職場的收成定律

By:Robert J. Tamasy

對我們許多在工商專業界的人而言,農夫的生活沒有什麼參考價值。然而許多耕種的基本原則非常適合應用在我們的職場。例如,就像農夫必須耕耘土地--把土地準備好才能種下農作物的種子--在工商界,我們也必須「耕耘」可能的顧客和客戶,與他們建立關係,並讓他們相信與我們合作,而不是與我們的競爭者合作,才能得到最好的服務。

另一個原則是一般人所稱的「收成定律」。任何人只要曾在農場工作過就能了解這些道理,但我們既不需農耕的經驗,也不需有大學農業、農藝或植物學的文憑,就能了解這些自然律的重要性。事實上,這些自然律可在新約聖經加拉太書第六章找到:

你種什麼就收什麼。若你種下紅蘿蔔的種子,就會長出紅蘿蔔。你若種下白蘿蔔的種子,你就是收割白蘿蔔。把這原則用在工商界,若你常常表現出不信任--不論是對你的員工、客戶或供應商--他們可能也會以不信任來回應你。另一方面,若我們以仁慈和憐憫,我們可能得到他們同樣的對待。「人種的是什麼,收的也是什麼」(加拉太書6章7節)。

你會在不同的季節收成。即使最業餘的園藝家也了解你不能今天種下種子,就期待第二天長出成熟長大的植物。同樣地,我們今天種下的種子--不論好壞--要到將來的某個時間才會結出果子。我們是否常聽到企業領袖因鹵莽輕率,在幾年後就嚐到苦果?他們以為他們的不誠實沒被別人發現,但其實只是在比較晚的時間曝光。相反地,我們可能在工作中堅持最高的正直和卓越的標準,但這樣致力於高道德的行為可能要到將來才會收到成果。「若不灰心,到了時候就要收成」(加拉太書6章9節)。

你收的會比種的還多。若你種下一顆玉米,你應該期待它會長出不只一顆玉米。你會得到一株玉米的莖幹上長了許多根玉米。把這原則應用在我們的職場中,若我們盡我們全力去取悅一位顧客,我們就希望他們不會只和我們作一次生意,而是一再回來向我們買,因為他們在第一次有很好的印象。但我們若是偷工減料,為了省錢而提供比我們所答應還少的貨物,員工或顧客不是也會找到機會就欺騙我們嗎?「順著情慾撒種的,必從情慾收敗壞;順著聖靈撒種的,必從聖靈收永生」(加拉太書6章8節)。

若你能堅持到底,收成就會來到。任何人都可能有一個好點子。任何人都能創立一個好的企業。而且任何人都可能開始從事一個有前景的工作。但只有那堅持守住異象(或願景)的人才能在挫折中存活,克服障礙,並得到最後的成功。農夫若耕耘了土地、種下種子、澆灌,但卻沒有準備好去收割,就是愚昧的人。同樣的,若我們已為一個成功的事業打下根基,卻沒有持守直到看見我們的夢想成真,那麼我們先前的努力有何價值?即使最成功的企業家也必須接受失敗並忍受沮喪。他們能如此是因為即使環境黯淡,他們從未失焦、也絕不放棄目標。「我們行善,不可喪志;若不灰心,到了時候就要收成」(加拉太書6章9節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長,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38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:啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」(The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential)。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
你或你認識的人是否曾在農場工作過?若是,你是否已觀察到本文所提及的原則? 你是否同意「收成定律」用在工商專業界也很恰當?為什麼? 本文所列的四個收成定律中,哪一個對你個人,或對你的工作最有意義?請解釋。 這四個定律或原則中,哪一個讓你很驚訝,或是你從未想到過的?
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9章37-38節,13章24-32節,25章14-30節;馬可福音4章1-20節;約珥書1章11節

LAWS OF THE HARVEST – IN THE WORKPLACE
By: Robert J. Tamasy

For many of us in the business and professional world, the life of the farmer is far beyond our frame of reference. Yet many principles fundamental to agriculture apply very well to our workplace pursuits. For example, just as a farmer must cultivate a field – preparing it to plant seeds for the intended crop – in business we also must “cultivate” prospective customers and clients, building relationships with them and convincing them that they are best served to work with us rather than with a competing company.

Another principle pertains what is commonly referred to as the “laws of the harvest.” Anyone that has spent time working on a farm can readily understand these laws, but we need neither farming experience nor a university degree in agriculture, agronomy or botany to appreciate their importance. In fact, these universal laws can be found in the sixth chapter of Galatians in the Bible”s New Testament:

You harvest the same things that you sow. If you sow carrot seeds, you will grow carrots. If you sow seeds for turnips, you will harvest turnips. Applying this to a business context, if you consistently demonstrate distrust – whether toward your employees, clients or suppliers – they likely will respond with distrust toward you. On the other hand, if we treat people with kindness and compassion, we are likely to receive the same kind of treatment from them in return. “For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Your harvest comes in a different season. Even the most amateur gardener understands that you do not plant seeds one day and expect to find mature, fully grown plants the next day. In the same way, the “seeds” we sow today – good or bad – often will not bear fruit until some time in the future. How often do we hear about business leaders that suffer the consequences of business indiscretions years after committing them? They might believe they have gotten away with dishonesty, only to have their actions exposed much later. Conversely, we might hold to the foremost standards of integrity and excellence in our work, but not reap the “fruit” of this dedication to high ethical conduct until well into the future. “For in due season we will reap” (Galatians 6:9).

You harvest more than you sow. If you were to plant a kernel of corn, you should expect to grow more than another kernel of corn. You could anticipate multiple cobs of corn on a single stalk. Applying that to our work settings, if we do our utmost to please a customer, we”re hoping they will transact business with us not only once, but return to us again and again, based on their initial positive experience. But if we seek to cut corners, saving money by providing less than we have promised, should we be surprised if employees or customers try to cheat us every opportunity they have? “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8).

Your harvest will come if you persevere. Anyone can have a good idea. Anyone can start an interesting business. And anyone can embark on a promising career. But it is the person that perseveres, holding onto a vision, who ultimately succeeds by surviving setbacks and overcoming obstacles. Farmers would be considered foolish for cultivating their fields, sowing seeds and watering the ground, then failing to be ready to collect the harvest of their labors. In the same way, what value is laying the groundwork for a successful business if we fail to stay with it until we can see our dreams come to fruition? Even the most successful entrepreneurs have had to accept failures and endure times of discouragement. They were able to do so because they never lost focus, never let go of their goals, even when circumstances looked bleak. “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

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 of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of 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: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Have you, or someone you know, ever spent time working on a farm? If so, have you been able to observe any of the principles cited in this “Monday Manna”? Do you agree with the contention that the “laws of the harvest” are pertinent to the business and professional world? Why or why not? Which of the four harvest laws listed seems most meaningful for you personally – or for your workplace? Explain your answer. Are there any of these laws or principles that seemed surprising to you, or that you had not considered before? If so, which one(s)?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:Matthew 9:37-38, 13:24-32, 25:14-30; Mark 4:1-20; Joel 1:11

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