你在領導還是緊盯不放?──ARE YOU LEADING, OR NIPPING AT PEOPLE’S HEELS?

MONDAY MANNA

幾年前,我有幸與一位朋友肯.強生(Ken Johnson)合著了一本書,那是根據他在鄉下的農場養羊的經驗所寫成的。聖經中有許多關於綿羊的描述,向強生學習並寫出綿羊所表現出的奇特行為,既有教育意義又有啟發性。

在聖經中有多處提到綿羊、牧羊人、羔羊和羊群的說法人們也常被拿來和綿羊比較,但通常這些比較並非是恭維的,例如,綿羊是骯髒、愚蠢的動物,如果放任牠們,羊會不由自主地陷入多種困境。因此,牠們需要牧羊人來看著牠們,在遇到麻煩時照顧並營救牠們。

綿羊有一種獨特的特徵就是對牧羊人的忠誠。有一天在我參觀肯的農場時他向我展示了這一點。綿羊在牧場上,靜靜地放養著。肯對我說:「叫羊過來!」我做了,但都沒有反應。他建議我 「對他們大叫或吹口哨」。我也做了,但還是沒有反應,牠們都突然聾了嗎?然後,肯用很平常的聲音叫牠們,這時羊群中的每一隻羊都立刻抬起頭,注意著牧羊人的指示。

這讓我想起最近聽到一位演講者在描述「邊境牧羊犬border collie」,一種常被用來管理綿羊的品種狗時,這些牧羊犬不會在前面帶著羊群,而是用吠叫和緊盯不放的方式趕羊。這與綿羊因為信任牧羊人而聽從指令形成了鮮明的對比。牧羊犬令羊討厭甚至會嚇到羊,但牧羊人卻體貼地帶領羊群。

這兩種截然不同的風格非常像許多企業和專業高管的領導方式。有些人透過指出道路帶領跟隨者;其他人則用幾乎緊盯不放的方式讓自己的團隊動起來,兩種方法都可以產生效果,但只有一種是比較好的管理和帶領人的方法。耶穌基督最有名的教導之一,就是「牧羊人的比喻」。

有效能的領袖會被認識和相信。使用牧羊人和羊群的比喻來做教導,耶穌觀察到:「從門進去的,才是羊的牧人。看門的就給他開門;羊也聽他的聲音。他按著名叫自己的羊,把羊領出來。既放出自己的羊來,就在前頭走,羊也跟著他,因為認得他的聲音。」(約翰福音10章2-4節)。

緊盯不放不會帶來忠心。用脅迫或恐懼領導的人不會被員工當成「牧羊人」。他們不接受這個人是值得信任和值得跟隨的。即便他們服從了命令,都是出於必須而非出於忠心,他們不認為這個領袖會很注重他們的利益。「羊不跟著生人;因為不認得他的聲音,必要逃跑。」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。」(約翰福音10章5、12-13節)。

有效能的領袖將他人的利益放在首位。人們會做出遠超過所被賦予的「職責範圍」而做更多,只因為他們相信他們的領袖把自己最大的利益放在心中,有時甚至超越領袖自己的利益。展現奉獻精神的領袖很容易被跟隨。「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,正如父認識我,我也認識父一樣;並且我為羊捨命。」(約翰福音10章11-15節)。

