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双语哈评 |CEO有节操,公司业绩高

作者: 2018-08-27 13:11:39 0

When we hear about unethical executives whose careers and companies have gone down in flames, it’s sadly unsurprising. Hubris and greed have a way of catching up with people, who then lose the power and wealth they’ve so ferventlypursued. But is the opposite also true? Do highly principled leaders and their organizations perform especially well?

高管因道德败坏导致事业翻船,公司后院起火的消息已不是什么新闻了,这不得不说是个悲剧。人们太容易陷入狂妄和贪婪的陷阱,追名逐利,到头来不过竹篮打水一场空。这是否意味着,道德高尚的领导和其公司,表现就一定出众呢?

fervent:强烈的,热烈的

They do, according to a new study by KRW International, a Minneapolis-based leadership consultancy. The researchers found that CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for character had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period. That’s nearly five times as much as what those with low character ratings had; their ROA averaged only 1.93%.

明尼阿波利斯领导力咨询公司KRW国际(KRW International)的一项新研究表明,答案是肯定的。研究者发现,那些品德获得高分评价的CEO,两年内的平均资产回报率为9.35%,而品德得分低的CEO,平均资产回报率仅为1.93%,相差约4倍。

Character is a subjective trait that might seem to defy quantification. To measure it, KRW cofounder Fred Kiel and his colleagues began by sifting through theanthropologist Donald Brown’s classic inventory of about 500 behaviors and characteristics that are recognized and displayed in all human societies. Drawing on that list, they identified four moral principles—integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, and compassion—as universal. Then they sent anonymous surveys to employees at 84 U.S. companies and nonprofits, asking, among other things, how consistently their CEOs and management teams embodied the four principles. They also interviewed many of the executives and analyzed the organizations’ financial results. When financial data was unavailable, leaders’ results were excluded.

品德是一种主观特性,似乎不能量化。为衡量这一特性,KRW联合创始人弗雷德·基尔(Fred Kiel)及其同事仔细研究了人类学家唐纳德·布朗(Donald Brown)的经典信息库,其中记载了所有人类社会中已知的500多种行为和性格。根据这些信息,他们识别出了4大公认道德标准:正直、责任、宽容和同情心。然后,他们对84家美国公司和非政府组织的员工进行了匿名调查,问题则包括CEO和管理层能否坚守这4大标准。他们还访问了很多高管,并分析了这些公司的财务状况,剔除了那些没有财务数据的高管调查结果。

anthropologist :人类学家

anonymous :匿名的

At one end of the spectrum are the 10 executives Kiel calls “virtuoso CEOs”—those whose employees gave them and their management teams high ratings on all four principles. People reported that these leaders frequently engaged in behaviors that reveal strong character—for instance, standing up for what’s right, expressing concern for the common good, letting go of mistakes (their own and others’), and showing empathy. Examples include Dale Larson, who took over his family’s storm door business decades ago after his father died of cancer, growing it from about 30 employees to more than 1,500 and gaining a market share of 55%; Sally Jewell, a former CEO of REI, America’s largest outdoor retailer; and Charles Sorenson, a surgeon who moved into management at Intermountain Healthcare when the company began to grow and eventually took on the top job.

得分表中,最高分的一群人是10位被基尔称作“大师级” 的CEO。他们的员工对其个人及高管层的4项打分都很高。调查发现,这些领导者的优秀品德经常表现在以下方面:有原则,关心集体的利益,原谅自己和他人的错误,富有同情心。下面举几个优秀CEO的例子。戴尔·拉森(Dale Larson)是一家生产防护门的家族企业CEO。父亲因癌症去世后,他子承父业。几十年过去了,该企业的员工从30名增长到1500名,市场份额达55%。美国最大户外用品零售商REI的前CEO萨莉·朱厄尔(Sally Jewell)也表现不错;还有查尔斯·索雷森(Charles Sorenson),他从外科医生做起,后进入山间医学中心的管理层,最终升至CEO。

At the other end of the spectrum, the 10 lowest scorers—Kiel calls them “self-focused CEOs”—were often described as warping the truth for personal gain and caring mostly about themselves and their own financial security, no matter the cost to others.  (All study participants were guaranteed anonymity from the beginning. Only a third later gave permission to use their names.) Employees said that the self-focused CEOs told the truth “slightly more than half the time,” couldn’t be trusted to keep promises, often passed off blame to others, frequently punished well-intentioned people for making mistakes, and were especially bad at caring for people.

