永遠不要試圖成為在場最聰明的人 ──NEVER TRY TO BE THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM

MONDAY MANNA

有句話人人耳熟能詳,特別常出現在體育界:「團隊合作才能贏。」即便是最優秀的教練,如果沒有高素質、技術熟練的運動員和支援團隊,也會失敗。在商業和專業領域也是如此。如果缺乏能夠幫忙將想法化為實際的團隊,有遠見者也不過是個夢想家。

不幸的是,一些高階管理人員只僱用能力比自己弱的人,可能是因為缺少看人的眼光,或是因為想要保護自己的脆弱自尊。這些「領導者」自我保護意識強烈,不希望自己被更有天賦、訓練有素和受過良好教育的職員所超越。

幸運的是,並非所有的執行長和高階管理人員都這樣。事實上,世界上最大的公共建設公司之一,戴爾科技公司的創始人兼首席執行長邁克‧戴爾(Michael Dell)正好相反。他說:「試著盡量不要成為在場最聰明的人。如果你是,我建議你邀請更聰明的人……或者去找另外一個地方。」

這番話明確地表示了戴爾和其他像他這樣的領導人的特質。首先,他們夠謙虛,不會認為那些知道更多或能做得更多的人威脅到自己。其次,他們理解為了公司和相關者的利益,他們有義務提供最好的產品——這需要團隊中有人擁有他們缺乏的某些專業領域知識。第三,良好領導者的真正特質不是獨自完成所有的工作,而是招募最優秀的人來分攤重擔。

以前擔任雜誌編輯時,對我來說,最令人愉快和振奮的日子莫過於為各個議題舉行計劃會議。我們會蒐集已經編寫出來的文章和專欄,然後腦力激盪出標題、插圖和其他圖像,盡可能吸引更多的讀者。雖然我對某些議題有強烈的看法,但我知道平面設計師會提出比我更好的視覺概念。他們吸睛而創意的點子是我永遠不可能想到的。會議室裡的一些人比我更注重細節,他們會注意到我可能遺漏掉的事情,其他人也提供了我從未想過的觀點。所以當雜誌真正被製作、印刷出來時,就像我聽到一名智者所說的那樣:「整體大於各部分的總和。」聖經對此多有教導:

信靠上帝能帶下我們所需的謙卑。一些處於領導地位的人可能擔心自己和他人比較之下「相形見絀」,而失去權力與職分。但是,信靠上帝會帶給我們信心,知道祂在正確的時間點會在我們的生命中帶來正確的人,職場也是。「所以,你們要自卑,服在 神大能的手下,到了時候,他必叫你們升高。」(彼得前書 5 章 6 節)

認知到別人的恩賜和貢獻。無論是在家庭、教會或公司,每個人都有特定的重要角色。要能達到預期的結果,微小的零件也是至關重要的。「身子原不是一個肢體,乃是許多肢體……若全身是眼,從哪裏聽聲呢?……但如今, 神隨自己的意思把肢體俱各安排在身上了……」(哥林多前書 12 章 14-20節)

參與的人越多,我們能做的就越多。在職場與上帝同行,我們就會發現祂會遠遠超乎我們所求所想——且常是透過其他人作工。「神能照著運行在我們心裏的大力充充足足地成就一切,超過我們所求所想的。」(以弗所書 3 章 20 節)

© 2019. Robert J. TamasyIt 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, 他的雙週部落格為: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 在參加會議或團隊計畫時,如果你發現其他人比你更聰明或更有才華,通常你會有甚麼感覺?
  2. 有哪些方法可以克服這種被更有能力者威脅的感覺?
  3. 如果從不同的角度來看,你曾否為自己不是在場最聰明的人而感恩?如果有,請描述你能如此的情景。
  4. 你有沒有因為和團隊的工作夥伴共事,而達成比原先預期更高成就的經驗?對你而言,那是一種甚麼樣的經驗?對他們而言,又是如何呢?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多相關內容,請參考下面的經文:

尼希米記 6 章 15-16 節
6:15 以祿月二十五日,城牆修完了,共修了五十二天。
6:16 我們一切仇敵、四圍的外邦人聽見了便懼怕,愁眉不展;因為見這工作完成是出乎我們的 神。

