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不要陷入「好人」迷思

2015-01-30
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不要陷入「好人」迷思
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工作的時候,「人好」到底重不重要?答案是重要,但是不要讓「好人」成為誤導自己的口號。進入本文前,請先想想以下單字怎麼說:

A 仁慈,善意,B 惡毒的,C 公義的

Being nice is a critical factor for success for entrepreneurs. This is an argument made by experienced investors and business owners, including Paul Graha, co-founder of Viaweb, which eventually became Yahoo! Store. Graha said that nice leaders have a better chance of keeping talent, and that the “spirit of a) benevolence” is often associated with great startups.

許多有經驗的老闆和投資人說,創業要成功,不能缺的條件之一是「人要好」。創辦Viaweb──後來的雅虎商城,保羅‧格雷厄姆認為,友善的領導者較能留住人才,而偉大的新創事業往往也具備行善精神。

The claim, however noble it may sounds, is negated by a recent article from Inc. magazine. There are three reasons.

這個說法聽來崇高,但美國知名商業雜誌《Inc.》最近刊登一篇文章提出不同看法。以下是3個理由。

First, nice is hard to define and is often (1) in the eye of the beholder. Take internet entrepreneur Nick Denton as an example. His company and blog network Gawker Media is known for making b) malicious remarks on others, and Denton is widely reviled in the technology industry.

However, Denton reportedly treats his staff better than he has to. He has been described as “the best boss I’ve ever had” by his employees.

首先,好人很難定義,通常因對象而異。網路創業家尼克‧丹頓的網站Gawker Media因為對他人發表惡毒的言詞,讓丹頓在科技業很不受歡迎。但是丹頓卻對員工很好,有人甚至說:「丹頓是我遇過最好的老闆。」

Then there are Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who (2) are all guilty of unleashing harsh verbal attacks on their subordinates multiple times. Some argue that the qualities that make an entrepreneur hard to work with are also what make them brilliant. Again, whether a person is nice or mean depends very much on who is doing the beholding.

而馬克佐克伯、賈伯斯及比爾蓋茲,都曾不止一次對屬下口出惡言。企業家令人難以相處的特質,也許正是讓他們特別傑出的原因。由此可證,一群人眼中的好人,可能是另一群人眼中的惡人。

Some say the world has changed and to succeed in it, we should always try to aim for a win-win situation. In the past, success meant control of limited resources, or winning in a zero-sum game. But in today’s world, success means initiating new ideas and creating new things that benefit the society, the theory goes.

Upon closer inspection, however, this does not always hold true. Competition for talent among companies is a vivid illustration. Human resources are essential in any businesses, and it’s still a zerosum game.

有人說世界已經改變,要成功,就要設法創造雙贏局面。過去成功意謂掌控有限資源,分到最大塊的餅。今天成功則意謂發起新的想法、創造對社會有益的事物。但是進一步檢視會發現,這個理論並不完全正確。企業間的人才爭奪就是一個明顯的例子。人力資源對任何企業都是重要資產,在這一塊的競爭沒有雙贏。

Another reason that being nice won’t necessarily make a person succeed is that most people believe they are nice already. Here, nice means a desire “to change the world for the better.” However, many villains in history also thought what they were doing acted in the best interests of mankind. Look at Hitler, Stalin, or even present-day Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). If you could talk to them, they would probably all tell you that their actions have a c) righteous cause.

做好人不一定讓人獲得成功的另一個原因是,大多數人都認為自己是好人。在這裡,好人的定義是「想讓世界更好」。歷史上許多惡棍都認為他們為人類謀福祉。希特勒、史達林,甚至是今日的敘利亞總統阿薩德、極端宗教組織ISIS,很可能都相信──自己的行動出自公義。

※世界公民文化中心:www.core-corner.com

口語用法

1 in the eye of the beholder 因人而異

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 美醜依每個人的觀感而異。

2 be guilty of doing something 做錯了某事

We are all guilty of running away from difficultiesto some extent. 我們在某種程度上都有逃避問題。

The President is guilty of making promises thatcan never be realized. 總統做了不可能實現的承諾。

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