From Competition to Collaboration: Lessons on Success and Happiness from a Farmer’s Seed Corn

Insights by: stepupsite


Planting Seeds for Success

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year, a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting. 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 in competition with yours each year?”

the reporter asked. The farmer responded,

“Why sir, The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow corn inferior to mine, cross- pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow top quality corn, I must help my neighbors grow top quality corn.”

So is with our lives. Those who want to live meaningfully must help to enrich the lives of others… for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches.
And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.



Step Up Takeaways:

  • Interconnectedness is a key concept in life and work. Our actions and choices can impact the lives of others.
  • Collaboration and helping others can benefit not just them but also ourselves
  • True happiness and a meaningful life come from contributing to the well-being of others and making a positive difference in their lives.
  • Success is not solely based on individual achievements but rather on the collective growth and progress of our community.
  • Human beings are social creatures and derive meaning and purpose from relationships and connections with others



How can we apply the farmer’s approach to seed sharing and cross-pollination to our professional lives and the businesses we work for?

Collaborative Growth: By helping others succeed, we create a more collaborative and supportive environment where everyone has the opportunity to grow and thrive. When we share knowledge, skills, and resources with our colleagues and clients, we create a positive feedback loop that benefits everyone involved.

Reputation and Branding: When we invest in the success of others, we also invest in our own reputation and brand. By being known as a helpful and supportive colleague or business partner, we build trust and credibility with others, which can lead to new opportunities and collaborations.

Network Effects: The farmer’s approach to seed sharing and cross-pollination is an example of network effects, where the value of a product or service increases as more people use it. In the same way, by helping others succeed, we create a network of collaborators and partners who can help us achieve our goals.

Long-Term Thinking: The farmer’s approach to seed sharing and cross-pollination is a long-term strategy that prioritizes the health and vitality of the entire community over short-term gains. In the same way, by investing in the success of others, we build a foundation for long-term growth and sustainability in our personal and professional lives.


Are you prepared to take charge of your life and accomplish your goals? The coaches at Step Up help people unlock their maximum potential. Take action now to begin your path to success. To arrange your first coaching session and learn more about how it can help you, contact us today! We’ll set you up with your ideal coach, and get you started on a path to becoming the person you aspire to be!

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