避免平庸的雷區──AVOIDING THE MINEFIELD OF MEDIOCRITY

當餐廳的服務員態度很友善,對你似乎真的特別注意,並且迅速地滿足你的要求時,你感覺會如何?或者,一個銷售人員,不僅僅是賺取佣金,而是當你有問題需要及時解決,他總是展現出熱忱,多做一點去幫忙處理時,你的感覺又如何呢?有一件事,你可能會感到震驚或驚訝,那就是人們似乎經常在工作時,只願意付出最小的努力。

 可悲的是,許多人抱著「我喜歡得到報酬,但我討厭工作」的態度。也許這就是在 COVID-19 封城後,當職場開始恢復表面上的正常時,許多雇主都掙扎於找不到足夠的人,來填補職位空缺的原因之一。

 當然,這場疫情並沒有催生工作場所的「自滿現象」。長期以來,「做到得過且過」一直是許多人的理念。而工作和服務不合格的另一個原因,可能是有些人無論他們被要求做什麼,都不願意盡最大努力,正如領導力顧問提姆·凱特所說:「平庸不需要有意識地去追求,但它卻總是自然地達成。」  

我感謝那些在我職業生涯早期,為追求工作的卓越並樹立榜樣的人。他們的觀點是:「如果某事值得做,那就值得把它做好」。這種心態激勵我以類似的方式處理自己的工作,選擇盡我所能去做,而非滿足於做的不足。我雖然並不總是成功,但這卻一直是我的目標。

讓我們思考一下,如果我們是耶穌基督的門徒,那麼在工作場合追求卓越,將會是祂最有果效和最可以看到的見證。在耶穌結束祂在地上的事工時,祂說:「但聖靈降臨在你們身上,你們就必得著能力,並要在耶路撒冷、猶太全地,和撒馬利亞,直到地極,作我的見證。」(使徒行傳 1章8節)。問題是,應該如何做到呢?

耶穌回答祂的追隨者,成為「世上的鹽和光」的重要性時,祂說:「……你們的光也當這樣照在人前,叫他們看見你們的好行為,便將榮耀歸給你們在天上的父。」(馬太福音 5章13-16節)。當周圍的人觀察到,我們以熱情和喜樂的態度,強力奉獻並盡力做好工作時,即使工作變得困難和具有挑戰性,我們也會與那些缺乏這種承諾的人有所分別。

 到了最後,即使沒有其他人在看,我們都是在為那一位永恆的神演一台戲,用真誠和正直的態度事奉祂。使徒保羅談到一種文化,在這種文化中,許多人已成為他人的奴僕,只去做庸俗平淡甚至有失職責的工作,他給出了這樣的警告: 「你們作僕人的,要凡事聽從你們肉身的主人,不要只在眼前事奉,像是討人喜歡的,總要存心誠實敬畏主。無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」(歌羅西書 3章22-24節)

在一個許多人都認為,卓越工作毫無價值的世界裡,我們其實很容易在人群中脫穎而出的。「使你們無可指摘,誠實無偽,在這彎曲悖謬的世代作上帝無瑕疵的兒女。你們顯在這世代中,好像明光照耀」(腓立比書 2章15節)

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之心的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書:透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文:

箴言 4章18節
4:18 但義人的路好像黎明的光,越照越明,直到日午。
箴言10章4節
10:4 手懶的,要受貧窮;手勤的,卻要富足。
箴言12章24節
12:24 殷勤人的手必掌權;懶惰的人必服苦。
箴言14章23節
14:23 諸般勤勞都有益處;嘴上多言乃致窮乏。
箴言8章9節
8:9 有聰明的,以為明顯,得知識的,以為正直。
箴言22章29節
22:29 你看見辦事殷勤的人嗎?他必站在君王面前,必不站在下賤人面前。
箴言24章30-34節
24:30 我經過懶惰人的田地、無知人的葡萄園,
24:31 荊棘長滿了地皮,刺草遮蓋了田面,石牆也坍塌了。
24:32 我看見就留心思想;我看著就領了訓誨。
24:33 再睡片時,打盹片時,抱著手躺臥片時,
24:34 你的貧窮就必如強盜速來,你的缺乏彷彿拿兵器的人來到。
彼得前書3章15-17節
3:15 只要心裏尊主基督為聖。有人問你們心中盼望的緣由,就要常作準備,以溫柔、敬畏的心回答各人;
3:16 存著無虧的良心,叫你們在何事上被毀謗,就在何事上可以叫那誣賴你們在基督裏有好品行的人自覺羞愧。
3:17 上帝的旨意若是叫你們因行善受苦,總強如因行惡受苦。  

