By Robert J. Tamasy
身為領袖，你是否願意做牧羊人的辛苦工作 ─ 在大牧人的引導下？
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的通訊部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「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）。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」（The Heart of Mentoring）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。
思想 / 討論題目
你曾有照顧羊群或觀察牠們行為的經驗嗎？若有，你能否想出人真的很像羊的例子？ 想到你自己被形容為「羊」，你有什麼感覺？這是一種侮辱或尷尬嗎？為什麼？ 你是否曾見過「籬笆另一邊的草總是比較綠」的實際例子？為何我們常常會認為我們所沒有的一定比我們已經擁有的好？ 你是否看自己在職場中是擔任「牧人」的角色？若是，你如何實現這角色所承擔的責任？對於效法耶穌這位「好牧人」的建議，你有何看法？請解釋。註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：詩篇23篇；以賽亞書53章7節；馬可福音6章34節；路加福音15章1-7節；約翰福音10章1-18節，21章16-17節；使徒行傳8章32節；彼得前書2章21-25節
THE BEST LEADERS HAVE SHEPHERD”S HEARTS
By Robert J. Tamasy
What do you know about sheep? Other than knowing we get wool from sheep and that little sheep are called lambs, most of us are pretty clueless about sheep. That is unless you live in New Zealand, where reportedly sheep outnumber the people. But years ago I learned some intriguing things about the fuzzy animals while working to write a book with my friend, Ken Johnson.
Ken had spent years raising sheep on his “hobby farm” while also working full-time, and wanted to offer some of his insights in the book, first called Reflections From the Flock and then named Pursuing Life With a Shepherd”s Heart when we revised it. Here is a sampling of what sheep had taught him and his family:
The grass is not greener. An adage says, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Sheep believe this, too, as Ken witnessed one day when his flock virtually destroyed the grass under their feet while straining to eat grass outside of their enclosure. Have you, or someone you know, ever done that to their job, company or family simply because another alternative appeared better – only to discover it was not?
“Follow the leader” can be a bad idea. One morning my friend held a broom handle in front of the first sheep as they were coming out of their barn early in the morning. The lead sheep jumped over the broom. Ken then pulled the broom away, but the other sheep continued to leap at the same spot, even though the reason for jumping had been removed. Have you ever done something just because someone else was doing it, without even asking why? Or have you followed a traditional practice without wondering whether it still needed be done?
Left alone, sheep have a tendency to get into much trouble. Sometimes individual sheep decide to take their own path, straying from the protective watch of the shepherd. The result can be disastrous – broken limbs, getting tangled in bushes, or even falling on their backs unable to get back onto their feet. Without the shepherd”s prompt assistance, death can be minutes away.
We recounted numerous other anecdotes, but basically Ken”s story proved a passage from the Bible declaring, “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Without the guidance of a diligent shepherd, sheep can easily stumble into calamity.
In the business and professional world, one of the tasks leaders have is to serve as shepherds, overseeing their “sheep” as they carry out their responsibilities. The leader must provide a safe working environment, anticipate dangers that lurk ahead, and ensure the workers receive what they need to excel.
From a spiritual perspective, a wise workplace-shepherd looks to Jesus Christ, who described himself as “the good shepherd; I know my sheep and they know me” (John 10:14). Earlier in the same passage, Jesus said, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Whenever leaders demonstrate they will do whatever is necessary, putting the workers” interests first, they are certain to attract faithful followers.
As a leader, are you willing to do the hard work of a shepherd – under the direction of the Shepherd?
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
Have you ever had any experience either in working with sheep or simply observing their actions? If so, can you think of any other examples that show that people truly are like sheep? How does it feel to consider yourself being described in terms of being a “sheep”? Does it seem like an insult, or embarrassing? Why or why not? When have you witnessed the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” principle in action? Why is that so often we can be enticed by the idea that what we do not yet have is always better than what we already possess? Do you see yourselves serving in the role of “shepherd” where you work? If so, how do you fulfill that role for others? And what do you think of the suggestion of following Jesus, who described himself as “the good shepherd”? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 23; Isaiah 53:7; Mark 6:34; Luke 15:1-7; John 10:1-18, 21:16-17; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 2:21-25