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怎样破除对老板的崇拜?

所属教程:职场人生

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2016年08月23日

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Kids Company, a leading UK charity for disadvantaged children, collapsed a year ago amid allegations of gross financial mismanagement.

一年前,Kids Company倒闭了;倒闭前,这家帮助弱势儿童的英国领先慈善机构被指存在严重财务管理不善。

Camila Batmanghelidjh, its flamboyant founder and chief executive, had been elevated to such heights that she was left unchallenged for many years, not only by her staff, donors and board of trustees, but also by the government and media.

事发之前,Kids Company耀眼的创始人和首席执行官卡米拉•巴特曼海利迪(Camila Batmanghelidjh)已被抬得高高在上,多年来一直不受任何人质疑——无论是该机构的员工、金主和理事会,还是政府和媒体。

From the charity’s launch in 1996, government ministers approved payments to it totalling £42m in the form of grants. Ms Batmanghelidjh’s charisma, charm and fame led to her being so idealised that she avoided normal levels of scrutiny applied to most organisations.

这家慈善机构自1996年成立以来,共计从政府部长们那里获批4200万英镑的拨款。巴特曼海利迪非凡的感召力、魅力和知名度,令她被极度理想化,以致没有受到大多数机构面临的正常水平的审查。

A House of Commons select committee concluded that Ms Batmanghelidjh’s personality “appeared to captivate some of the most senior political figures in the land”, and high-level political patronage may have deterred whistleblowers from coming forward.

英国议会下议院(House of Commons)特别委员会断定,巴特曼海利迪的个性“似乎迷住了本国一些最重量级的政治人物”,而高层的政治支持可能使得有心检举者畏缩不前。

Kids Company provides an extreme example of the dynamics and potential consequences of “idealisation”, but these are in play at most organisations to a greater or lesser extent, and not just at the top — individual subordinates can also be put on a pedestal.

Kids Company的案例以极端的方式体现了“理想化”的力量与潜在后果,但绝大多数组织都或多或少地上演着这些情节,并且不仅是顶层人物——个别下属也会被视为完人。

It may be difficult to spot potentially dangerous hero worship because it can often be disguised as the everyday respect and admiration we endow on apparently outstanding leaders.

英雄崇拜带有潜在危险性,我们或许不易察觉它,因为它?;嵛弊俺善胀ǖ淖鹬睾托郎?mdash;—对看上去杰出的领导们,我们都是尊重和欣赏的。

Such adoration is a mutual relationship with distortion on both sides, where a person’s need for admiration is fuelled by the need of admirers to see their leader as exceptional. Such admirers often have dependent personalities whose craving for emotional security blurs their perceptions of a leader’s limits and capabilities.

这种崇拜是一种两头都扭曲了的相互关系,在这种关系中,一个人需要被人崇拜,崇拜者又需要看到他们的领导与众不同,后者的需求助长了前者的需求。这些崇拜者往往具有依赖性人格,他们对安全感的渴求让他们看不清领导者的极限和能力。

Manfred Kets de Vries, psychoanalyst and professor at Insead Business School, says: “It’s a totally reinforcing dance in which, because of a general feeling of helplessness, you idealise the leader and say quickly what the leader likes and wants to hear, and that reinforces the leader’s narcissism and vice versa. Unfortunately, the moment the leader accepts this, he is surrounded by liars.”

精神分析学家和欧洲工商管理学院(Insead Business School)教授曼弗雷德•凯茨•德弗里斯(Manfred Kets de Vries)称:“这完全是一个不断强化的过程,由于一种整体的无助感,你将领导理想化并迅速说出这位领导喜欢和想听的话,这增强了这位领导的自我陶醉,反之亦然。遗憾的是,一旦这位领导接受了这一点,他就被骗子包围了。”

Heaping such admiration and trust on people in power helps sustain a fantasy that those who look after us are all-knowing, or believing that being close to great people helps us feel better about ourselves. For many, it is a way to compensate for a difficult relationship with early authority figures, usually a parent.

