Once upon a time, a company flourished under a
dynamic CEO. He was prone to predict large targets and
tried his best to achieve them. Very rarely he failed and the
It so happened that the CEO conceived a huge
expansion plan, which required an equally huge investment.
He prepared a presentation and invited his investors. After
the plan was presented to all the investors, the CEO, as was
his habit, predicted a very huge target of profitability.
One investor exclaimed, “That’s impossible! The target is
too huge.” The CEO replied, “The plan is huge, the
investment is huge, and so the target is also huge. If I can get
the investment, complete this plan, then I can also achieve
the target.” An elderly investor looked at the CEO and said,
“Let us agree that you take no pay until the plan is
completed. If the target is not achieved, you quit without any
pay. If it is achieved, you get your pay and more funds for
The CEO agreed to the suggestion and for two years, he
did not take any pay until the expansion was complete. The
seemingly unachievable target was, with great difficulty, also
achieved. The elderly investor wholeheartedly congratulated
the CEO and agreed, to finance the company’s further
expansion plan, on the very same day when the target was
Now, the CEO presented the investors with a bigger
expansion plan that spanned globally. After presenting the
plan, the CEO predicted an astounding profitability target.
The investors were stunned at the target and looked at each
other in disbelief. Then the elderly investor, with absolute
confidence, calmly said, “I accept.” The other investors also
accepted the plan and agreed to invest in it.
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani