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7 leadership lessons from Fifty Shades of Grey

2015-03-02 14:02 语泉外语     字号 [] [] []  
In E.L. James’ bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey, one of Christian Grey’s most endearing [ɪn'dɪərɪŋ; en-] qualities is that he is a very successful businessman. So successful he may have purchased 49 of his 50 shades. The 27-year-old dropped out of Harvard to start his own business in Seattle[si'ætl] and now, according to James’ blog, Grey holds the illustrious [ɪ'lʌstrɪəs] title of Most Successful U.S. Businessman Under the Age of 30 (no, he hasn’t made Fortune‘s 40 Under 40 yet—and never will, since he’s not real) and ranks among the Top Five American CEOs. Grey Enterprises [ˈentəpraiziz] Holdings Inc., (GEH) was launched [lɔːntʃ] with $100,000 of borrowed cash and in just a few short years has become a multi-billion dollar business. While the exact[ɪg'zækt; eg-] nature of GEH’s business is a bit mysterious, the company’s website claims it is “a world leader in communication technologies, sustainable [sə'steɪnəb(ə)l] energy and intelligent[ɪn'telɪdʒ(ə)nt] systems development.” The company also focuses on mergers['mɜːdʒə] and acquisitions[,ækwɪ'zɪʃ(ə)n] , buying underperforming [,ʌndəpə'fɔ:m] companies and, ahem, whipping['wɪpɪŋ] them into shape. While Christian Grey may be fictional, there are still some valuable lessons to be learned from his success in the boardroom and the bedroom. 
 
Here are seven traits [treɪt; treɪ] that successful CEOs can learn from 50 Shades of Grey: 
 
Be Resilient [rɪ'zɪlɪənt] 
Christian Grey may be private ['praɪvət] about some aspects of his personal life, but his rags-to-riches story (born to a crack addict mother, adopted by a well-to-do ['weltə'du:] Seattle family, a billionaire[bɪljə'neə] by the age of 25) is well known. His journey['dʒɜːnɪ] from poverty ['pɒvətɪ] to success taught[tɔːt] him resilience—a lesson he took into his bedroom, too. Resilience is one of the most important traits of a good corporate['kɔːp(ə)rət] leader, because business lore[lɔː] is filled with the stories of slow climbs to success, including the one about how Airbnb’s founders had to resort [rɪ'zɔːt] to selling novelty['nɒv(ə)ltɪ] cereal['sɪərɪəl] to keep the lights on as they grew their business. The best CEOs know that the best businesses are worth pursuing and that failure is just another lesson on the road to success. As Steve Jobs said, “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” 
 
Be Passionate ['pæʃ(ə)nət]  
Passion is what drives the best companies. As Zappos founder Tony Hsieh said, “Stop chasing ['tʃeisiŋ] the money and start chasing the passion.” A passionate leader can recruit [rɪ'kruːt]equally passionate team members, raise capital from driven investors, and keep their teams willing and able to put in the long hours necessary to build a successful company. But passions can also cloud a CEO’s judgment, lead to poor choices, and mislead a leader about their business prospects. Christian Grey has very singular passions, but keeps them completely controlled and entirely [ɪn'taɪəlɪ; en-] out of the workplace— sublimating his passions into career drive. Great corporate leaders know how to balance passions, letting them drive a company, but keeping them in check and in perspective. 
 
Find the Right Team Members 
When Christian first met Ana, he almost instantly['ɪnst(ə)ntlɪ] knew that he wanted her to become his, shall we say, team member. He knew that she had certain desirabledɪ'zaɪərəb(ə)l] characteristics that  would make her a valuable partner. To recruit [rɪ'kruːt] her, he set about learning everything he could about her before wooing[wuː] her on to his, um, team. Careful recruiting is the key to growing a successful business. The best leaders know that they alone don’t have all the required skills to build and run a successful company. They must self-assess [ə'ses] their own skill sets and then use that information to hire people with skills that will complement['kɒmplɪm(ə)nt] and buttress ['bʌtrɪs]their own. CEOs also need to know their team members’ strengths and weaknesses and take the time to learn what makes them tick, what makes them miserable['mɪz(ə)rəb(ə)l], and what makes them excited. This knowledge can help a CEO — or someone like Christian Grey —know which skill to apply in which situation to ensure success. 
 
Commit to Learning 
Over the course of Fifty Shades, Christian makes a commitment not just to Ana, but to learning how to be in a committed relationship. Competent ['kɒmpɪt(ə)nt] CEOs know that they don’t know  everything. As companies grow, the most thoughtful and effective leaders make learning an active part of their day, seeking advice, consulting with experts, and encouraging  their team to do the same. If learning becomes an active part of corporate culture, companies can stay agile['ædʒaɪl] and responsive in a quickly changing environment. 
 
