From the book entitled: “Make a Life Not Just a Living comes this a modern day parable for the 21st Century. Listen to the author Ron Jenson’s story. Ron says: “I had a friend who was a very shrewd businessman. He wanted to find a future successor to manage the company he owned. So he targeted three very capable individuals who oversaw different profit centers of his company. All three seemed to have the talents needed to fulfill the role. But my friend wanted someone who would take initiative, someone who had courage like himself, who would not be so immobilized by fear of failure that he or she wouldn’t risk at a reasonable level. “Unknowingly for these three people, my friend put together a test. He gave each of the three profit centers in his business an infusion of capital proportionate to its size.
“He gave Bill, the manager of the smallest profit center, ten thousand dollars to invest in anyway he saw fit. Then he gave Sandy fifty thousand dollars for her larger profit center. Finally, he gave Mark one hundred thousand dollars to invest in anyway he wanted in his profit center.
“Each of these managers would be evaluated on how he or she spent the money during a twelve-month period of time. So the owner of the business went out of the country to let them manage on their own.
“Six months later he came back and found out that Mark had taken the money and spent it on very intensive training in the area of human relations and other ‘soft’ training areas, for the purpose of helping his people grow in their self-mastery and self-concept. The result was that the productivity of that particular profit center doubled during the twelve months. And there was every indication it would grow even more in the future.
“Then he looked at how Sandy managed her fifty thousand. She also had spent much of it in a similar type of training, but with a focus on team relationships, because of the need in her particular group. She also developed a particular marketing strategy and a product line for future growth. She, too, doubled what she had been given,
“Then my friend went to Bill. Bill had taken the smallest amount, ten thousand dollars, and had merely kept things going. At one point that may have not been a bad strategy. But Bill’s was the least profitable of all the centers, and Bill had only maintained its unprofitability.
“When Bill was asked why he hadn’t put the money into something that would create growth and greater profitability, he said he was afraid the CEO would be angry with him for taking such a risk and might even consider firing him if his decision turned out to be a bad one.
“The upshot of the whole thing was that Mark, who had invested the one hundred thousand dollars and created the greatest productivity, was given a greater investment the subsequent year. And so was Sandy, who had had fifty thousand dollars to invest. Today Mark and Sandy are the CEO and COO of the entire company.
“You see, Ron, Mark and Sandy took responsibility for their lives. They were willing to trust their instincts. They knew they could be productive by taking initiative. They were not afraid like Bill. ” Making things happen involves a fundamental choice between two ways of life-the right way and the wrong way. You must do the best with what you have. You must focus on what you can affect rather than on what you cannot affect.
Now doesn’t this bring the Bible’s parable on a more understandable light?