对当权者寄以如此的仰慕和信任有助于维持一种幻想,即那些照管我们的人无所不知,抑或相信自己与大人物关系亲近有助于使我们自我感觉更好。很多人通过这种方式来补偿自己与幼年时期的权威人物(通常是父母)之间的困难关系。

Children normally imagine their parents as benevolent, all-knowing figures, and this helps cushion them against overwhelming fears of life’s dangers. With maturity, however, individuals learn to accept their parents’ flaws, and thereby to tolerate a world of uncertainties and disappointments and to rely on their own opinions rather than always accepting those of authority.

孩子们通常想象他们的父母是善良的、无所不知的,这有助于减轻他们对生活中种种危险的巨大恐惧。然而,成长后,人们学会接受父母的缺点,并因此学会容忍一个充满不确定和失望的世界,学会依靠自己的见解而不是始终接受权威人物的观点。

Glorifying a leader can leave him or her free to act irresponsibly, unethically or to the organisation’s detriment. It also means subordinates are unlikely to question decisions or assert their own talents and insights, which can in turn damage a company’s innovative potential and development.

一个受到崇拜的领导可能会随意做出不负责任、不讲道德或有损组织利益的行为。这种崇拜还意味着下属们不太可能对决策提出质疑,或者表现自身才能、坚持自己的见解,这反过来可能会危害一家企业的创新潜力和发展。

Devaluation is the inevitable downside to idealisation — the higher the person is put on a pedestal, the greater the crash, as Ms Batmanghelidjh discovered. Rather than being seen as merely flawed, her fall from grace was total, and much of the work she and her staff had accomplished was forgotten.

不可避免地,理想化的反面是被贬得一文不值——一个人被抬得越高,跌落时就摔得越重,正如巴特曼海利迪所领教到的。她一下子名声扫地,而不是仅被视为有了瑕疵,她和她的员工们所完成的大量工作都被遗忘了。

All leaders have a degree of narcissism and therefore are at risk of encouraging this dynamic, but those on the extreme end of the continuum are more likely to be seduced by its allure. The more narcissistic the leader, the greater his or her need to attain admiration and the security he or she craves.

所有领导都有一定程度的自恋情结,因此有鼓励这种事态的风险;被周围的人高高捧起有其吸引力,那些极端自恋的人更容易受到这种吸引力的诱惑。领导越自恋,就越需要获得崇拜、获得他或她所渴望的安全感。

Kerry Sulkowicz, psychoanalyst and managing principal of New York’s Boswell Group, a consultancy specialising in work relationships, says: “The danger is believing in one’s infallibility once one reaches the top. Sometimes leaders do things deliberately, or more likely unconsciously, that promote idealisation.

克里•舒尔科维奇(Kerry Sulkowicz)是一位精神分析学家,还是纽约博斯韦尔集团(Boswell Group)的创始人,这家咨询公司专注于向客户提供职场关系方面的咨询。舒尔科维奇称:“危险在于认为一个人在成为领袖以后就永远不会犯错。有时领导们有意或无意间(后一种情况可能性更大)做出一些促使别人将其理想化的事情。

“They act as if they have all the answers or don’t show any vulnerability, and for those people who are susceptible to this it can lead to an idealisation of them.” “他们表现得仿佛无所不知或无懈可击,这可能会让那些容易被唬住的人将他们理想化。”

New chief executives can feel pressure to be perfect from the start, and experienced ones can believe they have seen and done it all before, says Mr Sulkowicz.

新上任的首席执行官可能会承受压力,感到自己必须从一开头就做到尽善尽美;而那些有经验的则可能会相信自己什么都早已看过做过,舒尔科维奇称。

The danger is when they start to act the part. Another risk factor is when the distance between a CEO and his or her staff becomes too great and as a consequence feedback diminishes.

危险在于他们从何时起开始这样表现。另一个危险是当一位CEO与他或她的员工之间距离变得太大时,反馈也会因此减少。

Mr Sulkowicz believes prevention is better than cure in this regard. “Leaders who are getting nothing but positive feedback from their organisations should actually worry about that — they should be alert to the likelihood that nothing but praise is a sign of idealisation and they should really look for criticism because otherwise they’re likely to believe it themselves and are being set up for a fall.

