競爭、正直和憐憫

By: Rick Boxx

當我們提到商場上的競爭時,基本上都會想要勝過我們的對手-不論是在我們提供的產品、服務、或是其他各樣因素,能增加我們市場佔有率。不管環境如何,聰明的人都會抓住機會、佔有優勢。

然而,我的一個朋友克里夫.瓊斯,告訴我一個很不一樣的觀點。

在他的書「(正直贏家)Winning through Integrity」裡面,克里夫收錄了他的朋友羅伯的故事。羅伯擁有一家廣播電台,他是那個城市裡唯一一家專門播放古典音樂,但是之後有一個新的競爭者出現了。他的對手播放類似風格的節目,並威脅要在羅伯的電台廣告和收益上大挖角。

有一天,一陣強風把對方的訊號發射塔台吹倒了。羅伯電台的人本可大肆慶祝對方的不幸遭遇。然而,他用了完全不同的方式,他不是等到對方失敗不能繼續再廣播了,而是派自己的首席工程師去幫助對方修復並且恢復營運。

當有人問到,為什麼他要做這種事?只要他選擇撒手不管,對手有可能就會被消滅。羅伯誠實地回答說:「我有他需要生存下去的理由。」

在聖經的新約裡,我們發現一個訓誡:經上記著說:「要愛人如己。你們若全守這至尊的律法才是好的。」(雅各書2章8節)在羅伯的例子裡,他大可以利用對方的問題來獲取自己的優勢,但他知道今天如果是自己的電台遇到這樣的不幸,他也會希望別人的幫忙。

在今天高標準、高壓、保守的商場環境裡,我們極盡所能去維持重要的客戶、爭取重要的合約、或多或少去貶低我們的競爭對手。在對手絕望的時候,幫助他們這是很少見的。但如果我們要用誠實來做生意,用憐憫並專注在我們所遇到人上面,也許我們該改變一下舊有的想法。

新約聖經告訴我們,「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。各人不要單顧自己的事,也要顧別人的事。」(腓立比書2章3-4節)。這聽起來很困難,的確做起來也很困難。我們不能知道下一筆買賣是在哪裡,但,誠實是最重要的,雖然困難還是要去做。即使這會使對手得益,你還會選擇去做正確的事嗎?

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

省思 / 討論題目
在你的職場裡,對「競爭」兩個字的態度是如何?當你擁有競爭優勢的時候,你如何對待你的競爭對手呢? 對於羅伯的故事,你真正的想法是什麼? 從一個職場的角度,你覺得「愛人如己」這句話的意義是什麼?如果考慮到全球化和高度競爭的商場環境,你會在職場上考慮用「愛人如己」這句話嗎?理由為何? 在聖經中記載我們要看別人比自己強,你認為這是可能的嗎?備註:如果你手上有聖經,想知道更多有這個主題的經節,請參考:馬太福音6章19-24節,7章1-2節;路加福音6章31節;約翰福音15章13節;腓立比書4章19節;彼得前書5章5-7節;

COMPETITION, INTEGRITY AND COMPASSION
By Rick Boxx

When we talk about competition in business, typically we are thinking in terms of trying to achieve an advantage over our competitors – whether through the products or services we offer, customer service, or other factors that could enable us to increase market share. And whenever a circumstance presents itself that could enable us to gain a competitive advantage, we know it would be wise to grab it.

However, a friend of mine, Cliff Jones, offers a very different perspective on competition and the practice of capitalizing on a competitor”s misfortune.

In his book, Winning through Integrity, Cliff included a story about his friend, Robert Ingram, who owned two radio stations, one that specialized in classical music. Mr. Ingram had a monopoly on classical music radio programming in his city until a new competitor arrived. The competitor”s station presented similar programming, threatening to put a significant dent in the advertising sales and revenue generated by Mr. Ingram”s station.

One day severe winds blew down the transmitting tower of the rival station. Many people in Mr. Ingram”s situation might have celebrated the competitor”s misfortune. However, he chose a very different approach. Instead of waiting for his opponent to fail because he was no longer able to broadcast, Mr. Ingram sent the chief engineer of his own company to get the competitor’s station up and running again.

When someone asked why he would do such a thing, knowing that choosing not to do anything likely would have resulted in eliminating the competitor, Mr. Ingram”s reply was simple and honest: "I had what he needed to survive."

In the Bible”s New Testament, we find this profound admonition: "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right” (James 2:8). In Mr. Ingram”s case, he could have used the competitor”s problem for his own advantage. But he also realized that, had the circumstances been reversed, he would have appreciated receiving such assistance himself.

Too often in today”s demanding, high-pressure, bottom line-oriented business environment, we are willing to do anything to secure an important sale, get a signature on a contract, or somehow undermine those competing with us. The thought of offering help to them in a desperate time of need rarely occurs. But if we are committed to conducting business with integrity – and compassion – concentrating on the best interests of those we encounter during the course of a typical workday, perhaps a radical change in our thinking is necessary.

Another New Testament passage tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). This might sound difficult, because it is. We can”t be certain of the next sale, or of finalizing the next deal. But if integrity is our priority, we know what to do – even when it is difficult. Will you do the right thing, even if it is for the benefit of a competitor?

Copyright 2013, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
In your own work setting, what is your attitude toward the competition? How do you typically respond when you find yourself at a competitive advantage? What is your honest reaction to Mr. Ingram”s decision to send a staff member to assist in repairing the competitor”s transmitting tower? From a workplace perspective, what do you think it means to “love your neighbor as yourself”? Given the challenges of surviving in today”s global, highly competitive business environment, do you believe that should even be a consideration? Why or why not? The other Bible passage cited states that in an attitude of humility we should “consider others better (or more important”) than ourselves. Do you think this is realistic – or even possible? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Matthew 6:19-24, 7:1-2; Luke 6:31; John 15:13; Philippians 4:19; 1 Peter 5:5-7; 1 John 3:16

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