Be A Constructive[kən'strʌktɪv] Critic['krɪtɪk]  
One of the most important skills for a CEO to have is the ability to be great at difficult conversations. While in Fifty Shades Christian’s most challenging conversations were usually held in the bedroom and not the boardroom, CEOs do need to be able to have uncomfortable talks with employees, investors and themselves. Because of his capable ['keɪpəb(ə)l] way with words, Christian was able to tell Anastasia[,ænə'steizjə; ,ɑ:nə'stɑ:ʃə] about his singular sexual ['sekʃʊəl; -sjʊəl] proclivities[prə'klɪvɪtɪ], and offer constructive criticism ['krɪtɪsɪz(ə)m] so she could learn and grow as a companion[kəm'pænjən]. Good leaders need to be ready and able to deliver [dɪ'lɪvə] critical ['krɪtɪk(ə)l] feedback ['fiːdbæk] in a way that that is encouraging and not demoralizing [di'mɔrəlaiziŋ] ; to give feedback that teaches the recipient[rɪ'sɪpɪənt] how to succeed. 
 
Be Risk Aware (and Tolerant ['tɒl(ə)r(ə)nt]) 
Building a business—or a relationship—is all about taking risk. The best CEOs recognize risks and figure['fɪgə] out ways to manage it whether bringing in oversight ['əʊvəsaɪt] teams or using scenario[sɪ'nɑːrɪəʊ] planning to devise[dɪ'vaɪz] strategies['strætɪdʒɪ] in advance or, even better, devise ways to leverage['liːv(ə)rɪdʒ; 'lev(ə)rɪdʒ] risk and turn it into opportunity. Still, there is being risk tolerant and there is taking unnecessary risks that can jeopardize['dʒepədaɪz] a business. While Christian says, “risky decisions have never bothered['bʌðəd] me,” he did have Anastasia Steele sign a Non Disclosure[dɪs'kləʊʒə] Agreement before revealing[rɪ'viːlɪŋ] his big secret. 
 
Be Respectful [rɪ'spek(t)fʊl; -f(ə)l] 
A good CEO knows that respect is something you earn: from the customer, employees, investors and, eventually, the industry['ɪndəstrɪ] at large. To earn respect, listen to people, treat your employees like people; not like subordinates [sə'bɔːdɪnət], work hard, recognize and reward[rɪ'wɔːd] effort and be genuine ['dʒenjʊɪn] . Treating people with respect also breeds happiness and the happier your customers are the more likely they will stay, grow and refer others to your company. Same goes for team members, investors, and, of course, boyfriends or girlfriends. Christian tried to be respectful ['dʒenjʊɪn] of Anastasia’s boundaries, but his refusal [rɪ'fjuːz(ə)l] to compromise['kɒmprəmaɪz] about their relationship resulted in [SPOILER ALERT] her leaving him in tears at the end of the book. While Christian had two sequels ['siːkw(ə)l] in which to make it up to Anastasia, businesses may not get a second or third chance to woo a customer back. Treating everyone with respect  from the get-go is a far more productive[prə'dʌktɪv] choice. 
 
生词:
 
endearing [in'diəriŋ]
adj. 可爱的;讨人喜欢的;引起爱情的
 
 
purchase ['pə:tʃəs]
n. 购买;紧握;起重装置vt. 购买;赢得vi. 购买东西
 
 
launch [lɔ:ntʃ, lɑ:ntʃ]
vt. 发射(导弹、火箭等);发起,发动;使…下水vi. 开始;下水;起飞n. 发射;发行,投放市场;下水;汽艇
 
 
sustainable [sə'steinəbl]
adj. 可以忍受的;足可支撑的;养得起的
 
 
recruit [ri'kru:t]
n. 招聘;新兵;新成员vt. 补充;聘用;征募;使…恢复健康vi. 复原;征募新兵;得到补充;恢复健康
 
 
passionate ['pæʃənit]
adj. 热情的;热烈的,激昂的;易怒的
 
译文:
 
在E.L.•詹姆斯的畅销书《五十度灰》(Fifty Shades of Grey)中,克里斯蒂安•格雷最讨人喜欢的品质之一在于他是一名非常成功的商人。他甚至可能已经兑现了自己的49度灰色性格。 27岁的格雷从哈佛大学退学后在西雅图成立了自己的公司。根据詹姆斯的博客介绍,格雷拥有“30岁以下最成功美国商人”这一显赫头衔——他没有入选《财富》“40位40岁以下商业精英”榜单,而且永远也不可能入选,因为他是虚构人物——并被评为美国五大CEO之一。格雷企业控股有限公司最初靠借来的100,000美元起步,短短几年就发展成为一家价值数十亿美元的大公司。虽然格雷控股的具体性质依旧是一个谜,但该公司网站声称它是“通信技术、可持续能源和智能系统开发领域的世界领导者”。此外,该公司还致力于并购扩张,往往会收购一些表现不佳的公司,然后进行改造,帮助其走上正轨。虽然克里斯蒂安•格雷是一位虚构人物,但他在董事会和床上的成功,依旧能够让我们学到一些领导之道。
 
下面是成功CEO们可以从《五十度灰》中学到的七种品质:
 
