My Best Collection of Short Stories


Below are several of my  best collection of short stories. This first story is about the cost of cutting corners. 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Beware When Trying to Cheat Others 

Several years ago a struggling builder received a phone call from a very rich real estate guru who happened to be a good friend of his parents. The real estate guru asked the struggling builder to build him a house according to the blue prints he would submit to him on a piece of property that he had just picked up. The piece of property was at the edge of town right up against a beautiful wooded area. He told the struggling builder to spare no expense building the home. He wanted the struggling builder to use nothing but the finest materials and let him know what it costs and he would reimburse him for the materials, plus his time.

What the struggling builder didn’t know was that the real estate guru and the builder’s father had been in combat together during the Vietnam War. During their time the builder’s father had saved the real estate guru’s life during an intense battle. The real estate guru had been wounded and the builder’s dad stayed with him while fighting off the enemy until reinforcements arrived. The real estate guru owed his life to the builder’s dad and he would never forget that.


Photo by Alfred Aloushy on Unsplash

The builder picked up the blue prints from the guru and he was amazed at the size and style of the home. It was actually breath taking. There was nothing plain about this home he was being asked to build. It was eighty-seven hundred square feet of pure luxury. The main living room was designed with a thirty-two foot vaulted ceiling with a fire place that you would normally find in a luxury ski resort. The kitchen was designed with built in state of the art appliances.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:

Continuing the Story... 

As the builder continued to look over the plans he became a little jealous and began to think about how he could really profit from building this home. The more he thought about it the more he began to think about how he could cut some corners but charge the guru as though he had not. He would be able to hide the poor quality materials and still charge him for the real thing. The guru would never know the difference for at least a few years and by that time the builder would be long gone.

One of the very first corners the builder took was in the quality and thickness of cement used for the basement foundation and walls. The rebar he used was not to code but who would ever know the difference. When the builder submitted the invoice to the guru for the first phase of the project the guru never questioned a thing. The builder had submitted an invoice charging the guru for grade “A” materials and the builder was actually using the poorest materials available.

Productivity Improvement

My Best Collection of Short Stories:

Continuing the Story...

Everything from the water lines to the electrical wiring and studs the builder was cheating the guru by charging him for the best materials but using materials that were extremely low quality. The builder was pocketing the profits and was snickering behind the guru’s back about how stupid he was for not verifying the materials that the builder was actually using. He began thinking to himself that the guru would be lucky if the house would even be safe to live in. He figured it would serve the guru right sense the builder was sure that the guru probably made his fortune from cheating other people.

With every swing of the hammer the builder became more and more jealous of the guru and did everything possible without getting caught to cheat the guru.

After ten weeks the builder had finally finished the home. On the outside the home seemed amazing but underneath the surface was a home barely safe enough to live in, at least for a while. The builder called the guru and informed him that the house was done and tried to schedule a time the guru could inspect the home to see if it met his expectations. The guru stated that would not be necessary and asked if the builder could meet him at his office. The builder told him of course he could.

Men Fighting with Flag in BackGround

My Best Collection of Short Stories:

Continuing the Story...

When he arrived at the guru’s office the builder’s entire family was present. The builder seemed very surprised and confused.

Once in the guru’s office the guru called the struggling builder over and began to tell the story of how the builder’s father had saved him during the Vietnam War and that the only way the builder’s father would allow him to pay him back was for him to do something for his son, the builder. At that point the guru told the house that he thought he was building for the guru was in fact his. The builder got a sick look on his face at that point and asked the guru to repeat what he had just said. The guru again told the builder that the house was all his free and clear for what his father had done for him!

How important is integrity? It's everything!

Thank you and May God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Be Careful Who's Listening


Photo by Joshua Hibbert on Unsplash

A precious little four-year-old girl and her mother lived right next to an abandoned lot where the little girl would spend most of her day playing. However, one day in the middle of the summer a construction crew showed up and notified the families on both sides of the lot that they would be building a new home for a family that had just purchased the property.