反省與問題討論

  1. 你能想到最近一個例子,是當你觀察到有人「超出職責範圍」地做他的工作,而且是用一種,讓你不得不注目和欣賞的方式來成就嗎?你是如何回應他的?
  2. 你是否同意「平庸不需要有意識地去追求,但它卻總是自然地達成。」這句話?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 你如何評比自己在工作中對卓越的承諾?你認為為什麼在走向平庸的道路上,有這麼多人追隨呢?你認為近年來這種情況變得更加盛行嗎?你的看法如何?
  4. 如果你認真對待歌羅西書3章24節 中的勸告「你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」,那麼你在處理每天分配給你工作的態度上,可能或應該有什麼不同呢?


AVOIDING THE MINEFIELD OF MEDIOCRITY

By Robert J. Tamasy

How do you feel when a server in a restaurant is friendly, seems genuinely interested in you, and is prompt in attending to your needs? Or a sales rep who demonstrates eagerness is doing more than earning a commission – who goes the extra mile whenever a problem arises that requires quick resolution? For one thing, you might feel shocked or surprised, because often people seem determined to put forth only minimal effort in performing their jobs.

Sadly, many people assume an attitude of “I like to get paid, but I hate to work.” Perhaps this is one reason that following the COVID-19 lockdowns, many employers struggled to find enough workers to fill positions while the marketplace began to return to a semblance of normalcy.

Of course, the pandemic did not spawn workplace complacency. “Doing just enough to get by” has long been a philosophy for many people. Yet another reason for substandard work and service could be the reluctance of some to try their very best, no matter what they are asked to do. As leadership consultant Tim Kight says, “The pursuit of mediocrity is rarely intentional, but it is always successful.”

I am grateful for the people who, early in my working career, set examples for pursuing excellence in their work. Theirs was an approach of, “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” This mindset has inspired me to approach my own work in similar ways, choosing to do the best I possibly could rather than settling for something less. I might not have always succeeded, but that has been my goal.

When we think about it, if we are disciples of Jesus Christ, a commitment to workplace excellence is one of the most effective and visible ways of being a “witness” for Him. Toward the conclusion of His earthly ministry, He said, “you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The question was, how should they do this?

Jesus gave an answer while telling His followers about the importance of being “salt and light” to the world around them. He said, “…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16). When people around us observe our strong dedication to doing our work well, with enthusiasm and joy – even when the work becomes difficult and challenging – that can set us apart from people who lack such commitment.

Ultimately, we are performing for an “audience of One,” serving God with sincerity and integrity, even when no one is watching. The apostle Paul, addressing a culture in which many people had become bondservants to others, required to carry out mundane and even demeaning duties, gave this admonition:
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:22-24).

In a world in which so many people see little value in working with excellence, we can easily stand out in the crowd, “blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

© 2022. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Can you think of a recent example when you observed someone doing work “above the call of duty,” carrying out their responsibilities in such a way that you could not help but notice and appreciate? How did you respond?
  2. Do you agree with the statement, “The pursuit of mediocrity is rarely intentional, but it is always successful”? Explain your answer.
  3. How would you rate your own commitment to excellence in your work? Why do you think the path toward mediocrity is followed by so many? Do you think this has become more prevalent in recent years? Why or why not?
  4. If you take seriously the admonition from Colossians 3:24, “it is the Lord Christ you are serving,” what difference could – or should – that make in how you approach the work you are assigned to perform each day?  

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 4:18, 10:4, 12:24, 14:23, 18:9, 22:29, 24:30-34; 1 Peter 3:15-17


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