领导力 / Leadership

领导力

那是曼哈顿中城一个阴冷灰暗的周日清晨,我必须得去赶火车。街上空无一人,很多比我聪明的人还都在睡梦之中。春天本该早就到了,但那天清晨却让人感觉似乎春天也错过了到站的列车。

我走在前往宾州车站的路上,脖子上挂着一部借来的照相机(1974年的我还没有自己的相机)——那是一部老式的宾得测距连动单反相机,取景器独立于35毫米的镜头,也就是说照相前必须记得要摘下镜头盖,否则留在胶片上的就是一团漆黑的影子。

(对,我知道:年轻的读者可能又嫌我把话题扯远了,总是对电传、电报、拨号盘电话、体积跟小象那么大的电脑等老旧科技产品念念不忘。不过,听上年纪的人唠叨晦涩难懂的话题也许就是对孔夫子孝经的最新演绎。多多适应吧。)

忽然,我看见便道上有个造型怪异的人向我走来。他蓄着连圣诞老人都会妒嫉的长白胡子,潇洒飘逸,头上戴着一顶粘有标记的黑礼帽。随着他慢慢地靠近,我发现他虽然身披一件厚大衣,但看上去早已习惯了露宿街头,正是那种我们避之不及、遇到后会立刻弹开、唯恐会跟我们要钱或是用其他形式“骚扰”我们的人。

他的帽子上标注着“逝者归来”的字样,取自圣经新约的《马太福音》。

在那个寒冷的周日清晨,和他的白胡子相比,更让人讶异的是他身上散发出一种安详谦逊的光芒,简直就是光彩照人。假如真有人能头顶光环,那一定非他莫属。他的目光中流露出一种从鬼门关劫后余生的安详,而帽子上的话代表了他在经历一切后想要与人分享的心声。

Leadership

It was early on a cold, dreary, gray Sunday morning in mid-town Manhattan, and I had a train to catch. The streets were empty because many folks smarter than I were still asleep. Spring was supposed to be in the air, but that particular morning it felt as if Spring had missed its inbound train.

I was walking towards Penn Station. I had a borrowed camera (I didn’t own one yet, in 1974) around my neck — an old Pentax rangefinder SLR of the sort that the viewfinder was separate from the 35mm lens, meaning you had to remember to take the lens cap off the lens or you’d end up with nifty images of totally unexposed darkness on your film.

(Yes, I know: younger readers are probably bored by another digression into old, forgotten technology, like telexes and telegrams, rotary-dial telephones, PCs the size of baby elephants, etc. The obligation to listen to your elders ramble on about such arcane items may just be the latest twist on the time-honored Confucian tradition of filial piety. Patience is good.)

All of a sudden I saw someone walking toward me on the sidewalk who cut an odd figure. He sported a long, flowing white beard that Santa Claus would have been envious of, and wore a black hat with a sign stuck to the top. As he drew near I could see he was wearing a heavy coat but had the look of someone not unaccustomed to sleeping rough, the kind of person we sadly tend to dismiss and walk quickly past lest they ask us for money or present some other form. of “hassle”.

The sign on his hat said “Dead Are Raised” and cited the source as the Book of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible.

Even more striking than his great white beard on that cold Sunday morning was the quiet, humble radiance he projected. He was absolutely beaming. If there are people with halos, this guy had one. The look in his eyes suggested the peaceful tranquility of someone who’d survived a passage to hell and back, and the sign on his hat suggested he had a message to share from his journey.

我们聊了一会儿。虽然我还要赶火车,但还是询问能否给他拍张照,他愉快地答应了。随后,我向他道了谢,就匆忙赶路了。

十分钟后,我感到万念俱休,因为我觉得自己忘了摘掉镜头盖,现在再赶回去也来不及了。我恨死自己可能错过了一张精彩的照片。当时我慌里慌张的,完全没办法回想起来,自己摘过镜头盖了没。

那次短暂的邂逅给我留下了长久的印象。他浑身上下仿佛洋溢着一股天生的乐观气息,无论遇到何种苦难,他都可以、并且一定能够取得胜利。以他来讲,这种积极的看来是建立在他历经磨难的基础之上,并且已经深深地植根在灵魂的深处。

每一位希望成为高效组织领导者的人都可以从中学到一个理论。即便乐观主义、个人愿望和坚定的决心不一定能在人的思想上扎根,但它们都是领导力的构成要素。

管理大师吉姆•柯林斯在其经典著作《从优秀到卓越》中曾经提到“斯托克矛盾论”。这一理论得名于斯托克将军,他曾在越南战俘营中度过了七年难熬的日子。正是依靠对两个截然相反的信仰的不懈追求,斯托克将军才得以生存。他坚信:这辈子不可能过得比此次此刻更糟,但总有一天会比以往任何时候都过得更好。

非凡的领导者,或是柯林斯称为第五级的领导者在面对严酷的现实时,都坚信自己最终能够起死回生。面对现实,满怀信心,永不灰心,才是成功的关键。

当然,还有一个无解的难题,就是多年前在纽约那个寒冷、混沌的周日早晨,那位英雄人物的光芒能否穿透我的镜头盖,在底片上留下光影。(见照片)

We talked for awhile. Although I had a train to catch, I asked him if I could take his photograph. He gladly agreed. I snapped away, thanked him, and continued on my way.

Ten minutes later I had the sinking feeling that I had forgotten to remove the lens cap. It was now too late to go back. I kicked myself for possibly having missed a great photo opportunity. In my haste, I simply could not recall having removed the lens cap.

That short encounter left a lasting impression. He seemed to embody and exude a deep-rooted sense of optimism that no matter what hardships an individual may face, they can and will prevail. In his case, it seems that this deeply positive mental attitude was based on the personal experience of hardship, and rooted in spirituality.

There is a lesson there which applies to anyone aspiring to be the effective leader of an organization. Optimism, personal will, and determination may or may not be rooted in an individual’s spirituality, but they are critically important leadership traits.

Management guru Jim Collins, in his classic book “Good to Great”, talks about the Stockdale Paradox, named after Admiral James Stockdale, who spent 7 difficult years in a Vietnamese POW camp. He was able to survive by relentlessly embracing two contradictory beliefs that his life couldn’t be worse than it was at the present moment, but that someday it would be better than ever.

Exceptional leaders, or Level 5 Leaders as Collins calls them, confront the brutal facts of reality while maintaining absolute faith that they will prevail in the end. Embracing the facts and the faith at the same time, all the time, that is the key.

The unanswerable question is, of course, whether on that cold, gray Sunday morning many years ago in New York, this guy’s halo was bright enough to project his image right through my camera’s lens cap. (See photo.)


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