When telling the mother and little girl about their plans to build the foreman kneeled down and told the little girl that she would be happy to know that the new family had a little girl her age also. The little girl lit up like a Christmas tree with a smile that went from ear to ear.

The next day when the construction crew got started the little girl was out back anxiously watching them work. She didn’t seem to miss anything that they did. The foreman of the construction crew was a big burly man who matched up perfectly to the stereotypical construction worker. However, when he was around the little four-year-old girl he became like a teddy bear.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

Every day the crew showed up the entire crew would greet the little girl and then begin their work. As time passed the crew became more and more fond of this little girl. They would see her watching them from the start of the day until they packed up and left each night. The days were very hot and the crew continually made their choice comments about the heat, not remembering the little girl was watching their every move.

Occasionally the foreman would come over and bring the little girl a treat of some kind. Typically, it was a piece of candy that he would always ask the girl’s mother before giving it to her.

During the building process the foreman had to let one of the crew go for making several mistakes installing the drywall.

Several weeks passed and the house was in its final stages of being built. By this time the construction crew and the little girl were like buddies, although they had never really done anything except let her watch them build the house.

One day the foreman saw the little girl and her mother watching and he decided to go over and talk with both of them. The gruff foreman approached them and as always, his demeanor changed from a construction foreman to a smiling gentleman.

He greeted them both and politely told them that they would be finishing the job in the next couple of weeks. The foreman then kneeled down and asked the little girl what she thought of her experience of watching a house being built? The little girl without hesitation spoke up and stated, “If Joey wouldn’t have F’d up installing the drywall you would have been done a lot F’ing earlier! Because of Joey’s F’ing mistake I had to wait that much longer to play with my new little friend! Not to mention how F’ing hot is’t been!

Be careful of who might be listening!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Don't Pretend to be Someone You're Not!


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Too many times in business, especially in leadership, we try to act as though we are much more important than we really are. Here is a quick example of just that.

A young lawyer right out of law school was fortunate enough to have a very rich father who rented him the entire floor of a beautiful downtown New York high rise building. Fortunately, the suite came fully furnished with some of the finest oak furniture and very will decorated.

Not many people get an opportunity to get started out in business like this but this young lawyer was going to take every advantage of this big chance his father was giving him. As he walked into his new office on the very first day, he was taken aback by just how professional looking everything seemed. His father had even gone to the trouble of purchasing a full library of law books that filled a whole wall toward the front of the suite.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

The young lawyer’s mind was racing as he pictured himself working cases and arguing before juries. He was extremely excited.

As he went into his new office, he went over to his oversized oak desk and sat in his desk chair that was an executive leather chair fit for only the very best highly successful lawyers. He leaned back and began to day dream some more.

Just as he was deep in thought he heard and then saw a person come in the front door by the empty reception area. Quickly leaning forward, he grabbed the telephone and began pretending he was speaking with someone on the other end of the telephone about a complex law case. Knowing that the man in the reception area could hear him he spoke louder than normal trying to appear as important as possible.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

He was able to keep up this act for about two to three minutes before he winded down the fake conversation and finally hanging up the telephone.

After hanging up he walked out to the reception area and apologized for keeping the man waiting. Still trying to impress the potentially new client he went on to tell the man that it was very hard to keep up with all the telephone calls while he was searching for another prominent attorney to bring on board with him. The brand-new lawyer told the man that just any other attorney would not be good enough, he only wanted the best.

After going on about just how important the call was the he had just been on he asked the man how he could help him.

The man smiled a bit and told the young lawyer that he was only there to hook up his telephones.

Thank you and May God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Selecting the Right Person

Job Interview

People don’t always make the best use of the training they receive!

I have no idea if this is true or not but it is a short leadership story, I heard that makes a very valid point about not taking anything for granted as leaders.