尼希米記 9 章 5-6 節
9:5 利未人耶書亞、甲篾、巴尼、哈沙尼、示利比、荷第雅、示巴尼、毗他希雅說:「你們要站起來
稱頌耶和華─你們的 神,永世無盡。耶和華啊,你榮耀之名是應當稱頌的!超乎一切稱頌和讚
美。」
9:6 「你,惟獨你是耶和華!你造了天和天上的天,並天上的萬象,地和地上的萬物,海和海中所有
的;這一切都是你所保存的。天軍也都敬拜你。

箴言 27 章 17 節
27:17 鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文是磨朋友的臉)也是如此。

傳道書 4 章 9-12 節
4:9 兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。
4:10 若是跌倒,這人可以扶起他的同伴;若是孤身跌倒,沒有別人扶起他來,這人就有禍了。
4:11 再者,二人同睡就都暖和,一人獨睡怎能暖和呢?
4:12 有人攻勝孤身一人,若有二人便能敵擋他;三股合成的繩子不容易折斷。


‘NEVER TRY TO BE THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM’

By Robert J. Tamasy

There is a common saying, particularly in the world of sports, that “you win with people.” Even the best coach will fail without having quality, skilled players and support staff. The same holds true in the business and professional world. A visionary without a team of people to help in bringing his or her ideas into reality is just a dreamer.

Unfortunately, whether it is because they are poor judges of talent, or because they want to protect their own fragile egos, some high-ranking executives hire only individuals of lesser capabilities. For those “leaders,” it gives a sense of protection from being surpassed by more gifted, better trained and educated staff members.  

Fortunately, not all CEOs and top executives feel that way. In fact, Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, one of the world’s largest infrastructure companies, feels just the opposite. He stated, “Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people…or find a different room.”

That says a lot about Dell and other leaders like him. First of all, they are humble enough to not feel threatened by people who know more or can do more than he can. Second, they understand that for the benefit of the company and all of its stakeholders, they have the obligation to present the best product possible – and that would require having individuals on the team with expertise in some areas that they lack. And third, the true mark of a good leader is not accomplishing all the work alone, but recruiting the best people to share the load.

I recall the days when I was a magazine editor. For me, some of the most enjoyable, exhilarating days were when we held planning meetings for each issue. We would take the articles and columns that had been written, then brainstorm about titles, illustrations and other graphics to give them as much reader appeal as possible.

Although I had some strong opinions about some things, I recognized the graphic designers would come up with better visual concepts than I could. They brought compelling, creative ideas I could never have imagined. Some people in the room were more detail-oriented than I was, so they noticed things I probably would have let fall through the proverbial “cracks.” And others just offered perspectives I never would have considered. When the magazine was produced and printed, it became clear, as I heard a wise person say, that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” The Scriptures have much to say about this:

Trusting in God can provide the humility needed. Some in leadership positions may fear being “shown up” by others and losing their positions of authority and responsibility. However, trusting in God gives us the confidence to believe He has directed the right people in our lives at the right time, even in the workplace. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

Recognizing the gifts and contributions of others. Whether in a family, a church, or a company, everyone has a specific, important role to play. Even seemingly lesser parts are critical for producing the desired end result. “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many…. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?… But in fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…” (1 Corinthians 12:14-20).

The more people involved, the more we can get done. Walking with God in the workplace, we can discover He can far exceed our hopes and expectations – often working through other people . “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20).

© 2019. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and edited numerous other books, including Advancing Through Adversity by Mike Landry. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How do you typically feel when you are in a meeting, or involved in a team project, and discover some of the other people are smarter or more talented than you are?
  2. What are some ways you can think of to overcome feelings of being threatened by individuals who seem more skills or capable? 
  3. Looking at the question from a different angle, have there been times when you felt thankful for not being the smartest person in the room? If so, describe a situation when you were able to do that.
  4. Can you think of a time when the team of people you were working with actually accomplished more than you thought possible? What was that experience like for you – and for them?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Nehemiah 6:15-16, 9:5-6; Proverbs 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 

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1 Comment

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