企圖心、自尊和領導能力

By Robert J. Tamasy

這個世代似乎認為:企圖心、膨脹的自尊心和領導能力就像蛋黃蛋白和蛋殼一樣,是組成一顆蛋,密不可分的部分。一些領袖強烈地希望帶領他們的企業,他們認為自己的企圖心如果要被實現,一個驕傲的自尊心是必要的。事實上,他們的董事會和股東們也常常鼓勵他們的領導是要「不計一切代價」。

但是我的牧師朋友藍迪,最近告訴我一些想法。為什麼工商人要聽一個牧師說甚麼呢? 因為他覺得,牧師的工作就像是小型的企業主一樣,透過廣告,努力引起人們的注意力,把他們吸引到我們的身邊來。而我們所用的廣告,是持續參與社群或是強力放送我們的故事,可能會膨脹我們的自尊心、競爭心和帶來欺騙。

藍迪指出,其中一個特別的危險是幫助我們的人可能會膨脹他們的目標和企圖心。當我們被有權力、重要的、有影響力的、知名的或有錢的人所愛時,我們很可能就會看重他們過於貧窮的、孤單的、不起眼的以及被忽視的人。

不容置疑的,有權力、有影響力的人(客戶、投資者)對企業的生存和成長來說,是很重要的。但是對跟隨耶穌的人來說,我們最重要的目標是要服事神。因此我們要記住耶穌說:「正如人子來,不是要受人的服事,乃是要服事人,並且要捨命,作多人的贖價。」我們最能彰顯耶穌的作為是服事他人,特別是服事那一些不起眼的。

這可能和很多在職場的工商人士的理念以及價值觀相牴觸。但是耶穌所說的許多天國真理和原則也和他以及使徒們生長的時代相牴觸。使徒保羅就曾經說:「凡事不可結黨,不可貪圖虛浮的榮耀;只要存心謙卑,各人看別人比自己強。」(腓立比書2章3節)他並沒有說,這樣的原則不適用於工商人。

老實說,在我職業生涯中令我印象最深刻的企業主,是那些把我看得比他們自己更重要、在我身上花時間、重視我、問我做得怎麼樣,甚至是在我有需要的時候在工作上幫助我的人。因為他們對我真心的關懷,讓我更加努力希望能夠達成他們的期待。

使徒保羅在羅馬書12章16節當中說道:「要彼此同心;不要志氣高大,倒要俯就卑微的人( – 人:或譯事)。不要自以為聰明。」無論你是在工商、教育、政治、媒體界,這個原則適用於每一種工作背景的人。

勞勃.泰默西「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace的作者;他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring他的雙週部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com

省思與問題討論

你覺得對一個領袖來說,強大的自尊對領導力是正面的影響嗎?請分享你的看法。 如果我們都有自尊和個人的好惡,要如何知道他們已經過度了? 我們要如何在企圖心和利潤之間取得平衡?又如何能做到不偏待那些不重要以及不起眼的人呢? 耶穌的生平的哪一個故事,啟發我們把別人看得比自己更強呢?分享你的答案。

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,希望能閱讀更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:箴言11章2節、15章33節、16章18-19節、18章12節、21章24節、22章4節、29章23節;歌羅西書3章12節。

AMBITION, EGOS AND LEADERSHIP

By Robert J. Tamasy

These days we seem to assume that ambition, inflated egos and leadership go together like a yolk, egg white and shell go together to comprise a fresh egg. Leaders want desperately to advance their organizations and themselves, so strong, even overbearing egos appear necessary if their ambitions are to be realized. In fact, their boards and stakeholders often encourage a “whatever it takes” mindset for governing their leadership tactics.

However, my friend Randy, a pastor, recently offered some thoughts that challenge such thinking. Why should business and professional people be concerned about what a clergyman says? Because, as he wrote, “We are like small business owners fighting to get the people”s attention through advertising. Part of attracting folks…is attracting them to ourselves. Our advertising, whether through constant participation in social media or hyping our stories, can easily blow up our egos, sense of competition, and conceit.”

One particular danger, Randy pointed out, is the temptation to give preference to those in a position to help us to maximize goals and ambitions. “When we are loved by powerful, important, influential, well-known, or wealthy people, it is quite easy to make them a priority and steal time from the poor, the isolated, the insignificant, and the overlooked.”

Without question, powerful, influential and affluent people – often customers or investors – are critical to the survival and growth of organizations. But if as followers of Jesus Christ one of our foremost goals is to serve Him and point others to Him, then we must remember what He said: “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). In a similar way, one of the best ways for representing Jesus is to serve others, especially those that cannot reciprocate.

This may run counter to the philosophies and values of many in the marketplace, but the truths and principles presented by Jesus often ran counter to the cultures in which He and His followers lived as well. The apostle Paul, for example, wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). In no way did he suggest there might be exceptions for those engaged in business or commerce.

To be honest, the employers and bosses that impressed me the most over the course of my working career were those who seemed to regard me as more important than themselves, who made special efforts at times to seek me out, ask how I was doing, and even assist me in my job if the need and opportunity presented itself. I can assure you, knowing they genuinely had concern for my well-being inspired me to work even harder in trying to fulfill and exceed their expectations.

As Paul wrote elsewhere, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited” (Romans 12:16). This works for people regardless of their status or the work setting, whether in the marketplace, education, politics, media, or vocational ministry.

© 2017. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and edited numerous other books, including Advancing Through Adversity by Mike Landry. Bob”s website is www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com, and his biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Do you think force of ego can be a positive factor in a leader”s effectiveness? Why or why not? If we concede that we all have egos and self-interests, at what point can we recognize when ego and pursuit of goals and ambition have gone too far? How can we consciously achieve a balance between worthy ambition and profits, while also ensuring that people of less importance and lower standing are not ignored or mistreated? What in the life and example of Jesus Christ would inspire you to “in humility consider others better than yourselves”?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 16:18-19, 18:12, 21:24; 22:4, 29:23; Colossians 3:12

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