Recently a company began offering an extensive five day free first aid training course to their employees in an effort to be a better community partner. The idea was that since the town had a limited number of full-time emergency medical service (EMS) employees and needed more volunteers this company would try to fill the void. Of course, it was a value-added benefit to the employees also.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

In order to qualify for the free five-day first aid training course an employee would have to commit to volunteering for the towns EMS department. This at a minimum included an interview with the EMS department’s chief and a full physical provided free of charge by the company in order to make sure the person was physically fit to serve.

In addition, to qualifying with the EMS department and passing the physical the employee’s supervisor had to recommend the employee since the cost of the training was over nine hundred dollars. The supervisor was responsible for ensuring that anyone they recommended was going to represent the company in the very best way possible.

The very first person that stepped forward to volunteer was Joann Thompson, a thirty-two-year-old mother of two who had been with the company for almost twelve years. She was thought to be one of the finest employee’s the company had and certainly would represent the company in the very best way. Her supervisor had no problems recommending her.

Upon meeting with the EMS departments Chief Joann was asked a series of questions, known of which had anything to do with first aid. The questions primarily were focused on the commitment to the number of hours and if they could work under the conditions they would be exposed to. The Chief approved Joann.

Shortly after being approved Joann passed her physical without any problems.

Because Joann was the very first candidate for the extensive five-day first aid course and volunteer for the town’s EMS department a big deal was made over her leaving for the first aid training. In fact, the local newspaper was there along with the three local network news stations that covered the town.

Getting the Job Job Interview

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

That following week Joann attended the first aid training and kept in touch with her supervisor all week long. In addition, because it was a big deal to the town one of the network news stations covered her nightly on the news, with very short interviews.

Of course, the company was getting a lot of great coverage for the little amount of money it was costing them for the training course. In fact, it was much better than they ever imagined it would be. The company’s name was being mentioned all over town in a very positive way. You just can’t purchase that kind of coverage anywhere.

The week ended and Joann was back home that very weekend and again received great attention from the local media. Joann and the company were very proud of this accomplishment and the attention they were receiving.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

That very next Monday as Joann was walking out her front door on her way to her car to come to work a horrible traffic accident took place right in front of her home.

An elderly man jumped the curve and smashed directly into a huge oak tree. The front of the car collapsed and the man was thrown into the windshield smashing his head. The front driver’s side door flew open from the impact and because the elderly man was not wearing a seat belt, he bounced off the windshield and was thrown from the car. His head was bleeding and his body laid mangled on the ground as the car began smoking.

This all occurred approximately thirty feet from where Joann had stopped after this all began happening right in front of her eyes. If there was ever a time that someone could use emergency medical attention in the form of first aid it was this elderly man. He was in dire need of immediate help.

Unfortunately, Joann stood by and did nothing! 

The EMS crew arrived on the scene and fortunately was able to save the man and get him to the hospital where he eventually recovered fully from his injuries.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

When Joann was interviewed by the newspaper and local network news media, they all asked her why she didn’t utilize her extensive first aid training? She immediately responded that in fact she put her training to immediate use. She stated that during the first aid training course she was taught that if anyone ever felt faint, they should sit down and place their head between their knees and that is exactly what she did.

Training is almost always a positive thing but never take for granted that employees will use it correctly!

Thank you and may God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Setting the Example

Woman Typing a Letter on Computer 1

This is a short leadership story about setting the example for your staff! People in a leadership role are watched much closer than they ever imagine and their actions can influence many more than they think.

As an example there was a supervisor, John Bolts, within an organization that oversaw the Call Center. The Call Center consisted of seventy-seven employees’ primarily female. Now if anyone has ever worked in a Call Center or knew someone that did you understand that it requires a lot of sitting and not much exercise.

The company was a Christian based organization and began every morning prior to each shift getting underway with a prayer group typically led by the supervisors of each department.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

As budgets were getting really tight and upper management was looking for any way possible to reduce costs or increase productivity, they discovered that if they implemented a wellness program that consisted of diet and exercise their group health insurance rates would go down. In fact, it would make a dramatic difference in the cost if everyone participated and results were realized by all involved.

