Thursday, April 18, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

領導者為團隊成員「洗腳」──THE LEADER ‘WASHING THE FEET’ OF TEAM MEMBERS

For English version, please refer to the latter part of this page

有這麼一刻,想像一位高階主管召開一場特別會議,並在帶來一個臉盆和毛巾後,開始為他的員工洗腳。在企業中,這樣的場景會被視為非常奇特,甚至是難以置信。儘管如此,在讀聖經耶穌基督的生平記載時,這確實是祂所做的事。而這在當時和今天一樣令人震驚。

耶穌帶領著祂的十二門徒走過三年。當時他們並不知道,祂在地上的工作即將結束。祂決定要給他們一個非常清楚,儘管是令人震驚的一課。耶穌拿起一個臉盆、毛巾和水,開始按照約翰福音 13章4-17節中所描述的方式,洗門徒的腳。在那個時代,因為人們行走的道路,有許多灰塵或泥濘,洗腳是普遍的,但這項工作通常由卑微的僕人執行,而不是企業的領導者。

你能想像這個場景嗎?不自在的寂靜籠罩著整個廳室,耶穌的門徒間,彼此交換著驚慌失措、難以置信的眼神。最終其中一位門徒,彼得,以他那出了名的火爆脾氣,將他的震驚轉化為謙卑的違抗:「你永不可洗我的腳!」(約翰福音13章8節),對他,耶穌回答說:「我若不洗你,你就與我無分了。」耶穌的目的是,提供一個不可抹滅,真正的領袖應如何為他們領導的人服事的例子。

在今日的商業世界中,我們經常觀察到可怕的變化,尤其是當人們在公司往上爬的過程時。曾經本性良好、體貼、靈活應變的個人,當他們高升後會發生巨大的轉變。他們變得失禮、粗魯、傲慢且難以接近,忘記了他們留下的同事。他們開始只看到他們想看到的事,和想要見的人。

在升遷的過程中,這種「狀態改變是在哪個階段發生的呢?登山者常常會受到“高山症”的困擾,其影響有時是毀滅性的。在稀薄的空氣中,有限的氧氣可能造成嚴重的心理問題,有時是不可逆轉的。在企業升遷上是否也有相對應之處呢?

導致升遷中的高階主管,展現如此根本性變化的原因,可能歸因於領導者最常見的三大弱點之一:權力。而其他有公信力說法提出的弱點還包括金錢和性,但那可以是另一個話題。現在,讓我們來看看權力,指的是有意識地且有時任意行使權威的能力。

沉醉於聲望和手中權力的領袖,會採取「命令與服從」的方式。他們不提供討論、辯論或爭論的機會。在最糟糕的情況下,這些領袖屈服於一種誘惑,這種誘惑可以追溯到伊甸園。正如聖經的第一卷書創世記所描述的 : 「因為神知道,你們吃的日子眼睛就明亮了,你們便如神能知道善惡。」(創世記3章5節)

統治者、政治家、官僚、主席、首席執行官、經理人 – 所有這些人,都可能被這永不停歇的權力爭奪所吸引。這就是為什麼拿撒勒的耶穌,在被背叛和釘十字架之前的最後行動之一,竟是洗他所領導的人的腳,甚至包括不久之後將背叛祂的猶大。
你能想像在你工作的地方發生這樣的場面,或類似的行為嗎?如果你處於一個領導職位,你能夠真誠而認真地執行這樣的行為嗎?箴言22章4節給了我們一個值得思考的觀點 : 「敬畏耶和華心存謙卑,就得富有、尊榮、生命為賞賜。」真誠的謙卑,和願意為我們所領導的人服事-是激發團隊卓越表現的力量!

©2023版權所有 為賽爾吉澳·佛提斯。他是一位策略管理顧問,專長是企業領導。他也是巴西聖保羅市CBMC的會員,他協助複審週一嗎哪和將其翻譯成葡萄牙文已經有20多年的時間。

挑戰思考

培養真正的謙卑精神,並發展以他人為先的態度可能是困難的。如果這是你想做的事,有他人的支持可能是有助於成就的。你可以與誰一起努力合作呢?找一兩個你熟悉且信任的人,請他們鼓勵你,同時你也能夠鼓勵他們。你今天會如何開始呢?

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考以下的經文:

箴言11章2節
11:2 驕傲來,羞恥也來;謙遜人卻有智慧。
箴言 15章33節
15:33 敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。
箴言16章18節
16:18驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前。
箴言21章24節
21:24心驕氣傲的人名叫褻慢;他行事狂妄,都出於驕傲。
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。
馬可福音10章42-45節
10:42 耶穌叫他們來,對他們說:「你們知道,外邦人有尊為君王的,治理他們,有大臣操權管束他們。
10:43 只是在你們中間,不是這樣。你們中間,誰願為大,就必作你們的用人;
10:44在你們中間,誰願為首,就必做眾人的僕人。
10:45因為人子來,並不是要受人的服事,乃是要服事人,並且要捨命作多人的贖價。」
腓立比書2章3-4節
2:3凡事不可結黨,不可貪圖虛浮的榮耀;只要存心謙卑,各人看別人比自己強。
2:4各人不要單顧自己的事,也要顧別人的事。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你對耶穌基督洗門徒的腳的故事熟悉嗎?若知道這種習俗通常是由謙卑的僕人執行的,你會如何想像門徒的反應呢?
  2. 你曾經見過職場領導者做類似的事嗎?即使不是實際的洗腳,可能是一些展現他或她以無私的方式服事的示範?如果有,請描述一下當時的情境以及產生的反應。
  3. 作者描述了一些人,當在職場或組織上升遷時,對曾經共事的人產生了截然不同的態度。你曾經看到過這種情況嗎?你認為這是有道理的嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 你認為一位展現真正謙卑和關懷的領導者,對於所負責的人有何影響?哪一種方式更有效 -「命令與服從」的方式,或是謙卑地服事他人的態度呢?請解釋你的回答。


THE LEADER ‘WASHING THE FEET’ OF TEAM MEMBERS

By  Sergio Fortes

For a moment, imagine a top executive calling a special meeting and after bringing in a wash basin and towels, proceeding to wash the feet of his or her staff members. Such a scene in the corporate would be considered very strange at best, if not unbelievable. Nevertheless, as we read accounts of the life of Jesus Christ in the Bible, this is exactly what He did. And it was as shocking then as it would be today.

Jesus had led His group of 12 disciples for three years. They did not know it at the time, but His work on earth was coming to a close. He determined to give them a very clear, if startling, object lesson. Taking a basin, towel, and water, Jesus began to wash the feet of His followers, as described in John 13:4-17. The washing of one’s feet was common in those days, since the roads people traveled were dusty or muddy, but the task was always performed by lowly servants, not the leader of an enterprise.

Can you picture this scene? An uncomfortable silence filling the hall, and frightened, incredulous looks exchanged by Jesus’ disciples. Finally, one of them, Peter, who was known for his short temper, put his shock into words of humble defiance: “No, You shall never wash my feet!” (John 13:8). To which Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” Jesus’ purpose was to provide an indelible example of how true leaders should serve those they lead.

In today’s business world, we often observe a frightening change as people climb the corporate ladder. Individuals who once were good-natured, considerate, and flexible undergo a radical transformation as they ascend the hierarchical ranks. They become ill-mannered, rude, arrogant, and inaccessible, forgetting the co-laborers they have left behind. They begin to see only what they want and who they want.

At what point in the climb does this “metamorphosis” take place? Mountain climbers are often afflicted with “altitude sickness,” the effects of which are devastating. In rarefied air, the limited oxygen can create serious mental problems, sometimes irreversible. Might there be a counterpart on the corporate ladder?

Causes for such radical changes exhibited by rising executives may be attributed to one of the three most common weaknesses that afflict leaders: POWER. The other weaknesses many authorities have written about are money and sex, but they would be subjects for another time. For now, let us look at Power, describing it as the ability to exercise authority deliberately and sometimes, arbitrarily.

Leaders intoxicated with prestige and the power at their disposal take the approach of ‘Command and Obey.’ They provide no opportunities for discussion, debate, or dispute. At their worst, these leaders succumb to a temptation that dates to the garden of Eden, as described in the first chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. “You will be like God,” the Tempter told Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:5).

Rulers, politicians, bureaucrats, chairmen, CEOs, managers – all can be enticed by this perpetual grab for power. This is why one of the last actions of Jesus of Nazareth before His betrayal and crucifixion was to wash the feet of those He led, even including Judas, the one who would betray Him soon afterward.

Can you imagine a scene such as this – or an equivalent action – taking place where you work? If you are in a leadership position, would you be able to perform it earnestly and sincerely? Proverbs 22:4 gives us a perspective worth considering: “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Sincere humility and willingness to serve those we lead – the power to inspire a team to excellence!

Sergio Fortes is a consultant on corporate strategic business, a coach and mentor. He was an active member of CBMC Brazil and has coordinated the translation of Monday Manna into Portuguese for more than 20 years. He is committed to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ – to make disciples.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Were you familiar with the story of Jesus Christ washing the feet of His followers? Knowing this custom was typically performed by humble servants, how do you envision the followers responding?
  2. Have you ever witnessed a leader in the workplace doing something similar – if not actual foot-washing, some demonstration that he or she was serving in a selfless manner? If so, describe the situation and the reaction that resulted.
  3. The writer describes how some people, as they ascend the corporate ladder or organizational hierarchy, take on a very different attitude toward the people they once worked with. Have you ever observed this? Do you think it is justified? Why or why not?
  4. What do you think is the effect of a leader who demonstrates genuine humility and concern toward those for whom he or she is responsible? Which seems more effective – a ‘command and obey’ approach, or a humble attitude of serving others? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 16:18, 21:24, 28:2; Mark 10:42-45; Philippians 2:3-4

Challenge

Cultivating a genuine spirit of humility and developing an others-first attitude can be difficult. If this is something you would desire to do having the support of others could be very beneficial. Who can you team within this endeavor, one or more people you know well and trust that you can ask to encourage you – and in turn be encouraged by you? How can you get started today?



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