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双语:Schumpeter: Here Comes Super Boss
发布时间:2017年09月28日     Economist 译  
来源: 英语世界
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Schumpeter: Here Comes Super Boss

熊彼特:超人老板来了

 

A cult of extreme physical endurance is taking root among executives

对极端体能和耐力的狂热崇拜正在管理者中扎根

 

In a crowded field, a contender for most absurd business-related tweet of the year must surely be the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its “14 things successful people do before breakfast”. They get up with the lark, avers the article being promoted in the tweet. They exercise furiously. They spend time on a “personal-passion project”. (“Novel-writing and art-making are easy to skip when you’ve been in meetings all day.”) They connect with their spouses. (“What could be better than pre-dawn sex to energise you for the day?”) They make their beds (because this is supposedly correlated with increased productivity). They spend quality time with the family. They network over coffee. They meditate to clear their minds. And so on. But they still find time to work on an important business project.

 

在“年度最荒诞商业相关推文”这一竞争激烈的领域,世界经济论坛所发的“成功人士早餐前会做的14件事”必会成为个中翘楚。他们像百灵鸟一样早起,阅读推文推荐的文章。他们疯狂地锻炼身体。他们花时间做“自己热爱的项目”(“如果已经开了一整天的会,写小说和艺术创作这类事自然就作罢了。”) 他们与爱侣缠绵(“还有什么比黎明前的性爱更能让你一天活力四射?”)他们整理床铺(因为据说这和提高工作效率密切相关)。他们和家人享受天伦之乐。他们趁喝咖啡时社交。他们通过冥想理清思路。诸如此类。但他们仍然能找出时间专注于重要的商业项目。

 

The tweet was quickly drowned in ridicule. One commenter said this represented a busy month for him. Another noted that it appears successful people don’t take showers or get dressed. But for all its inanity, the WEF’s tweeting does point to something real: a growing cult of extreme performance among the Davos crowd. In the pre-industrial world, elites abided by a code of conspicuous leisure. In the era of gentlemanly capitalism, they replaced this with a code of effortless superiority. Today’s code is all about effortful superiority: the successful deserve their success because they get on the treadmill and sweat.

 

这篇推文很快淹没在嘲讽中。有人评论说文章展现的是他一个月的忙碌生活。还有人评论说原来成功人士不洗澡也不换衣服。不过尽管空洞浅薄,世界经济论坛的这篇推文的确指出了一个事实:达沃斯帮对极致表现的狂热崇拜正愈演愈烈。在工业化之前的世界,精英人士遵循的是一套炫耀式休闲的准则。到了绅士资本主义时期,取而代之的是一套不费力优越性准则。而今天的准则是劳心费力的优越性:成功者理应成功,因为他们在跑步机上挥汗如雨。

 

Successful people make a great fuss about getting up early. Laura Vanderkam, a “time-management expert” who inspired the WEF’s tweet, says that, in a straw poll of 20 executives, 90% woke up before 6am on weekdays. Brett Yormark, the boss of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, is said to get up at 3.30am; and Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, at 4am. Bob Iger of Disney reportedly rises at 4.30am; whereas Jack Dorsey apparently slouches in bed until 5.30am, despite running two companies, Twitter and Square. Your columnist once had a 7am breakfast with Michael Milken, the inventor of junk bonds. Offered a sticky bun, Mr. Milken declined on the ground that “I’ve already had a pre-breakfast breakfast with a Nobel prize-winner.”

 

成功人士总爱念叨早起这件事。启发世界经济论坛这篇推文的“时间管理专家”劳拉·万德坎姆称,对20位管理者的一次非正式调查显示他们当中90%的人工作日会在六点前起床。布鲁克林篮网队的老板布雷特·约马克据说凌晨三点半起床;百事公司的CEO卢英德凌晨四点起床。据报道迪士尼的鲍勃·艾格四点半起床;而杰克·多西显然要在床上赖到五点半,尽管他有TwitterSquare两家公司要经营。笔者曾有幸在早上7点与垃圾债券的创始人迈克尔·米尔肯共进早餐。米尔肯拒绝了给他的面包卷,理由是“早餐前我已经跟一位诺贝尔奖获得者用过早早餐了”。

 

An early start is followed by furious exercise. David Cush, the CEO of Virgin America, is on his exercise bike shortly after getting up at 4.15am. Tim Cook of Apple is in the gym at 5am. However strenuous the workout, it is often combined with other tasks. Mr. Cush reads, makes phone calls and listens to a sports-radio station while cycling. Mr. Iger once told the New York Times that, while exercising, “I look at e-mail. I surf the web. I watch a little TV, all at the same time.” And all while listening to music.