    有韧性
 
    克里斯蒂安•格雷努力保持私人生活某些方面的私密性,但他白手起家(生母吸食可卡因成瘾,格雷后来被西雅图一个小康家庭收养,25岁便成为亿万富翁)的故事已经家喻户晓。这段由贫穷到成功的历程让他获得了坚韧不拔的品质——他也将这种特质带到了床上。韧性是一位优秀公司领导人最重要的品质之一,因为大多数商界传奇人物都是缓慢地攀登上成功顶峰的,比如房屋租赁公司Airbnb创始人在发展业务的同时,不得不依靠出售新奇的谷物早餐来维持运营。最优秀的CEO知道,最好的业务值得努力去追求,失败只是成功路上的又一次教训。正如史蒂夫•乔布斯所说:“仔细观察大多数一夜成功的故事,你就会发现,主人公都经历了长时间的积累。”
 
    有激情
 
    激情是优秀公司发展的推动力。购鞋网站Zappos的创始人谢家华曾经说过:“停止追逐金钱,开始追逐激情吧。”一位有激情的领导者可以招聘同样富有激情的团队成员,从驱动型投资者那里获得资金,使团队愿意并且能够投入足够多的时间来打造一家成功的公司。但激情也可能蒙蔽CEO的判断,导致他们做出糟糕的选择,让领导者对公司的前景产生错误的想法。克里斯蒂安•格雷有着非凡的激情,但他能够完全控制这种激情,不在工作当中爆发——他将激情升华为职业驱动力。出色的公司领导者清楚如何平衡激情,利用激情推动公司发展,同时能够控制和运用好这种激情。
 
    找到合适的团队成员
 
    克里斯蒂安与安娜初次见面时,可以说,他几乎瞬间便确定他想要她成为他的团队成员。他知道安娜具备某些合适的特质,这些特质可以让她成为一名有价值的伙伴。为了聘用她,他开始着手了解有关她的一切,然后才劝诱她加入他的团队。谨慎招聘是打造一家成功公司的关键。最优秀的领导者清楚他们不可能具备建立和经营一家成功公司所需要的所有必要技能。他们必须自我评估自己的技能,然后利用这些信息招聘具备这些技能的人,作为对他们的补充和支持。CEO也需要了解团队成员的优点和缺点,并拿出时间来了解哪些岗位能让他们发挥作用,哪些会让他们痛苦,又有哪些会让他们感到兴奋。这些知识可以帮助CEO或者像克里斯蒂安•格雷这样的人,了解在什么情况下使用什么能力,以确保成功。
 
    致力于学习
 
    在书中,克里斯蒂安不仅对安娜做出了承诺,还致力于学习如何处理这种伴侣关系。好的CEO知道他们并非万事通。随着公司的发展,最有想法、最有效率的领导者会将学习作为日常工作的一部分,寻求建议,向专家咨询,同时鼓励团队成员也这么做。如果学习可以成为公司文化中积极的一面,公司就能在快速变化的环境中保持灵活和敏感。
 
    做一名建设性的批评者
 
    CEO最重要的技能之一,是擅长进行困难的对话。在书中,克里斯蒂安最具挑战性的对话往往发生在卧室,而不是会议室,但CEO们确实需要有能力与员工、投资者和自己进行令人不适的对话。正是由于他有极好的口才,所以他才能告诉安娜斯塔莎自己独特的性癖好,并提供建设性的批评,让她可以学习,并成为他的伴侣。好的领导者应该以鼓舞人心而非令人泄气的方式提供批评意见;他们的反馈应该教会被批评者如何成功。
 
    有风险意识(并具备风险承受能力)
 
    建立一家公司或一种关系,就是承担风险。最优秀的CEO能够意识到风险,并找出管理风险的方法,比如设立监督团队,或利用情景规划提前制定策略,更有效的方式是想办法将风险转化为机遇。此外,风险承受能力也很有必要,并且不要承担可能危害公司发展的风险。    虽然克里斯蒂安说:“我从来不会为有风险的决定烦恼,”但他在揭开自己最大的秘密之前,还是要求安娜斯塔莎•斯蒂尔签署了保密协议。
 
    尊重别人
 
    好的CEO明白,必须争取客户、员工、投资者和整个行业的尊重。而要赢得尊重,你要学会倾听,要像对待普通人一样对待自己的员工,而不是永远一副高高在上的架势;努力工作,认可和奖励员工的工作,真诚待人。尊重他人也可以带来快乐,而你的客户越快乐,就越可能留下来,与你的公司一起发展,并将你推荐给其他人。团队成员、投资者以及男女朋友之间同样如此。克里斯蒂安尽量尊重安娜斯塔莎的界限,但他拒绝在两人的关系中妥协,最终导致(小小剧透一下)她流着泪离开了他。尽管在后面的两本续集中,克里斯蒂安与安娜重归于好,但在商业中,一家公司可能不会有第二或第三次机会去赢回客户。从最开始便以尊敬的态度对待所有人,才是更有成效的选择。(财富中文网)
 

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