而得分最低的10名CEO被基尔称作“自我中心”的 CEO。他们常常被描述为:“为个人利益掩盖真相; 只关心自己和自己的财务安全,全然不顾他人利益”。(测试从一开始就保证不公开所有参与调查者的姓名,后来只有三分之一的调查者同意公开姓名)。员工们说,自我中心的CEO讲话基本上真假参半,出尔反尔,经常把自己的错推给别人,频繁惩罚好心做错事的人,而且尤其缺乏对别人的同情心。

Early in the project the researchers expected to find a relatively small relationship between strength of character and business performance. “I was unprepared to discover how robust the connection really is,” Kiel says. In addition to outperforming the self-focused CEOs on financial metrics, the virtuosos received higher employee ratings for vision and strategy, focus, accountability, and executive team character.

调查初期,研究者并未预期到高管品德和公司表现会有如此紧密的关联:“当我发现相关度如此之高时,被深深震惊了。”基尔说道。除了在财务表现上胜过自我中心的CEO外,大师级CEO在战略思想、集中度、责任感上也表现更优秀,其管理团队也表现出高素质。

Do leaders who need to work on their character know it? In most cases, no—they’re pretty deluded. When asked to rate themselves on the four moral principles, the self-focused CEOs gave themselves much higher marks than their employees did. (The CEOs who got high ratings from employees actually gave themselves slightly lower scores—a sign of their humility and further evidence of strong character.) Fortunately, Kiel points out, leaders can increase their self-awareness through objective feedback from the people they live and work with. But they have to be receptive to that feedback, and those with the biggest character deficiencies tend to be in denial.

那些品德有待提高的高管意识到自己的人品和公司业绩之间的关联了吗?多数情况下,答案是否定的。当自我中心CEO被要求给自己的4项品德打分时,他们自评的分数比员工评分高得多。而大师级CEO的自评分数反而略低于员工给他们的高分,从另一侧面反映出了他们的谦虚和优秀品德。但基尔指出,通过了解同事和身边亲人对自己的客观评价,高管能够提高对自我的认知。但前提是,他们必须能听得进去这些评价,而那些品德缺陷最严重的人很难听取别人的意见。

How can such leaders get past their denial and overcome their character deficits? Seeking guidance from trusted mentors and advisers helps a great deal, Kiel says. He discovered that firsthand early in his own career. After earning a PhD in psychology, he built two large clinical practices and briefly served as the CEO of a publicly held company. Back then, he says, he was more like the self-focused CEOs than the virtuosos: “While I never engaged in any illegal behavior, I’m sure many of my colleagues in those days felt that I was more than willing to throw them under the bus if it meant success for me.” As Kiel reached middle age, though, he began to feel a sense of moral and spiritual emptiness—and he knew he needed to change. It was a long, difficult process. After all, he was trying to undo deeply ingrained habits. But with practice and counsel he succeeded, and he was inspired to help other business leaders do the same.

那么最失德的领导怎样才能修身养性?基尔建议,他们应该向可靠的导师和顾问求助。在职场生涯早期,基尔有过亲身经历,因此得出了这一结论。在获得心理学博士学位后,他建立过两家大诊所,还短暂担任过一家上市公司的CEO。基尔说,当时自己更像是自我中心CEO,而非大师级CEO:“尽管我的言行并未有任何违法之处,但我敢肯定,当时我让很多同事感觉到,我是那种为了自己成功可以弃团队于不顾的人。”然而人到中年以后,基尔愈发感到空虚失落。他知道自己亟需改变,但改变之路漫长而艰辛。但经过不断努力和接受咨询,他突破了非常难改的积习,并因此开始帮助其他有类似问题的高管。

If Kiel’s experience (and his clients’) is any indication, character isn’t just something you’re born with. You can cultivate it and continue to hone it as you lead, act, and decide. The people who work for you will benefit from the tone you set. And now there’s evidence that your company will too.

基尔及其客户的例子给了我们启示,优良品德不一定与生俱来,你可以在领导团队、行动和决策的过程中不断修身养性,自我提升。并且事实证明,你的同事以及公司也会从中受益。(刘铮筝 | 译 王晨 | 校 时青靖 | 编辑

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