The company got together with all the supervisors and discussed their plans with them that in order to make this work it would require their commitment to be role models for their employees. John was a bit uncomfortable since he was about one hundred pounds overweight but reluctantly, he pledged his commitment to the program. In fact, John’s exact words during the meeting were that he would pray for strength. Everyone was very proud.

The next hurdle was getting the buy in from all John’s employees.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

John called a meeting the following day with his employee’s. John humbly told them that of everyone there he had the most to gain from this new wellness program. He told them he had prayed and knew this was going to not only help the company out of the financial crunch that they found themselves in it would also benefit them individually. This could add years to their lives and overall make them healthier. John received a standing ovation. There was no question he was heavier than any other person in his department.

John finished his meeting by telling them that he would set the example. That if anyone saw him cheating on his diet to please confront him immediately. Some bold words but it gained the respect of the women and men in his department.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

The very first week went by and the participation was great in John’s department. Everyone was eating healthier and even those drinking coffee and drinking soft drinks began to tail off. The company sponsored exercise programs were well attended. There was a buzz throughout the company at how well this program was working.

People were actually excited! Unfortunately, on Friday of the third week John came into his department carrying two dozen donuts. Actually, it was three donuts short of two dozen because John had already eaten two and was working on the third.

John’s staff was stunned as they watched him walk through the Call Center and go into his office shutting the door behind him.

Several of John’s employees got together and decided to confront him just as he had asked them to do during his motivational speech just three weeks earlier.

The cautiously knocked on his door! John answered the door with a fifth donut in his hand. Even more stunned now a brave employee asked, “What about your diet John!”

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Continuing the Story...

John smiled and said no problem at all. This morning during my private prayer time I asked God to direct me in relationship to my diet. Since I drove by my favorite donut shop every day, I decided to ask God if it would be OK to stop for donuts this morning. I’m not sure but I believe God told me that if there was an open parking space on my way by this morning that it would be OK to stop and get some donuts. As it turns out on my ninth trip around the block where the donut shop is there was a parking spot open for me. I knew at that point it would be OK to stop for donuts.

As he turned and began walking back toward his desk he took yet another bite of a donut!

Thank you and may God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Enough Is Enough


We live in a world that offers a lot of glitter, lights, and bells but unfortunately it does not offer a lot of substance. Governments, religious leaders, teachers and other trusted members of society are continually taking advantage of the innocent. For this reason, many people have decided to simply live for today because tomorrow they may die. In the late 60s the hippie generation adopted this philosophy because of the negative world conditions.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Enough Is Enough

I must admit that I too fell into that group. The world did not make any sense and it seemed absurd to work hard all of your life for material possessions and then die and give them to someone who may not appreciate them. For this reason, I too became involved in the live for today philosophy. Since the 1960s that philosophy has continued to grow. Popular slogans such as “you deserve it”, “party until you die”, “have it your way”, “just do it”, and “seize the day” tell a lot about the attitude of today’s society.

After decades of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse I decided that enough was enough, it was time to make a major change. The only problem I had was what type of change would I make? The answer came a few days later when someone knocked on my door and showed me a book that answered all of my questions. This book explained why the world is in the terrible condition that it is in. It showed what will happen in the future and most importantly it detailed how to have a happy life.

After seriously studying this book for a period of time I realized that everything contained inside of it was true. This was the turning point in my life. The book explained that there was more happiness in giving than in receiving. This concept was completely contrary to what the majority of people in the world were doing. Modern-day philosophy, advertisements, and the entertainment industry were all saying the same thing that you are happier when receiving and therefore get as much as you can while the getting is good.

This type of belief has proven false over and over again as people accumulate wealth and material possessions beyond what they can use a lifetime. The rich and famous have lives that are convoluted and distorted. Their family environment consists of envy, jealousy, and hatred as they scheme to get from each other as much as they can. Divorce among the rich and famous is continuous and children are often in trouble with the authorities over a variety of issues such as drugs, violence, and crime.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
Enough Is Enough

However, besides that, what never made sense to me was as I mentioned before that a person works hard all of her life to accumulate material possessions and then dies and leaves them for someone else. In fact, the book has an illustration about a man who spent his retirement years building huge storehouses for all of his possessions. On the day that he finished building the storehouses he dies. What a waste of life. This help me to appreciate that there is a lot more to living than what we are being spoon fed by religious leaders, politicians, and others whose only concern is for themselves.

