謹慎領導和小心跟隨

By:Robert J. Tamasy

最近我讀到一篇關於土耳其伊斯坦堡的短篇報導,說到有一隻綿羊跳下懸崖,其他一千五百隻羊跟著牠往下跳,其中三分之一死亡,三分之二則傷痕累累。我想這些還活著的羊心裡一定怯懦的想著:「當時我在想甚麼啊?」

假如你覺得這是綿羊世界偶發的瘋狂事件,我跟你保證並不是。我有一個朋友叫肯.強生(Ken Johnson),他寫了一本書叫做「帶著綿羊的心追求生命」,書裡提到有關綿羊是如何地愚昧以及牠們會跟著其他的羊一起跳下懸崖的經驗。

有一天早上肯正在準備讓羊群離開穀倉去吃草。當第一隻羊到了門口,他把鋤頭的柄擋在前面看看牠會如何反應,這隻羊跳過鋤頭繼續往前走到草地去。肯把鋤頭拿開之後,每一隻到達門口的羊都在同一個地方跳了一下,跟第一隻羊一模一樣。很顯然的,無論合不合理,他們都模仿第一隻羊做相同的動作。

這和今天的職場有甚麼關係?關係很大。我們傾向於沒有經過思考就跟隨領袖。我們追隨當今流行的企業哲學,只因每個人都這麼做。我們買最新的科技產品,只因為其他的人都有。有時我們甚至不經思考一進到店裡就跟著別人排隊,因為大家都在排隊。

我們的行為其實跟綿羊非常像,聖經甚至說:「我們都如羊走迷; 各人偏行己路…」(以賽亞書53章6節)。聖經許多經節也都提到綿羊非常需要牧羊人的引導。

羊的比喻告訴我們要謹慎所跟隨的人,以免走錯路。如果我們是領袖,要認真擔起責任領導那些信任我們的部屬。聖經提供了一些原則:

我們都需要牧羊人。我們傾向於相信自己可以獨立作業,不需要別人的幫助或引導。但是就像羊一樣,我們都可能走迷,被錯誤的思想、動機和目標誤導。「他看見許多的人,就憐憫他們;因為他們困苦流離,如同羊沒有牧人一般。」(馬太福音9章36節)

小心你跟隨的領袖。有些領袖說自己把大家的利益擺在第一位,他們聽起來很可靠,但我們必須要留心確定自己要跟著他們走。「我的百姓作了迷失的羊,牧人使他們走差路,使他們轉到山上。他們從大山走到小山,竟忘了安歇之處。」(耶利米書50章6節)

正確的領袖是我們能信任的。值得跟隨的牧羊人一直與我們在一起,他是我們一份子,在困頓和挑戰的時候與我們同在。當時局變的困難,他不會拋棄我們,耶穌就是最好的榜樣:「我是好牧人;好牧人為羊捨命。 若是雇工,不是牧人,羊也不是他自己的,他看見狼來,就撇下羊逃走;狼抓住羊,趕散了羊群。 雇工 逃走,因他是雇工,並不顧念羊。 我是好牧人;我認識我的羊,我的羊也認識我」(約翰福音10章11-14節)

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。

回應與問題討論
你是否因為別的公司做某些事你也跟著做,後來卻懷疑這是不是正確的?如果有,請說說自己的經驗以及結果。 在你的經驗裡或在職場上是否聽說過,有人因為錯誤的領導而被引到錯誤的方向,如同羊群跳下懸崖一樣? 你覺得自己在職場或是家裡是一個「牧羊人」嗎?你是否有擔起應付的責任?說說你的答案。 耶穌把自己比喻做好牧羊人,對此你的想法如何?如果你手上有聖經並想要知道更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:耶利米書 23:1-6;以西結書34:2-10;路加福音15:4-6;約翰福音10:1-18、25-27; 希伯來書13:20


BE CAREFUL HOW YOU LEAD – OR HOW YOU FOLLOW
By Robert J. Tamasy

Recently I read a brief account about a sheep in Istanbul, Turkey that jumped off a cliff. What made the story especially tragic was nearly 1,500 other sheep followed, about one-third of those dying as a result. Most of the others suffered injuries, and all must have sheepishly wondered, “What was I thinking?”

In case you think this must have been an aberration, a rarity in the world of sheep, be assured it was not. My friend, Ken Johnson, wrote a book called Pursuing Life With a Shepherd”s Heart, and recounted many examples of how foolish sheep are. One experience relates directly to the sheep-over-the-cliff incident.

Early one morning Ken was preparing to let his sheep out of their barn. As the first sheep came to the doorway, Ken held the handle of a hoe in front of it to see what it would do. The sheep casually jumped over the handle and proceeded to walk toward the pasture. Ken then pulled the handle away, but as each sheep exited the barn, it paused at the same spot and then jumped, just as the sheep in front of it had done. Apparently sheep follow the leader”s example, regardless of whether it makes sense to do so.

What does that have to do with today”s workplace? A lot. We have a common tendency to play “follow the leader” whether there is good reason for it or not. We adopt the latest business philosophy because everyone else is doing it. We use the newest technological device, often simply because someone else has it. When we enter a store, we unthinkingly get in line – just because everyone else is in line.

Apparently our behavior strongly resembles the wooly creatures we call sheep. The Bible even asserts, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray…” (Isaiah 41:10). The Scriptures offer numerous comparisons between sheep and people, pointing out sheep desperately depend on a shepherd.

What this tells us is to be cautious whom we follow, so we are not led astray – and if we are in leadership roles, to take seriously and soberly our responsibility to properly “shepherd” those entrusted to our care and direction. Here are a few principles the Bible offers:

We all need a shepherd. We tend to believe we can function independently, without the assistance or guidance of anyone. But like sheep, we all can become misguided by wrong thinking, motives and objectives. “When he saw the crowds, he (Jesus) had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

Be careful which shepherds you follow. Some people in positions of leadership can sound very convincing, assuring us they have our best interests at heart. We must be cautious, however, to make certain we want to go where they are leading. “My people have been lost sheep, their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam…and (they) forgot their resting place” (Jeremiah 50:6).

The right shepherd is one we can trust. The shepherd worth following sticks with us, joining us and leading us through times of challenge and adversity. He will not abandon us when times become difficult. Jesus was the ultimate example: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away…. I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:11-14).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you ever found yourself doing something, even adopting a business practice, simply because everyone else was doing it, then later questioned the wisdom of doing so? If so, what was the situation – and what was the result? Can you think of a time, whether in your personal experience or just a circumstance you know about, when – like the sheep following the single sheep that jumped off the cliff – people were enticed by a poor leader with disastrous results? Do you consider yourself a “shepherd” to others, whether at work or in your home? How well are you carrying out that responsibility, do you think? Explain your answer. Jesus Christ described Himself as the Good Shepherd. What is your reaction to that claim?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Ezekiel 34:2-10; Luke 15:4-6; John 10:1-18, 25-27; Hebrews 13:20

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