the ability to succeed in ways that one never has the ability to fathom. This is pertinent in business, in life and definitely in a sales environment. Sales needs to use a careful balance and a careful touch. This farmer was both a good neighbor (sharing his corn) and a selfish one (looking to ensure his corn wasn't degraded). Yet the net of the matter is that everyone benefited — a positive impact. Be aware that your decisions and your choices can have a lasting impact on yourself as well as those around you.