可親近的領導

By Rick Boxx

著名商業期刊「華爾街日報」的一篇社論提到,有些忙碌的總裁正隨著一個令人驚訝的潮流開始實施一種做法。根據那篇報導,那些總裁雇用「員工主任」。這個職位的人要直接處理人事,使最高層主管有時間去處理更廣泛、更屬公司層級的事務。

在過去一段時間裡,許多總裁已經與他們的員工非常疏離,現在他們又要指定另一個守門員,使他們與員工的隔閡又多了一層。顯然,這種情況使部屬要直接找老闆增加更多挑戰。對那些認為自己的需要沒被聽到,自己對公司的貢獻沒被肯定的員工而言,這種情況讓他們更沮喪。

時間管理是非常重要的,但我懷疑這種做法的考量是時間管理。其實,真正有效的領導是「服事」跟隨者,而不是避開他們。當我們認為處理人的事是一種麻煩,而不是榮幸,我們的優先順序就是嚴重錯置了。

有許多諮詢資源談到領袖與他所領導的人維持緊密接觸的重要性,在聖經中也可找到一些最好的例子。例如,在新約中我們讀到:「有人帶著小孩子來見耶穌,要耶穌摸他們,門徒便責備那些人。耶穌看見就惱怒,對門徒說:讓小孩子到我這裡來,不要禁止他們;因為在神國的,正是這樣的人」(馬可福音10章13-14節)。

任何熟悉聖經中耶穌生平的人都知道,祂有一個非常清楚的使命,而且祂必須在非常的短的時間就要達成那使命。然而祂總是找時間給那些呼求祂的人,如我們在上述經文所看到的。若上帝的兒子尚且願意親近孩童(在那個時代孩童根本不會像成人一樣被對待),我們難道不應親近我們的員工?

以下是聖經中的一些其他原則:

定期觀察你員工的脈動。若你選擇不常與你的員工溝通,你如何知道是否有重大的問題發生?不注意員工所關心的事會使你的公司陷於危險之中。「你要詳細知道你羊群的景況,留心料理你的牛群…羊羔之毛是為你作衣服;山羊是為作田地的價值…」(箴言27章23-27節)。

藉著觀察你的團隊來提供清楚的方向。當人們相信他們的領袖了解他們且尋求他們最大的利益,他們就受到鼓舞去把工作做到最好。「邦國因有罪過,君王就多更換;因有聰明知識的人,國必長存」(箴言28章2節)。

給予你同樣想要得到的注意與關心。當我們有迫切的需要,我們會想告訴能協助我們的人。身為領袖,我們應該對向我們報告的人有所回應。「你們願意人怎樣待你們,你們也要怎樣待人」(路加福音6章31節)。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

思想 / 討論題目
你的公司(或你知道的公司)是否隨著潮流去雇用一個「員工主任」,擔任最高領導階層和員工之間的中間人?你對這種做法有何看法? 為何雇主與員工間常常很難維持直接的溝通?對你而言這種情況是否可諒解,因為可讓雇主有更多時間去處理更廣泛的事務?為什麼? 雖然許多總裁要面對壓力和時間的限制,你想他們可以採取什麼步驟使他們能「詳細知道羊群的景況」,如聖經所建議,而不要把這責任完全指定給某個人? 根據你自己的領袖角色,從今天開始你可以考慮做什麼事使你的屬下更容易接近你?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言14章4節,15章22節,19章20節,20章18節,20章28節;詩篇23篇1-6節;腓立比書2章3-4節

AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE LEADERSHIP

By Rick Boxx

An editorial in the prominent daily business periodical, The Wall Street Journal, mentioned a surprising trend being practiced by some busy executives. According to the report, they are hiring a "chief of staff." This consists of someone to deal directly with personnel, freeing top executives to handle broader, more corporate-level responsibilities.

It seems interesting that at a time when many CEOs already are significantly isolated from their staffs, they now have resorted to appointing another gatekeeper – one more layer of insulation between them and their employees. Obviously, this makes it increasingly challenging for staff to gain direct access to their superiors. This also leads to greater frustration among those who believe their needs are not being heard and their contributions to their companies are not being recognized.

Time management is critical, and I suspect this is one reason for this recent tactic. However, truly effective leadership is about "serving" one”s people, not avoiding them. When we regard having to deal with people as a problem, rather than a privilege, our priorities are seriously misaligned.

There are many resources to consult regarding the importance of leaders staying in close contact with those they lead, but some of the best examples are found in the Bible. For instance, in the New Testament we read, "People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Mark 10:13-14).

Anyone familiar with the biblical account of Jesus” life knows He had a very clear mission and a very short time for its fulfillment. Yet He always found time for people that were clamoring for His attention, as we see in the passage above. If the Son of God was willing to be accessible to children, who were virtually regarded as non-persons during that time, should we not also remain available to our staffs?

Here are some other principles from the Bible:

Monitor the pulse of your staff regularly. How will you know if major problems are arising if you choose not to communicate consistently and closely with your employees? Being oblivious to significant concerns can put your organization in jeopardy. “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds…the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field…” (Proverbs 27:23-27).

Provide clear direction by understanding your team. When people believe their leaders know them and seek their best interests, they are inspired to do their very best work. “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order” (Proverbs 28:2).

Offer the same attention and concern you would like to receive. When we have pressing needs, we like to be able to communicate them to others who can be of assistance. As leaders, we should be just as responsive to the people that report to us. “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).

Copyright 2011, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Is your organization – or one you are aware of – following this trend of hiring a “chief of staff,” an intermediary between top leadership and the staff? What do you think of this practice? Why is it often difficult for leaders to maintain direct lines of communication with employees? Does this seem excusable to you, given the leaders” broad responsibilities and many demands? Why or why not? Even with the pressures and time constraints that many executives face, what steps do you think could be taken to enable them to “know the condition of their flocks,” as the Bible passage suggests, without totally delegating that responsibility to someone else? In light of your own leadership role, what might you consider doing – starting today – to be more available and accessible to those who report to you or work with you?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 14:4, 15:22, 19:20, 20:18, 20:28; Psalm 23:1-6; Philippians 2:3-4

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