As I began to learn more about what makes a person happy, I became happier. We were designed to enjoy the earth and all that it has to offer. We were however also designed to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This is such a simple principle but if the world followed only this one simple principle there would be no wars, violence, crime, divorce, abuse, or any other harmful situation.

Thank you and May God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
The Joys of Leadership

Getting The Job Woman Sitting on Floor and Excited

There is an old saying that leaders go where others fear to tread, and maybe that is so, as least in part. There is another old saying that says that if you think that you are a leader, then look behind you and be sure that there are others who are following. If there is no one there, you may need to rethink things a bit.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
The Joys of Leadership

Many times, leadership is born out of necessity, as when something needs to be done, don't wait for someone else to do it, just get it taken care of.

In my lifetime I have frequently been in the leadership role, although not necessarily always by choice. I was the captain of a winning high school football team, and in school I frequently found myself as the chairperson of committees and groups.

Quite the background for leadership, you might say, however I do believe that to be a good leader you have to have had people in your life who you followed as a follower, so that you know what the characteristics are that move you to follow someone.

This performance management definition is simplistic, however, in that it does not explain how these goals can be achieved. The management team must make sure that everyone in the organization both knows and understands:

The character of a leader revolves around that person's ability to see the problem, know how to solve it and be able to enlist others to the cause. That involves vision, the ability to reason out a solution, and the ability to effectively communicate to others how they can chip in and help.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
The Joys of Leadership

In that sense of the word, leadership is not necessarily a natural trait, because no one is necessarily born with all of those attributes, but it would be safe to say that they are developed by experience.

Leadership takes self-confidence, and it also requires patience, for not everyone is going to see the whole problem like the leader will. In many cases the leader has to break down the process into "bite size" units and assign those units to people who are capable of solving the "unit" issue.

When you have leadership qualities, you will have plenty of opportunities to display and live by them. I have been active in leadership in several distinct areas of my life in high school teaching and coaching, leadership positions in the church, and in fact my wife and I pioneered our own church, but the most significant role was as a field training manager in the life insurance business.

The reason that this role was significant to me is the fact that if the people that I trained were to become successful, it would materially and emotionally change the individual and his or her family situation for the rest of their life.

Clipart1 - Man standing out from of a large group

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
The Joys of Leadership

I was very fortunate to have had a mentor in this role who trained me in such a manner as to leave no doubt as to what had to be done. He impressed upon me that the "what" to be done was not the hard part. The difficult part was getting the gumption to do it, because at first it seems like you are working in an entirely negative atmosphere in the life insurance business.

The sale of life insurance to the general public is an extremely difficult, but ultimately rewarding occupation. No one really enjoys talking about the subject because it reminds them of dying and most people would emotionally rather just put it off.

However, we were taught an excellent way to overcome most people's objections by offering a thorough analysis of their present situation with information about tying their life insurance to a will and trust, so even if both parents were to die together, the children would be properly raised.

The newly recruited agent at first was very timid about approaching those that he knew, but I promised to show him that it would work well, if he or she followed our program.

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
The Joys of Leadership

This is where leadership came into play, whether I wanted to go with the new agent or not. I promised the new agent that if he or she took me to people he or she knew, we would sell life insurance to them, and we did, time after time.

Each time that we went to see someone for an appointment, that little know in the pit of my stomach would raise its ugly head, and that small sense of failure would also enter in.

Since it was up to me in the beginning of the relationship with the new agent to show how this system worked, I had to perform in the role.

I am glad to say that this was a role that taught me the most about leadership. I learned that if you have a worthwhile cause that is legal and helpful to others, you can follow the path of making the cause become real to all those who need its results, even though there may be difficult hurdles on the path to success.

