你有接班計劃嗎?──DO YOU HAVE A SUCCESSION PLAN?

許多成功人士,因為能夠看到或評價出,經由自己領導所取得的成就而感到興奮。「我們不能沒有你!」和類似的話語,會美化我們的自我,也突顯我們對公司或組織任務的重要性。問題是,即使我們看起來可能無法取代,但那一天總是會到來,就是我們可能無法繼續在這裡工作,無論是因為獲得升遷、接受新工作、退休,甚至是死亡。到那時誰來做這個值得繼續下去的工作呢?

我認識一些企業領導者,他們太過於成為核心人物,以至於在他們離開後,工作無法繼續。他們就像紙牌屋中最底下的那張牌,當他們不在時,「房子」就倒塌了。因為他們也沒有可行的接班計劃。

我的一位朋友經常說,對有效領導的最大考驗,是領導者離開後會發生什麽。在詹姆•柯林斯的書《從 A 到 A+》探討了為什麽有些公司持續飛躍……而其他公司卻沒有?他探討出那些在整體業績上不僅僅是優秀,而更是卓越之公司的一些特徵。儘管他的研究團隊,試著去發掘出不涉及最高領導者的因素,但他們卻發現首席執行長的影響力不容忽視,而且不是我們所預期的原因。

柯林斯寫道:「從優秀到卓越公司的領導人從來不想變成萬眾矚目的英雄人物,也絲毫不渴望成為備受尊崇的偶像,他們只是默默達成了非凡績效的凡夫俗子。」這些領導者有偉大的遠見和決心,但他們很快就會看到其他人的才能,並委以重任,使他人能夠卓越。

縱觀歷史,我們看到一些正面的和負面的例子:有些領導者了解接班計劃的重要性,有些卻忽略了。聖經也不例外。在舊約中,摩西是上帝親自挑選的,帶領以色列人走出埃及的奴役,到達應許之地。然而,當他們的漂泊時間即將結束時,摩西就把領導的棒子交給了約書亞。「嫩的兒子約書亞;因為摩西曾按手在他頭上,就被智慧的靈充滿,以色列人便聽從他,照著耶和華吩咐摩西的行了。」(申命記 34章9節)

先知以利亞曾經行了許多神蹟,被神用來對抗亞哈王和數以百計的異教之神的假先知。但是,當他的服事即將結束,他花了很多時間來預備他的接任者以利沙。當上帝把以利亞帶到天上時,以利沙已經準備好承擔先知的責任。「他拾起以利亞身上掉下來的外衣,回去站在約旦河邊。」(列王記下2章13節)

耶穌基督是擁有明確「接班計劃」領袖的最好例子。在祂復活後,祂和培養了三年的門徒們又相處了40天,每天24小時。然後,在升天之前,耶穌將祂的工作託付給最親密的門徒。「所以,你們要去,使萬民作我的門徒,奉父、子、聖靈的名給他們施洗 ( – 或譯:給他們施洗,歸於父、子、聖靈的名)凡我所吩咐你們的,都教訓他們遵守,我就常與你們同在,直到世界的末了。」(馬太福音28章19-20節)

你每天所做的工作也是非常重要,期待你下定決心,盡你所能的勤奮去做。但是當有一天,你不再從事這個工作的時候,誰是那位來接替你的人呢?

© 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:如果你有聖經並想閱讀更多內容,請參考以下經文:

箴言28章2節
28:2 邦國因有罪過,君王就多 更換;因有聰明知識的人,國必長存。
使徒行傳1章8節
1:8 但聖靈降臨在你們身上,你們就必得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。
提摩太後書2章2節
2:2 你在許多見證人面前聽見我所教訓的,也要交託那忠心能教導別人的人。
腓立比書2章12-18節
2:12 這樣看來,我親愛的 弟兄,你們既是常順服的,不但我在你們那裏,就是我如今不在你們那裏,更是順服的,就當恐懼戰兢做成你們得救的工夫。
2:13 因為你們立志行事都是上帝在你們心裏運行,為要成就他的美意。
2:14 凡所行的,都不要發怨言,起爭論,
2:15 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,
2:16 將生命的道表明出來,叫我在基督的日子好誇我沒有空跑,也沒有徒勞。
2:17 我以你們的信心為供獻的祭物,我若被澆奠在其上,也是喜樂,並且與你們眾人一同喜樂。
2:18 你們也要照樣喜樂,並且與我一同喜樂。
腓立比書3章17節
3:17 弟兄們,你們要一同效法我,也當留意看那些照我們榜樣行的人。
彼得前書2章20-21節
2:20 你們若因犯罪受責打,能忍耐,有甚麼可誇的呢?但你們若因行善受苦,能忍耐,這在上帝看是可喜愛的。
2:21 你們蒙召原是為此;因基督也為你們受過苦,給你們留下榜樣,叫你們跟隨他的腳蹤行。

