當成功意味著…不去做某些事

By Robert J. Tamasy

在最近的夏季奧林匹克運動會,我們見證了一個不斷發生的工作原則:好的開始不保證最後能成功。有時跑者一開始就領先群雄,但最後卻吊車尾。泳將比別人還快跳入池中,但競爭者卻後來居上。體操選手在第一場的指定動作表現很好,但後來卻失誤或滑倒,使他們失去許多分數。

過去我曾寫過把事情的最後部份做好的重要性--以及這麼做的困難性。在每天的職場世界,我們看到同樣的現象發生在光譜的兩端:受人讚賞的企業主管因醜聞而蒙羞。年輕的員工以公司未來之星的姿態開始,但後來的工作表現卻平庸。我們如何能確保有好的開始也有好的結束?可以考慮這句話:要有好的結束之秘訣在於願意不去完成每件事。

那是什麼意思?有人被形容是「樣樣都通,但沒有一樣精通」。基本上這意味著沒有一樣做得好。要能成功需要有清楚的目標,並加上了解你自己什麼事做得好──什麼事做不好。

成功的人,把事情做出好結果的人,通常是那些充分利用優勢的人,他們把大部份時間和精力用在能充分發揮他們優勢的領域。那可能意味著不去做一些我們做不好的事──或那些不值得我們去做的事。

例如,因為我是一個腦中有大藍圖的人,我發現要找某個人來幫我監督重要的細節。如我在幾年前告訴一位執行助理:「你的工作是抓住我漏掉的東西」(這是我的傾向)。處理細節是我的弱點,與其花費許多精力試著不忘記重要的細節,還不如找一個在這方面比我能幹的人。

有人說:「要把某件事做好,就找一個忙碌的人去做。」但這可能會剝奪了別人做那事的機會。如英國的靈修作家章伯斯(Oswald Chambers)所說:「好是最好的敵人。」若把這應用在奧林匹克運動會,有些運動員在別的運動項目能表現得很好。然而,他們已決定他們在哪種運動項目做得最好。結果他們就能超越群倫,得到冠軍。與其在某種運動項目做得好,不如他們在另一項運動成為最好。

把這事實放在職場中,身為工商人士,有許多事是我們做得好的。問題是,什麼才是我們做得最好的──是只有我們應該去做的事?就去做那些事。其他我們做得的事可以讓別人做。

永遠不要失去你的焦點。我們需要清楚地了解自己的方向,不讓別的事使我們分心,不讓障礙使我們脫離軌道,即使它們似乎很吸引人。「耶穌被接上升的日子將到,他就定意向耶路撒冷去」(路加福音9章51節)。

注視著終點線。什麼是你的目標?什麼是你的使命?這些答案將使你分辨你個人生活和專業中的「好」與「最好」。「向著標竿直跑,要得 神在基督耶穌裏從上面召我來得的獎賞」(腓立比書3章14節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,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以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思 / 討論題目
「要有好的結束之秘訣在於願意不去完成每件事。」你如何回應這句話?這聽起來是否自私或自我中心?或者這提醒我們不要把時間精力花費在比較不重要的事?請解釋。 你對章伯斯所說:「好是最好的敵人」有何看法? 在你的工作或你個人生活中,是否有什麼事或活動使你沒有專注在最重要的事上?若有,你可能會採取什麼步驟使那些事不會讓你分心? 了解自己的優勢並努力去強化它,而不是花許多時間去使你的弱點更進步。這樣會有什麼益處?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
馬太福音28章19-20節;路加福音14章28節;約翰福音19章30節;腓立比書3章10-11節;提摩太後書4章7節

WHEN FINISH WELL MEANS…NOT FINISHING
By Robert J. Tamasy

During the recent Summer Olympics we witnessed a recurring principle at work: Getting off to a good start did not guarantee a good finish. Runners that grabbed an early lead sometimes fell to the back by the end of the race. Swimmers making a fast start lost to competitors demonstrating a stronger finish. Gymnasts looked good in the first part of their routines, but bobbles or slips cost them dearly.

In the past I have written about the importance of finishing well – and the difficulty in doing so. In the everyday work world we see the same phenomenon, at both ends of the spectrum: Admired business executives disgraced by ethical scandal. Young employees that start careers looking like future company stars, only to lapse into mediocre performance. How can we ensure the promise of a good start results in a strong finish? Consider this: A key to finishing well is being willing to not finish everything.

What does that mean? Some people are described as a “jack of all trades, master of none.” Basically that means excelling at nothing. Finishing well requires a clear sense of purpose, coupled with a good understanding of what you do well – and what you do not.

The successful person, the one that finishes well, is usually one who capitalizes on strengths by devoting most of his or her time and energy to areas where those strengths can be maximized. That might mean not finishing some things if we cannot do them well – or if they are not worth being done by us.

For instance, because I am a big-picture person, I have found it helpful for someone to oversee key details for me whenever possible. As I told an executive assistant years ago, “Your job is to catch things before I let them fall through the cracks” (as is my tendency). I am weak at handling details, and rather than putting considerable mental energy trying not to forget important details, it is better to find someone that is more skilled in that regard than I am.

Someone has said, “To get something done, find a busy person to do it.” But that might mean depriving someone else of that opportunity. As British devotional writer Oswald Chambers has said, “Good is the enemy of the best.” Applying that the Olympics, some of those athletes could have done well in other sports. However, they determined which sport they did best and concentrated on that. As a result, they excelled and became champions. Rather than being good at one sport, they became great at another.

Relating that reality to the workplace, there are many good things we can do as business and professional people. The question is, what are the best things for us to do – things that only we should do? Do those. The good things can be done by others. Here is what the Bible says about this:

Never lose your focus. We need to have a clear understanding of where we are headed and not let distractions and obstacles take us off course, even if they seem attractive. “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).

Keep your eyes on the finish line. What is your goal? What is your mission? These answers will enable you to distinguish the “good” from the “best” in your personal and professional life. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written 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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How do you respond to the statement, “A key to finishing well is being willing to not finish everything”? Does that sound selfish or self-centered – or does it serve as a reminder to not become consumed by less important matters? Explain your answer. What do you think Oswald Chambers meant when he wrote, “Good is the enemy of the best”? Can you think of any pursuits or activities that are preventing you from focusing on things that are most important at work – or in your personal life? If so, what steps might you take to free yourself of those diversions and distractions? What can be the benefits of understanding your strengths and seeking to maximize them, rather than spending great amounts of time trying to improve areas of weakness?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 14:28; John 19:30; Philippians 3:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:7

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