Thank you and May God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
I Really Wanted to Sing


Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

I remember the day I found out I couldn't sing. I had sung all my life, from a small child, but never with accompaniment, and only for my own enjoyment. I was 18 when I decided I wanted to be a professional singer. When I say "wanted to be" I mean desperate to be. By then I was convinced that it was who I was, and what I was born to do.

On my 19th birthday, my aunt gave me a gift voucher for singing lessons with a well-known local singing teacher. I was beside myself with excitement and anticipation. I was going to finally make my biggest dream a reality. I had never been for singing training before, but I was certain it was going to be wonderful.

I arrived for my first lesson, which was an assessment, to find out what type of range I had, what sort of voice I had, and what kind of singing I wanted to focus on. The singing teacher seemed very nice, and after chatting for a few minutes, she took me through a set of breathing exercises which, she explained would help to support the voice while singing. I was eager to get on with the singing, but patiently followed her breathing instructions.

Finally, we went over to the piano, and she asked me to sing the notes she played. She played just one note at a time, and I was to sing that note. Which I did. At least, I thought I did. However, she stopped, looked at me with a frown and asked me if I'd ever had vocal training before. I said I hadn't, but had always sung for pleasure, right from a child. She asked me how old I was, and when I told her, she announced that at my age it was near to impossible for me to learn to sing in tune.

Trust But Verify

I was devastated. I left the lesson feeling numb. I was sure I'd never even hum again, never mind try to sing. I didn't want to open my mouth at all. Even to speak.

A few days later, my aunt (who had received a refund for the singing lessons I had been rejected from) was telling a friend, who was a professional singer and director, what the teacher had said. The friend exclaimed that it was nonsense, and that she didn't care what the singing teacher had said, she would help me to sing. It took a while, and my confidence has always been tainted by the teacher's comment, but I have now made my living as a professional singer for over 30 years.  My hope is that that teacher never said the same thing to anyone else. I'm stubborn and refused to accept I would never live my dream, but someone who is more sensitive, or who didn't have the wonderful friend I had, who helped me to develop my talent, may never even try.

Thank you and May God bless you!

My Best Collection of Short Stories:
The Best Boss


This story of leadership is a guest post and not written by the owner of this site.

I have had several bosses, but none of them have affected my life the way Mark has.

In 2009, I was unemployed and trying to find a way to pay bills. They were piling up and I started to feel like I was drowning. I went to a temp agency and was told that they had an assignment available, but it would only last one month.

I was hesitant, but I had nothing to lose, so I accepted it. My new boss, Mark, seemed okay at first, but I wasn't sure that I was ready for a boss that was actually easygoing and eager to help me get the job done.

One thing that makes this story different is the fact that I cannot say that Mark knows how great he truly is. After a few weeks on the job, he noticed my potential and offered me a position that was far above my skill set and pay grade. When I seemed confused by it, he said that he knows I was ready even if I didn't.

After training for my new position, we found out that no one else would be hired in the near future due to some budget cuts. I was aggravated and hurt by this, but Mark told me to email him periodically and he would let me know when the hiring freeze was over.

People have told me things like this before, but they do not usually follow through. This is not how things turned out for me at all. Not only did Mark continue to email me updates monthly for over a year, but he let me know as soon as there was an available position.

Before going in for an interview, I told him that I had a felony record and I would probably have issues. He vowed to fight for me and do everything he could to help. I was tentatively given the job and told that I had to wait for the results of my background check.

The very next day I got a call from HR and the news was not good I wasn't able to secure the position because of my record. That was three years ago and Mark still continues to email me periodically. He says that next year when I am eligible for my record to be expunged the job is all mine.

Not only is this a story of leadership, but it is the tale of a man that has done everything in his power to keep his word to me. Not only did he look at me as more than just a claims clerk, he looked at me like someone that actually mattered to him.

I am not sure of what the future holds for Mark, but I am hoping that he has nothing but luck in life. After showing me the kind of guy he is, I am certain that he deserves it many times over.

Thank you and May God bless you!

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