对此,舒尔科维奇先生认为,与其亡羊补牢,不如防微杜渐。“那些从组织内部除了积极意见听不到其他声音的领导们才真的应该担忧——他们应警惕的是,如果他们只听到溢美之词,这表明他们很可能是被理想化了,领导者们真正应该寻求的是批评,否则他们很可能对下属的赞美信以为真并将会栽跟头。

“It should raise a red flag when the exclusive praise comes from the directors, because the board’s role is in evaluating the performance of the CEO, and if the board can’t see through the idealisation then that’s really dangerous.”

“当董事们无一例外地给出赞誉时应该警觉,因为董事会的作用是评估CEO的业绩表现,而倘若董事会都不能识破理想化那才真的危险。”

One business consultant in New York describes his compulsion to maintain an aura of perfection. “Idealisation is intoxicating — it makes you feel special, it’s a milder version of falling in love,” he says.

纽约的一位企业顾问这样阐述他自己想要保持完美光环的动机。“理想化令人陶醉——它使你自命不凡,简直就是一种温和地坠入爱河的感觉,”他说。

He explains how he relied on admiration from his clients to compensate for the lack of love and security from his parents. By making himself invaluable to his clients he convinced them of his omniscience.

他解释了自己如何依赖客户的赞美来弥补从父母那里未能获得足够的爱与安全感。他通过让自己对客户非常有用,让客户们相信他无所不知。

“I would position myself with a magic wand able to transform any performance issue. The more they needed me, the more I could trust they would take care of my needs, financial and emotional.

“我把自己定位成一根可以化解一切难题的魔法棒。他们越需要我,我越相信他们将会满足我的需求,无论是财务上的还是情感上的。

“The price was compromising the clear, honest counsel needed to be an effective consultant.”

“这样做的代价是毁了一个好的顾问需要提出的清楚、诚恳的建议。”

Mr Sulkowicz believes that the prevalence of celebrity culture adds to the problem because business leaders can fall prey to its allure — they may then start believing in their own mythology.

舒尔科维奇先生认为名人文化的流行加剧了这一问题——因为企业领袖们会受到这种诱惑——继而他们有可能开始迷信自我。

“When a CEO starts to be treated as a Kim Kardashian figure, famous for being famous, it detracts from their credibility and authority as leader.”

“当一个CEO开始被当作金•卡戴珊(Kim Kardashian)似的人物,因出名而出名,他们作为领导的信誉和权威将会受损。”

Executives can equally idealise a subordinate. A senior executive in a private financial institution who came to me for psychotherapy revealed that his need to be seen as perfect in order to attain his CEO’s admiration defended him against fears of rejection he had suffered since childhood.

管理者同样也会将一个下属理想化。一位私人金融机构的高管来找我做心理治疗,他向我透露,他需要被视为完美,以赢得CEO的赏识,这会抵御他童年时代曾受到排斥的恐惧。

His compulsion to appear perfect left him dependent on his chief for reassurance and security, while the CEO in turn grew dependent on his impeccable performance. Although it appeared to be a smooth-running company, the cost of sustaining a perfect image left them both risk-averse.

由于要依赖上司的表扬来获得信心和安全感,他强迫自己处处表现完美。反过来,他的上司,也就是公司的CEO也越发期待他无可挑剔的表现。虽然表面看来这家公司运营平稳,但维护完美形象的成本使他们都不愿承担风险。

“I came to realise that what I created in order to feel safe was actually limiting my ability to move forward with my career,” he says.

“我渐渐意识到,我为了感到安全所做的一切,实际上却限制了自己开拓事业的能力。”他说。

Naomi Shragai is a practising psychotherapist: this article is based partly on her clinical experience.

注:本文作者内奥米•沙拉盖(Naomi Shragai)是一名执业心理治疗师,本文部分取材于她的临床经验。


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