反省與問題討論

  1. 在你的公司或組織中,是否有正式的接班計劃,在最高領導人無法工作或不再能夠工作時,有人能承擔他們的責任嗎?如果有,你認為那是什麽樣子的計劃?如果沒有,可能會導致未來哪些問題?
  2. 你是否同意這樣的評價:真正偉大的領導者不是那些讓自己尋求關注的人,而是「默默達成了非凡績效的凡夫俗子」?請解釋一下你的答案。
  3. 如果今天你要離開自己的工作,不管是什麽原因,你是否有信心,有人已經做好了準備,來繼續你一直在做的工作?為什麽?請解釋你的理由。
  4. 當領導者,因為驕傲或自我中心,選擇不投入時間和精力培養可能的繼任者,會產生什麽影響?對公司或組織的整體任務又會造成什麽傷害?


DO YOU HAVE A SUCCESSION PLAN?

By Robert J. Tamasy

Many successful people take delight in being able to see and evaluate what has been accomplished through their leadership. “We could not do without you!” and similar comments can massage our egos, emphasizing our importance to the company’s or organization’s mission. The problem is, although we might seem indispensable, the time will come when we will be unable to continue to do the work – whether due to receiving a promotion, taking a new job, retiring, or even death. Who will do the work then, if it is still worth doing?

I have known business leaders who were so central to what their enterprise did that after they left, the work could not be sustained. They were like the bottom card in a house of cards – when they were removed, the “house” collapsed. They had no viable succession plan.

The greatest test of effective leadership, a friend of mine often said, is what happens when the leader is gone. In his book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, James C. Collins explored the characteristics of companies that were not just good in their overall performance, but great. Even though his research team sought to discover factors that did not involve the top leaders, they realized the chief executives could not be ignored. But not for the reasons we might expect.

Collins wrote, “The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.” These leaders had great vision and determination, but they were quick to acknowledge individual talent and to delegate responsibilities to enable people to excel.

Throughout history, we see examples – good and bad – of leaders who understood or ignored the importance of having a succession plan. The Bible is no exception. In the Old Testament, Moses was hand-picked by God to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian captivity to the Promised Land. However, when their time of wandering was about to end, Moses passed the leadership baton to Joshua. “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses” (Deuteronomy 34:9).

The prophet Elijah had performed many miracles, being used by God to confront King Ahab and hundreds of false prophets for pagan gods. But as his time of service was coming to an end, he spent much time in preparing his successor, Elisha. When God took Elijah to Heaven, Elisha was ready to take on the responsibilities of prophet. “He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan” (2 Kings 2:13).

Jesus Christ is the greatest example of a leader with a clear “succession plan.” After His resurrection, He spent 40 additional days with the disciples He had been grooming for three years, 24 hours a day. Then, before ascending to Heaven, Jesus entrusted His work to His closest followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

The work you do every day also is important – and hopefully you are determined to do it as diligently as you can. But the day will come when you are no longer there to perform the work. Who will succeed you?

© 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. In your company or organization, do you know if a formal succession plan has been developed for replacing the top leaders when they are not available or no longer able to do their work? If so, what do you think that will look like? If not, what might be some problems that could result moving forward?
  2. Do you agree with the assessment that truly great leaders are not those seeking to call attention to themselves, but rather are “seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results”? Explain your answer.
  3. If you were to leave your job today – for whatever reason – would you feel confident that someone has been properly prepared to continue the work you have been doing? Why or why not?
  4. What impact might pride or self-centeredness have in someone’s choosing not to invest time and energy in grooming possible successors? How might failure to do so be a disservice to the company’s overall mission?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 28:2; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:2; Philippians 2:12-18, 3:17; 1 Peter 2:20-21


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