A reporter from Time Magazine was once sent to interview Clive Sutton, a farmer in the City of Norwich (in the eastern counties of England), who had won countless awards for his produce.

When the reporter got there, he saw a long queue of people lined up from the street to the farmer’s house. He asked Clive what was going on.

“Oh, I’m giving away the seeds for my award-winning corn to my neighbours”, said the farmer.

“But why on earth would you do that?”, asked the bewildered journalist.

Clive Sutton beamed at his guest, and replied, “Because the wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field.

If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I want to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.”

My friends, success begets success. Sometimes, in order to guarantee our own excellence, we must invest in the excellence of the people around us.

There was once a chief in the Volta Region who wanted his son to learn German. The little boy, however, was football-crazy, and he refused to sit at a desk learning a foreign language while his friends played happily in the dirt.

The Chief came up with the perfect solution: He asked the teacher to teach all the children in the village how to speak German. Within months, his son was fluent.

This principle works with every ambition. Surround yourself with whatever you wish to be, and it will surely be.

When my son Fiifi was in Kindergarten, the walls of his classroom were covered with letters of the alphabet, high frequency words, and lots of pictures and images.

The kids were literally surrounded by vocabulary, so they could pick up new words every day.

This principle works. Today, let us resolve to invest in our colleagues, our communities and our country. Pour some excellence into your neighbour, and eventually, it will guarantee your own excellence too.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and I aim to be the best. That’s why I spend my mornings with people like you.


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