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 在討論綿羊和牧羊人時,你發現與商業和專業領域相關的最重要的觀念或原則是什麼?
  2. 如果你有領導或管理的責任,你會把自己看成是牧羊人,或是更像是緊盯不放的牧羊犬?解釋你的答案。
  3. 你認識任何一位領袖是用牧羊人的管理方式與員工互動的嗎?你能具體描述那是甚麼樣的情形嗎?
  4. 你是否同意人更願意為自己所相信、把自己的利益放在心中的領袖努力工作,甚至遠遠超出要求。請解釋你的答案。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多的經文,請參考:
詩篇119篇176節
119:176 我如亡羊走迷了路,求你尋找僕人,因我不忘記你的命令。
以賽亞書53章6節
53:6 我們都如羊走迷;各人偏行己路;耶和華使我們眾人的罪孽都歸在他身上。
耶利米書50章6節
50:6 「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。
約翰福音1章29-31、35節
1:29 次日,約翰看見耶穌來到他那裏,就說:「看哪, 神的羔羊,除去(或譯:背負)世人罪孽的!
1:30 這就是我曾說:『有一位在我以後來、反成了在我以前的,因他本來在我以前。』
1:31 我先前不認識他,如今我來用水施洗,為要叫他顯明給以色列人。」
1:35 再次日,約翰同兩個門徒站在那裏。
彼得前書2章25節
2:25 你們從前好像迷路的羊,如今卻歸到你們靈魂的牧人監督了。
彼得前書5章2-6節
5:2 務要牧養在你們中間 神的群羊,按著 神旨意照管他們;不是出於勉強,乃是出於甘心;也不是因為貪財,乃是出於樂意;
5:3 也不是轄制所託付你們的,乃是作群羊的榜樣。
5:4 到了牧長顯現的時候,你們必得那永不衰殘的榮耀冠冕。
5:5 你們年幼的,也要順服年長的。就是你們眾人也都要以謙卑束腰,彼此順服;因為 神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。
5:6 所以,你們要自卑,服在 神大能的手下,到了時候,他必叫你們升高。

ARE YOU LEADING, OR NIPPING AT PEOPLE’S HEELS?

By Robert J. Tamasy

Years ago, I had the privilege of co-authoring a book with a friend, Ken Johnson, based on his experiences of raising sheep near his rural home. The Bible has a lot to say about sheep, so learning from him and writing about the curious behavior that sheep exhibit was both educational and enlightening.

There are dozens of references in the Scriptures about sheep, shepherds, lambs and flocks, and frequently people are compared to sheep. But usually, these comparisons are not complimentary. For instance, sheep are dirty, stupid animals. Left to their own devices, sheep cannot help but get themselves in many kinds of difficulty. So they need a shepherd, someone to keep watch over them, care for and rescue them in times of trouble.

One of the unique traits of sheep is undivided loyalty to the shepherd. My friend demonstrated this when I visited his farm home one day. The sheep were in the pasture, quietly grazing. Ken said, “Call out to the sheep.” I did but received no response. “Yell at them, or whistle,” he suggested. I did those things too, but no reaction. Had they all suddenly gone deaf? Then Ken called to them in a normal voice tone. Instantly each member of his flock raised its head, attentive to their shepherd’s instructions.

I was reminded of this experience recently after hearing a speaker describe a border collie, a breed of dog often used for managing sheep. These dogs don’t lead but direct the sheep by barking and nipping at their heels. This is in sharp contrast to the trusted sheep who leads the sheep without coercion.  The sheep dog annoys and even frightens, while the shepherd caringly guides the flock.

These two contrasting styles are similar to how many business and professional executives approach leadership. Some lead by showing the way and guiding those who follow; others get their people moving by the equivalent of nipping at their heels. Both approaches can yield results, but there is a preferred way to go about managing and leading people. In one of His best-known messages, Jesus Christ used the shepherd-flock metaphor:

The effective leader is known and trusted. Teaching by using the metaphor of a shepherd and his flock, Jesus observed, “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep…the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:2-4).

The ‘heel-nipper’ does not inspire loyalty. In contrast, the one who leads by coercion or fear is not regarded by staff people as a “shepherd.” They do not accept this person as one to follow out of trust; if they follow orders, it is out of necessity, not inspired loyalty. They do not sense he is a champion for their best interests. “But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice…. 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…because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:5,12-13).

The effective leader puts the interests of others first. People will often go far “beyond the call of duty,” doing much more than required because they trust their leader has their best interests at heart – sometimes even putting those ahead of his own. A leader who exhibits a sacrificial spirit is easy to follow. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…. I know my sheep and my sheep know me – and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:11-15).

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. What do you find to be the most important idea or principle in this discussion of sheep and shepherds as it relates to the business and professional world? 
  2. If you have leadership or management responsibilities, would you see yourself as a shepherd, or more like the ‘heel-nipper’? Explain your answer.
  3. Who have you worked for – or with – that exemplified (or exemplifies) the role of the shepherd in the way he or she interacts with their staff? Describe what this looks like in a practical sense.
  4. Do you agree that people are more inclined to work hard, even well beyond what is required, for the leader in whom they have great trust and believe has their best interests in mind? Why or why not?          

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Psalm 119:176; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 50:6; John 1:29-31,35; 1 Peter 2:25, 5:2-6



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