Parable of The Three Sons

More Than Football

A father had three sons, and they all worked for the same man, an important broker. One day the father went down to talk to the president of the company, an old boyhood friend. He went into the office and said, “Jim, my three sons all work for you and I appreciate you hiring them as buy-ers with your company. I have a question that is bothering me, though. You pay one of them $400 a week, one of them $500 a week and one of them $800. Why?” The president leaned back in his chair and was silent for a few moments. Then his face brightened as he answered, “Well, maybe I can show you why. Have you got time so that you can stay here?” “Sure, I can stay all day,” the father answered. “Fine, then make yourself at home here in the office and listen to my conversations with each of you three sons.” He picked up the phone and called the first son, the $400 son. The president said, “I understand the Ontario cargo ship just docked at the wharf loaded with merchandise. Please go down there and see what cargo it is carrying that we would be interested in and let me know.” About five minutes later the president’s telephone rang and the young man said, “I didn’t even have to go down there to get the information. I just telephoned and they said they have 500 bolts of silk on board.” The president said, “Thank you,” and shared this information with the father. He then buzzed the second son, the $500 son and said, “The Ontario has just docked. Will you please go down and see what it has on board that we would be interested in and let me know at your earliest convenience.” About an hour later the telephone rang and the son said, “I just went down and checked the Ontario; it has 500 bolts of silk on board.” The presi-dent said, “Thank you,” and shared the information with the father. The president then rang the third son, the $800 son, and he said, “The Ontario has docked,” and proceeded to tell him the same story and make the same request that he did with the other sons. The young man reported to the president’s office four hours later. He said, “Well, the boat had 500 bolts of silk on board and all are of excellent quality. I bought them for $200 each and filled that order we had waiting from one of our customers. He bought all of them from us for $400 each. The Ontario also has 200 Oriental Rugs. We don’t usually handle rugs, but I know who does so I called him and made the sale. The deal will net us about $40,000. There were also 75 jade statuses on board. I examined them and they look beautiful to me, but you are the expert. Since you always handled the jade trade yourself, I took an op-tion on them for 24 hours so you have time to look at them and decide.” The president said, “Thank you,” and the young man left. The president then asked the father, “Has the question you asked when you came in been answered?” “Yes,” replied the father. “My first son didn’t even obey you, the second son went only half way, but the third son gave you everything he had.” The bottom line of the story: Learn to take an ordinary job and make something out of it. We are looking for “Third Sons”
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