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40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」（The Heart of Mentoring）。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
請回答本文一開始的問題，誰是你的「英雄」？為何你把這些人放在如此崇高的位置？他們有什麼特性使你有好的印象？ 你曾否經歷過你的任何一位英雄（某位你長期欽佩的人）失敗了而使你失望？可能他們甚至做了某件傷害你的事。你當時有何感覺？現在的感覺又如何？ 我們所有人－－即使我們高度尊崇和期待的人－－都「只是人」，一定會遭遇失敗並犯錯，不論有意或無意。提醒這一點是否有幫助？為什麼？ 當我們批評別人的錯誤與缺點時，你是否認為我們也應誠實地面對我們的缺失？換句話說，你是否認為我們應該按照我們要求別人的標準誠實地評定自己？請解釋。註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
PITFALLS OF BEING PLACED ON A “PEDESTAL”
By Robert J. Tamasy
Who are your heroes – those people whom you admire greatly, individuals you would like to emulate?
We all have people we hold in high esteem, men and women who “set the bar” in terms of high levels of personal and professional behavior and performance. There is only one problem with our heroes: Like us, they are human and sometimes make mistakes, ranging from simple misjudgments to major violations and offenses. When that happens, we feel disappointed, even betrayed, because they have failed to live up to our lofty expectations.
Recently a prominent leader in his industry did just that – he made some poor decisions, his failures became public, and his reputation as a man of integrity and strong ethical principles has suffered considerable damage. Being one of his admirers, I was among the many who felt both surprise and dismay at the revelations. But in reality, no one should have been caught off guard. This man had not shown any likelihood of falling into public disgrace, but sooner or later, we all are going to fail – even in living up to our own dearly held values.
The Bible, which I regard as the greatest manual ever compiled for the business and professional world, makes this very clear: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The term “sin” literally means, “to miss the mark.” The context of this biblical passage refers to missing the mark of God”s perfect and unwavering standard. I have never met a person that is perfect. Have you? Of course not. So in that sense, without any question, we all fit the description of having “sinned.”
Does that mean we should overlook, ignore, or even condone wrong behavior? No. People holding positions of leadership should understand they will be judged according to high standards and expectations – even higher than those they lead, because part of their responsibility is to serve as examples worthy of being followed.
However, to expect – even demand – perfection from them is not only unreasonable; it is also unrealistic. Almost as soon as we place our heroes on pedestals, we should start anticipating their fall from those elevated perches. Here are some principles the Bible offers for dealing with the failures of others – and our own:
Be slow to pass judgment on others. When someone”s wrongdoing is discovered, we often are quick to denounce that person as a fraud, or worse. We might be accurate, but we also need to admit that given the right circumstances, we could be equally guilty of wrong. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2).
Be certain to take a good look at yourself. It has been said that we tend to be most critical of those who reflect our own shortcomings and areas of weakness. Before condemning others, make certain you have no hidden sins of your own. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother”s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?…first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother”s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).
Be cautious not to minimize your own vulnerabilities. Years ago, a well-known leader stated the one area in which he knew he would never stumble was in relationships. Within a year, it was revealed that this married man had been involved in an extramarital affair with an administrative assistant. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
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 journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies; 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 (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
To answer the opening question, who are your “heroes”? Why do you hold these people in such high regard? What are specific characteristics or traits about them that have particularly impressed you? Have you ever had the sad experience of having any of your heroes – someone you have long admired – disappoint you with their failures? Perhaps they even did something that hurt you personally in some way. How did you feel about that – and how do you feel about them now? Does it help to be reminded that we all – even people we tend to put on pedestals of high honor and expectation – are “merely human” and are bound to encounter failure and commit wrongdoing, whether intentional or unintentional? Why or why not? When we are being critical of the mistakes and shortcomings of others, do you think it is relevant to be honest about our own failings? In other words, do you believe we should honestly evaluate ourselves according to the standards we set for others? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 53:1-3; Proverbs 10:17, 13:18, 14:12, 15:22, 19:20; Isaiah 64:5-7; Romans 3:10-12