檢視動機的智慧──THE WISDOM OF EXAMINING MOTIVES

有一天,我的朋友唐告訴我,他決定要開始收購與領域相關的業務,這樣他就可以向客戶提供更多的產品和服務,還可以賺更多的錢。因為銷售越多可以帶來更多的收入,通常也會有更多的利潤。

所以下次我見到他的時候,就問他的收購計畫進行的如何?他告訴我,在付諸實施之前,他和董事會討論了自己的策略。董事會之中最明智的一位成員問了他一個重要而深刻的問題,給他的計劃帶來了新觀點:「你這樣做是為了你的「自我」?還是為了公司的好處?」

這個簡單而一針見血的問題讓唐很誠懇地重新審視了自己的擴張策略,也承認動機是出於一個原因:他的自尊心,也就是他的「自我」。「越多越好」聽起來很不​​錯,但並不總是如此。產品和服務真的能持續保持相同的品質水平嗎?如果沒有,那麼「擴大」會是最好的決定嗎?經過深思熟慮之後,唐決定大幅修改他的計劃。

在商場上,我們常常專注於「做什麼」和「如何做」,但「為什麼」也同樣重要。「我們做這個決定的動機是什麼?」「為什麼我們決定要追求這個目標?」「我們心裡真正想的是什麼?」對唐而言,幸運的是,他有一個睿智、經驗豐富的董事會成員,挑戰他這些問題。

聖經中有些關於「心」(就是我們內在的動機)的有趣描述,以及看重如何尋找智慧的忠告,以確保自己用正確的動機做出決定:

當心自我欺騙。當我們真正想要某些東西時,自己的感覺和慾望會妨礙我們的理智判斷,甚至容易合理化我們的決定,而且我們可能不知道自己正在這樣做。「你要保守你心,勝過保守一切(或譯:你要切切保守你心),因為一生的果效是由心發出。」(箴言4章23節)。

我們的動機與行動一樣的重要。即使我們很謹慎避免錯誤發生,但也可能做出看似正確的事情,卻是出於錯誤的原因。從上帝的角度來看,我們「為什麼要做」和我們「所做的事情」一樣重要。「人一切所行的,在自己眼中看為清潔;惟有耶和華衡量人心。」(箴言16章2節)。「誰能說,我潔淨了我的心,我脫淨了我的罪?」(箴言20章9節)。

可靠、值得信賴的忠告可以保護我們免於蒙蔽的心。就像唐所做的那樣,向關心我們並且誠實指出問題的朋友尋求建議,可以保護我們免受錯誤的判斷。「無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。」(箴言11章14節)。「愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教。」(箴言12章15節)。

願意接受和我們想聽到的恰恰相反之建議,需要智慧。我們總是有時候動機會錯誤,但明智的領導者能尋找並聆聽有分辨力的忠告者。「圖謀惡事的,心存詭詐;勸人和睦的,便得喜樂。」(箴言12章20節)

© 2021 版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和 Rick Boxx 的純全時刻,這本刊 物主要 是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時 刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx 最新出版的書「提供實用五個關鍵的神 的方法來建立企業。」  

