自我陶醉要付出代價

By Rick Boxx

公司領袖的自我意識與公司的成功或獲利能力有何關係?這是澳洲瑪奎理管理研究所(Macquarie Graduate School of Management)在作一項研究時所檢視的一個有趣問題。

根據這機構一篇發表在執行長網站(ChiefExecutive.net)的文章,這研究發現執行長的自我陶醉與他公司的股票績效有一個有趣的關聯。特別的是,這研究引述企業最高主管在與股東談論每季收益時所常用的語言。

那些進行研究的人檢視他們常用哪種代名詞,例如「我」是指執行長個人,而「我們」通常是指整個領導團隊,或甚至是公司的所有人員。

雖然這研究的範圍主要是在澳洲,研究員們認為被比較不自我陶醉--比較少用「我」--的執行長所領導的公司股價表現得比他們的同儕好一倍。類似的研究也在美國做過。雖然反差沒有那麼大,但研究也顯示較謙虛的領袖績效比同儕好。

在今日的媒體,我們常常看到高級主管現身電視、廣播節目及平面媒體的廣告,促銷他們公司的產品和服務。這些領袖就變成名人。然而名人的身份並不一定就代表成功。

這樣的評斷並不全然讓人吃驚。作家柯林斯在他的書《從A到A+》觀察到最好的領袖--第五級領袖--「是審慎且有意志力,謙卑且無畏。」他解釋道:「他們絕不想成為超級英雄。他們不渴望被人們崇拜或成為高不可攀的英雄。他們似乎是尋常的人,但卻產生不尋常的結果。」

謙卑是聖經常常出現的主題,領袖們常常缺少這個美德。以下是智慧書箴言談到謙卑的一些例子:

謙卑會帶來尊榮,避開災禍。驕傲--謙卑的相反--會使我們看不到自己的缺點。謙卑讓我們能誠實地自我評價,也讓我們能夠接受別人建議和協助。「驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前」(箴言16章18節)。「敗壞之先,人心驕傲;尊榮以前,必有謙卑」(箴言18章12節)

謙卑能帶來賞賜。雖然財務收穫不應該是我們謙卑的原因,但謙卑常常會帶來獎賞。「敬畏耶和華心存謙卑,就得富有、尊榮、生命為賞賜」(箴言22章4節)

謙卑能得到認可。想得到別人的注意可能招致反效果,導致羞辱而非讚揚。「不要在王面前妄自尊大;不要在大人的位上站立。寧可有人說:請你上來,強如在你覲見的王子面前叫你退下」(箴言25章6-7節)

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。

省思/討論題目
你是否曾為自我陶醉(總是想讓別人注意自己)的人工作過?若有,那是怎麼樣的情況?你對那人有何感覺? 你想為何被謙卑領袖領導的公司比渴望被認可和尊崇之領袖所領導的公司更有生產力,也更能獲利? 有什麼特質可以區別謙卑但有效之領袖與那些尋求別人注意且想要獨佔成功的所有功勞之領袖? 你認為一個人能如何培養謙卑、親切、為他人著想的態度和精神?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言11章2節,13章10節,15章33節,16章19節,27章2節,27章21節;腓立比書2章8節;歌羅西書3章12節

NARCISSISM – AT A COST?
By Rick Boxx

What is the relationship between the egos of a company”s leaders and the success or profitability of the company? That is an interesting question that was examined during a study conducted by Australia’s Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

According to an article about the institution”s research, published on ChiefExecutive.net, the study discovered an interesting link between narcissism in CEOs and their company”s stock performance.

In particular, the study cited language commonly used by top corporate executives during their quarterly earnings communications with stockholders.

Those conducting the research examined which pronouns were typically used, such as "I" or "me," which would refer personally to the CEO, rather than "us" or "we," words that would typically refer more to the entire leadership team or even the company”s entire staff.

Although the study”s scope was focused primarily on Australia, the researchers determined the stock price of companies led by the least narcissistic CEOs – those less inclined to talk in terms of “I” or “me” – performed twice as well as their peers. Similar research was conducted in America. Although the contrast was not as profound, findings also showed the more humble leaders also outperformed their peers.

In today”s media we often see top executives appearing in TV, radio and print media commercials to promote their companies, along with their respective products and services. Often these leaders become celebrities in their own right. Celebrity status, however, does not always correlate with success.

This assessment was not totally surprising. In his book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins observed the best leaders – labeled as Level 5 Leaders – were “modest and willful, humble and fearless.” He explained they “never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable heroes. They were seemingly ordinary people producing extraordinary results.”

Genuine humility is a recurring theme we see in the Bible, a virtue it shows is all too often lacking among top leaders. Here is a sampling of what it says in the wisdom book of Proverbs:

Humility precedes honor and averts disaster. Pride – the opposite of humility – can blind us to our shortcomings. Humility allows for honest self-appraisal, and also leaves room for the counsel and assistance of others. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “Before his downfall a man”s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 18:12).

Humility can be rewarding. Although financial results should not be our reason for being humble, humility often does come with rewards. "The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life" (Proverbs 22:4).

Humility can lead to recognition. Attempts to bring attention to oneself can backfire, leading to disgrace rather than commendation. “Do not exalt yourself in the king”s presence, and do not claim a place among great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman” (Proverbs 25:6-7).

Copyright 2015, 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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you ever worked for someone you considered a narcissist, always attempting to call attention to himself or herself? If so, what was that like? How did you feel toward that person? Why do you think companies are often more productive and profitable under humble leadership than those under the direction of leaders who crave personal recognition and honor? What are some qualities that distinguish humble but effective leaders from those that seek attention and desire to receive all the credit for success? How do you think someone a person can cultivate a humble, gracious, others-oriented type of attitude and spirit?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:2, 13:10, 15:33, 16:19, 27:2, 27:21; Philippians 2:8; Colossians 3:12

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