By:Robert J. Tamasy
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心：啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」（The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。
思想 / 討論題目
你或你認識的人是否曾在農場工作過？若是，你是否已觀察到本文所提及的原則？ 你是否同意「收成定律」用在工商專業界也很恰當？為什麼？ 本文所列的四個收成定律中，哪一個對你個人，或對你的工作最有意義？請解釋。 這四個定律或原則中，哪一個讓你很驚訝，或是你從未想到過的？
LAWS OF THE HARVEST – IN THE WORKPLACE
By: Robert J. Tamasy
For many of us in the business and professional world, the life of the farmer is far beyond our frame of reference. Yet many principles fundamental to agriculture apply very well to our workplace pursuits. For example, just as a farmer must cultivate a field – preparing it to plant seeds for the intended crop – in business we also must “cultivate” prospective customers and clients, building relationships with them and convincing them that they are best served to work with us rather than with a competing company.
Another principle pertains what is commonly referred to as the “laws of the harvest.” Anyone that has spent time working on a farm can readily understand these laws, but we need neither farming experience nor a university degree in agriculture, agronomy or botany to appreciate their importance. In fact, these universal laws can be found in the sixth chapter of Galatians in the Bible”s New Testament:
You harvest the same things that you sow. If you sow carrot seeds, you will grow carrots. If you sow seeds for turnips, you will harvest turnips. Applying this to a business context, if you consistently demonstrate distrust – whether toward your employees, clients or suppliers – they likely will respond with distrust toward you. On the other hand, if we treat people with kindness and compassion, we are likely to receive the same kind of treatment from them in return. “For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Your harvest comes in a different season. Even the most amateur gardener understands that you do not plant seeds one day and expect to find mature, fully grown plants the next day. In the same way, the “seeds” we sow today – good or bad – often will not bear fruit until some time in the future. How often do we hear about business leaders that suffer the consequences of business indiscretions years after committing them? They might believe they have gotten away with dishonesty, only to have their actions exposed much later. Conversely, we might hold to the foremost standards of integrity and excellence in our work, but not reap the “fruit” of this dedication to high ethical conduct until well into the future. “For in due season we will reap” (Galatians 6:9).
You harvest more than you sow. If you were to plant a kernel of corn, you should expect to grow more than another kernel of corn. You could anticipate multiple cobs of corn on a single stalk. Applying that to our work settings, if we do our utmost to please a customer, we”re hoping they will transact business with us not only once, but return to us again and again, based on their initial positive experience. But if we seek to cut corners, saving money by providing less than we have promised, should we be surprised if employees or customers try to cheat us every opportunity they have? “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8).
Your harvest will come if you persevere. Anyone can have a good idea. Anyone can start an interesting business. And anyone can embark on a promising career. But it is the person that perseveres, holding onto a vision, who ultimately succeeds by surviving setbacks and overcoming obstacles. Farmers would be considered foolish for cultivating their fields, sowing seeds and watering the ground, then failing to be ready to collect the harvest of their labors. In the same way, what value is laying the groundwork for a successful business if we fail to stay with it until we can see our dreams come to fruition? Even the most successful entrepreneurs have had to accept failures and endure times of discouragement. They were able to do so because they never lost focus, never let go of their goals, even when circumstances looked bleak. “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
Have you, or someone you know, ever spent time working on a farm? If so, have you been able to observe any of the principles cited in this “Monday Manna”? Do you agree with the contention that the “laws of the harvest” are pertinent to the business and professional world? Why or why not? Which of the four harvest laws listed seems most meaningful for you personally – or for your workplace? Explain your answer. Are there any of these laws or principles that seemed surprising to you, or that you had not considered before? If so, which one(s)?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:Matthew 9:37-38, 13:24-32, 25:14-30; Mark 4:1-20; Joel 1:11