反省與問題討論

  1. 你是否有這樣的經歷—在決定行動方向時,有人質疑你的決定,甚至你的動機(與本文中的唐一樣)?如果有,那是什麼樣的情況?當時你重新考慮甚至更改了計劃嗎?
  2. 為什麼一旦做決定後就很難去尋求別人的指導,甚至只是聽聽反對的忠告都很難接受呢?
  3. 這整篇文章都在談動機和心意,為什麼它們很重要?不惜一切代價追求利潤和成功不好嗎?請解釋你的答案?
  4. 一個人要如何知道要向誰尋求忠告和意見?你覺得有智慧的忠告者有那些特質?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考:
箴言12章5節
12:5 義人的思念是公平;惡人的計謀是詭詐。
箴言13章1節
13:1 智慧子聽父親的教訓;褻慢人不聽責備。
箴言15章22節
15:22 不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成。
箴言19章20、27節
19:20 你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
19:27 我兒,不可聽了教訓而又偏離知識的言語。
箴言20章18節
20:18 計謀都憑籌算立定;打仗要憑智謀。
箴言21章2節
21:2 人所行的,在自己眼中都看為正;惟有耶和華衡量人心。
箴言27章19節
27:19 水中照臉,彼此相符;人與人,心也相對。
箴言28章14節
28:14 常存敬畏的,便為有福;心存剛硬的,必陷在禍患裏。
馬可福音7章20-23節
7:20 又說:「從人裏面出來的,那才能污穢人;
7:21 因為從裏面,就是從人心裏,發出惡念、苟合、
7:22 偷盜、凶殺、姦淫、貪婪、邪惡、詭詐、淫蕩、嫉妒、謗讟、驕傲、狂妄。
7:23 這一切的惡都是從裏面出來,且能污穢人。」
羅馬書1章21節
1:21 因為,他們雖然知道 神,卻不當作 神榮耀他,也不感謝他。他們的思念變為虛妄,無知的心就昏暗了。


THE WISDOM OF EXAMINING MOTIVES

By Rick Boxx

One day my friend Don informed me that he had determined to begin acquiring businesses in related fields so he would be able to sell his customers more products and services – and be able to make more money. More sales can translate into more revenue, which usually means more profits.

So the next time I saw Don, I asked how his acquisition strategy was going. He informed me that before putting it into action, he had discussed the strategy with his board. One of his wisest board members asked Don an important and profound question, one that put a new perspective on his plans: “Are you doing this for your ego, or for the good of the company?”

That simple but penetrating question caused Don to honestly re-examine his expansion strategy and admit it had been based on only one factor: his pride, his own ego. “More is better” sounds good, but it is not always true. Would he be able to maintain the same level of quality, both in terms of products and services? If not, would “bigger” be the best decision? After careful reflection, Don chose to dramatically modify his plan.

In business, we often focus on the “what” and the “how,” but it is just as important to ask the “why” questions: What are the motivations behind our decisions? Why are we determined to pursue the goals and objectives we have established? What is really in our hearts? Fortunately for Don, he had a wise, experienced board member who challenged him to answer those questions.

The Bible has some interesting things to say about the heart – our inner motivations – and the value of seeking out wise counsel to make certain we are making decisions with the proper motives:

Beware of self-deception. When we really want something, our feelings and desires can get in the way of sound reasoning. It becomes easy to rationalize our decisions, and we might not even be aware we are doing it. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?(Jeremiah 17:9). “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Our motives are as important as our actions. Although we may be cautious to avoid doing the wrong things, it is also possible to do seemingly right things for the wrong reasons. From God’s perspective, why we do things is as important as what we do. “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2). Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’?” (Proverbs 20:9).

Sound, trusted counsel can safeguard against a deceiving heart. As Don did above, soliciting the counsel of friends who care about us and are honest to point out problems can protect us from misguided judgment. “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure” (Proverbs 11:14). “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

It takes wisdom to be willing to accept counsel contrary to what we want to hear. We all have wrong motives at times. A wise leader seeks and listens to discerning advisors. “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy” (Proverbs 12:20)

Copyright 2021, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org  for more info. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever had an experience of determining a course of action, only to have someone question your decision – or even your motivations, as was the case with Don? If so, what was that situation? Did it result in your reconsidering your plans or even changing them?
  2. Why is it so difficult to seek the counsel of others once a decision has been made, and even to listen when the advice being given runs counter to what we would like to hear?  
  3. All this talk about motives and motivations – why do they even matter? Is it not enough to pursue profit and success, at any cost? Why or why not?
  4. How does a person determine whom they should go to for counsel and advice? Can you think of any specific traits to look for in wise counselors?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:5, 13:1, 15:22, 19:20,27, 20:18, 21:2, 27:19, 28:14; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:21


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