2019年3月14日 星期四

Can a Horrible Boss Be a Great Leader? 惡老闆會是好的領導者嗎?

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2019/03/14 第255期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Can a Horrible Boss Be a Great Leader? 惡老闆會是好的領導者嗎?
Daniel Barenboim Seemed Untouchable. Now He's Accused of Bullying. 全球出名指揮家之一 指揮大師巴倫波被指霸凌
Can a Horrible Boss Be a Great Leader? 惡老闆會是好的領導者嗎?
文/Bret Stephens

On June 26, 1940, as Britain was girding for the onslaught of the Luftwaffe after the fall of France, Clementine Churchill wrote her husband, Winston, an admonishing note.


"There is a danger of your being generally disliked by your colleagues and subordinates because of your rough, sarcastic and overbearing manner," she warned the prime minister, who was otherwise preoccupied by the prospect of imminent Nazi invasion, a scheming foreign secretary, a restive backbench and the absence of material support from the United States.


"I have noticed a deterioration in your manner, and you are not so kind as you used to be," she continued. "It is for you to give the orders and if they are bungled — except for the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker — you can sack anyone and everyone. Therefore with this terrific power you must combine urbanity, kindness and if possible Olympic calm."


Clementine concluded by citing a French proverb, "One can reign over hearts only by keeping one's composure." Winston got the message and found ways to make amends. As his private secretary, Jock Colville, later recalled, "When he was at No. 10 there was always laughter in the corridors, even in the darkest and most difficult times."


The Battle of Britain was not decided because Churchill chose to behave better. But given his indispensability at the moment of crisis, it might have been lost if he hadn't won the confidence and love of those who made the victory possible.


The subject of bad bosses is again in the news thanks to Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator, Democratic presidential aspirant, and, as a recent story in the Times made clear, the living antithesis of whatever "Minnesota Nice" is supposed to be. She throws binders at underlings. She makes them wash her dishes. She suspects office moles. She attempts to sabotage the job prospects of those who want to resign. She reproaches her staff with her own self-pity.


On a trip to South Carolina, forkless, she makes an aide wash her comb after she's used it to eat a salad — but apparently not before.


Though the senator has her defenders — 61 former staffers signed a public letter supporting her — the essential truth of the Times' story is attested by the fact that for years she has had among the highest rates of staff turnover in the Senate. Klobuchar admits to being "tough" and having "high expectations." But the behavior described by The Times isn't tough. It's horrible.

儘管有人為這位參議員辯護,有61名舊日部屬簽署聯名公開信支持她,但本報報導的基本真實性可由下列事實加以佐證 ,亦即她多年來一直是手下工作人員流動率最高的參議員之一。克羅布查承認自己「強硬」而且「要求很高」,然而本報報導中所描述的行為卻不是強硬,而是惡劣。

Anyone who's had a horrible boss knows the difference between tough and horrible — between leaders who set high bars and those who administer petty humiliations.




而horrible跟terrible之間的區別在於,前者形容的事情可能讓你感到不舒服或厭惡,但不會感到害怕;後者則指令人長久、難以忍受的驚恐之事,而前者程度通常較後者強烈,例如I've seen terrible movies, but this one is so horrible.(我看過很糟的電影,但這部實在太糟了。)

文中片語make amends表示「改正、補償」之意,後面常加上介系詞for來指要改進或彌補的事物,例如He has made amends for ruining our party.(他已為搞砸我們的聚會賠罪了。)

至於Olympic calm一詞則出自荷馬史詩《奧德賽》,用來形容一種絕對平靜的狀態,而Minnesota nice則指的是美國明尼蘇達州人民熱情友善的待人方式,特徵包括待人以禮,將人際衝突降到最低,維持社會的和諧。

Daniel Barenboim Seemed Untouchable. Now He's Accused of Bullying. 全球出名指揮家之一 指揮大師巴倫波被指霸凌
文/Alex Marshall and Christ

Daniel Barenboim, one of the world's most celebrated conductors, is known for doing what he wants.


Barenboim, 76, has long been considered untouchable in Berlin, where he is music director of the Staatsoper — the city's premier opera house — and principal conductor for life of its orchestra, the Staatskapelle. He is close to city politicians and has used his influence to ensure the opera company receives a healthy annual subsidy of 50.4 million euros ($57.4 million) from Berlin's government.


But cracks have begun to emerge in the conductor's image as Barenboim has been accused of bullying and humiliating members of the Staatskapelle. The accusations have been reported widely in German media, and there have been calls for politicians to intervene.


The New York Times has communicated with seven former or current members of the Staatskapelle. All highlighted examples of Barenboim's behavior that they said was bullying and went beyond what was normal for a conductor.


Barenboim dismissed the accusations. In an email exchange with The Times, he denied bullying anyone. "Bullying and humiliating someone," he wrote, "implies the intention of wanting to cause someone hurt, of taking pleasure in it, even. This is not in my character."


Highhanded behavior was common in conductors of the last century, with maestros like Arturo Toscanini and Georg Solti known as harsh taskmasters.


"The issue is not personal, but a question of how orchestras are run in the 21st century," Martin Reinhardt, a trombonist in the Copenhagen Philharmonic who played in the Staatskapelle and has openly criticized Barenboim's behavior, said in a statement.


Barenboim said that the accusations were part of a campaign to stop him from continuing as music director of the Staatsoper. "The fact these allegations have surfaced now, just as I am in negotiations about renewing my contract beyond 2022," he wrote in the email exchange, "makes me wonder: If people were indeed hurt, as they claim to have been, why speak about it now, at this precise moment?


Barenboim acknowledged that the world is changing. "That is generally a good thing," he said. But, he added, "an orchestra cannot function if every tempo, every dynamic is put up for a democratic vote. Somebody has to lead, take decisions and be ultimately responsible."


預防腦中風 該怎麼做?

儘管經濟疲弱,台灣的寵物市場正蓬勃發展。平均而言,台灣的家庭一年收養超過 250 萬隻的小狗與小貓,代表寵物飼主的年增長率超過 10%── 這個數字遠超過 1.5% 的人類年生育率。
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