僕人領袖的原則

By:Randal Walti

如果我告訴你,除了1980年代許多成功企業採用「由下到上」的管理方式之外,今天美國和其他地方仍然採用傳統的領導方式,你會感到驚訝嗎?

很多管理階層和領袖導師從1950年開始就批評「由上到下」的管理方式,但是到如今這樣的管理方式並沒有改變多少。所以很明顯的過去用「由上到下」命令和掌控的方式達成績效,今天需要有「由下到上」的管理方式注入新生命力。

為什麼我們要花那麼久的時間才明白「人」比「數字」更重要?如果我們能待員工和客人如同我們希望別人對待我們一樣,那士氣就會大大提升,生產力也會上升,生意自然會蒸蒸日上。我們最大的資產其實就是那一群實際去操作的員工,因為他們最了解公司和客人的需要。

如果我告訴你「領袖」這個字在整本聖經當中只被提到6次,但是「僕人」這個字光是在舊約的創世記就被提到46次,你會感到驚訝嗎?

舊約中的「僕人」和新約中的「管理」,非常接近「在底下划船的人」的概念。在幾世紀以前,造船者為了避免划船者因過熱而死亡,船的天花板是用鐵柵欄做成的,奴隸坐在中間和下層划船。因為不能離開他們的座位,下層的划船者會用污水澆在他們的頭上。

這不是非常吸引人的畫面,但也顯示出真實的僕人必須謙卑和無私。這非常接近耶穌說的,僕人領袖去公司不是要被服事,而是去服事,不管喜不喜歡的,他們都要去做。諷刺的是,這樣的特質會讓他們的員工無論何處都跟隨他們去。

以下是聖經中關於僕人領袖的概念和想法:

服事優先於顯示自己的偉大: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;在你們中間,誰願為首,就必作眾人的僕人。』(馬可福音10章43-44節)

領導力需要將別人放在第一位:愛弟兄,要彼此親熱;恭敬人,要彼此推讓。(羅馬書12章10節)『無論何人,不要求自己的益處,乃要求別人的益處。』(哥林多前書10章24節)

謙卑是領導者最主要的特質:你們中間誰為大,誰就要作你們的用人。凡自高的,必降為卑;自卑的,必升為高。』(馬太福音23章11-12節)『心裏謙卑與窮乏人來往,強如將擄物與驕傲人同分。』(箴言16章19節)

好的領袖能分辨自己和他人不同的天賦和能力:按我們所得的恩賜,各有不同。或說預言,就當照著信心的程度說預言;或作執事,就當專一執事;或作教導的,就當專一教導;或作勸化的,就當專一勸化;施捨的,就當誠實;治理的,就當殷勤;憐憫人的,就當甘心。』(羅馬書12章6-8節)

本篇文章經由Randal Walti同意使用。Randal Walti為企業顧問,住在美國的佛州的Melbourne,他也是今日商業生活通訊的作者。網址: www.buslifetoday.com

思想與問題討論
你工作職場盛行的領導和管理方式是什麼?是「由上往下」或是「由下往上」的方式?你覺得這樣的管理方式在你的日常生活中真正實行的情況如何? 作者建議的最佳領袖就是僕人領袖,你同意嗎?理由是什麼呢? 你是否覺得今天很多領導者都把他們的員工當成服事他們的人? 你覺得領袖要如何真實呈獻謙卑的特質?你覺得以謙卑服事他人會破壞領袖的影響力嗎?解釋你的答案。備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要知道更多與這個主題相關的經節,請參考下面的經節:
箴言12章9節、15章33節、18章12節、馬太福音5章16節、馬可福音10章45節、約翰福音10章11-18節、腓立比書2章3-4節、彼得前書5章5-6節

THE MASTER-SERVANT PRINCIPLE

By Randal Walti

It might surprise you that despite all the applause we heard for the "bottom-up" leadership approaches practiced by several highly successful companies in the 1980s, the traditional corporate management strategy of companies in the United States and much of the world remains the same.

Numerous management and leadership gurus have presented a devastating critique of the “top-down,” hierarchical management systems that have dominated corporations since the 1950s, yet not much has changed. It seems clear that past practices of manipulating processes to achieve cost or profit targets, dictated by policies of "top-down" command and control of information, must be replaced by "bottom-up" empowerment.

Why does it take us so long to realize that people are more important than numbers? That if we treat our employees and customers the way we like to be treated, morale greatly improves, production soars, and business usually takes off? That the greatest asset, with the most direct and accurate information about what our company or customers need, are those workers closest to the action?

Does it surprise you to know that the word "leadership" is mentioned only six times in the entire Bible, while “servant” is mentioned 46 times in the Old Testament book of Genesis alone?

The word "servant" in the Old Testament and the word "minister" in the New Testament (which is how CEOs, owners and management that follow Jesus Christ should think of themselves) are very similar to the idea of an "under-rower." In centuries past, to avoid death from the heat, ceilings of boats were made of metal grates where the slaves from the top and middle rows were rowing. Unable to leave their position, the "under-rowers" would receive the bulk of the sewage on their heads.

That is not a very appealing picture, but the image reflects the humility and selflessness of a true servant. Those serving the most high God, similar to what Jesus said, realize they do not go to their company to be served – but to serve, no matter what undesirable things come their way. Ironically, this quality makes for a leader that employees trust and will follow anywhere.

Here are just a sampling of thoughts the Bible offers about servanthood – and leadership:

Service precedes greatness.
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mark 10:43-44).

Leadership demands putting others first. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24).

Humility is a primary leadership quality.The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12). “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud” (Proverbs 16:19).

The best leaders recognize different gifts and abilities – their own and others. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently” (Romans 12:6-8).

Adapted with permission from an article by Randal Walti, a business consultant who resides in Melbourne, Florida, U.S.A. He is the author of the e-mail newsletter, “Business Life Today.” His web site is www.buslifetoday.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What is the prevailing style of leadership and management at your workplace – top-down, or bottom-up? How do you see that being demonstrated on a day-to-day basis? Mr. Walti suggests that the best leaders should see themselves as servants. Do you agree? Why or why not? Why do you think that many leaders have the attitude that their employees (their “followers”) exist to serve them, rather than vice versa? How do you think leaders can genuinely exhibit humility toward those that are responsible to them? Do you think that serving others in a humble manner could undermine a person”s leadership effectiveness? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject of servant leadership, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:9, 15:33, 18:12; Matthew 5:16, Mark 10:45; John 10:11-18; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 5:5-6

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