 

早起之后是疯狂的锻炼。维珍美国的CEO大卫·卡什早上四点一刻起床,紧接着骑健身自行车。苹果的库克早上五点去健身房。无论锻炼多么艰苦,通常都还附有其他任务。卡什在骑车时会阅读、打电话、听电台体育节目。艾格曾对《纽约时报》说,锻炼时,“我查看电子邮件,上网,看点电视,都是同时进行。”此外还会听音乐。

 

A striking number of bosses are going further and becoming devotees of extreme sports. John Rost, the president of Fiesta Insurance Franchise Corporation, has climbed the highest mountains on seven continents (the “seven summits”). Rick Davidson of Century 21 Real Estate spends his spare time climbing mountains, skydiving, scuba diving, racing NASCAR vehicles and flying fighter jets. Sir Rocco Forte of Rocco Forte Hotels and Michael Johnson of Herbalife are among the bosses who take part in regular “CEO Challenges”, in which they push themselves to their physical limits through such things as triathlons and 100-mile mountain-biking trails.

 

更有甚者,数量惊人的老板们正成为极限运动的拥趸。嘉年华保险公司总裁约翰·罗斯特已经登上七大洲最高的山峰(即所谓“七高峰”)。21世纪地产的瑞克·戴维森利用业余时间登山、跳伞、水肺潜水、参加纳斯卡车赛、开飞机等。罗克福特酒店的罗克·福特爵士、康宝莱的迈克尔·约翰森和其他老板一起定期参加“CEO挑战赛”,其间他们会把自己逼到体能极限,例如做三项全能、百英里山地自行车赛等。

 

This cult of hyper-performance is nurtured by a growing army of personal trainers and yoga coaches who make their living by fine-tuning and de-stressing business leaders. For example, Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox, schedules an hour with a trainer twice a week at 6am. Business magazines bulge with articles on how to train like a Navy SEAL or how to achieve “cognitive fitness”. Business schools and corporate in-house “universities” compete to have the most expensive gyms. Deloitte’s new $300m training facility, near Dallas, Texas, has a 12,000 square-foot (1,100 square metres) fitness room whose classes start at dawn; and SAS, a software firm, has run a 90-day “leadership and energy for performance” programme for its high-flyers.

 

日益庞大的私人教练和瑜伽教练队伍助长了这种对超能表现的狂热崇拜。他们以帮商业领袖微调和减压为生。例如,施乐的CEO乌尔苏拉·伯恩斯和私教约定,每周两次早上6点开始一小时的训练。商业杂志里充斥着诸如“怎样像海豹突击队一样锻炼”或者“如何获得认知健康”之类的文章。商学院和企业内部“学院”争相打造最贵的健身房。德勤新的训练场靠近德州达拉斯,拥有12,000平方英尺(1,100平方米)的健身房,课程从黎明就开始;软件公司SAS曾为公司精英开展过为期90天名为“领导力和绩效所需活力”的项目。

 

Pill-popping

瘾君子

 

The cult of super-performance may now be spreading into more troubling areas. First, brushing privacy concerns aside, some companies are experimenting with using wearable devices to monitor their executives’ vital signs. One provider of such monitoring systems, Peak Health, lists Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and several hedge funds among its clients.

 

对超能表现的狂热崇拜现在可能正向更为麻烦的领域扩展。首先,有些公司正尝试用可穿戴设备监控高管们的生命体征,置隐私问题于不顾。这类监控系统的供应商之一Peak Health称高盛、美国银行和几家对冲基金都是它的客户。

 

Second, according to one CEO, several of his peers are now dabbling in mind-boosting drugs such as Modafinil and Ritalin, which aid concentration. This trend is likely to intensify: surveys of American university students suggest that one in six now use mind-boosting drugs to get through their exams, a habit they may continue in their subsequent careers. Once again business is learning from both the sporting and military spheres. Sports teams routinely use biometric devices to track their star athletes (and occasionally drugs to boost their performance). America’s armed forces are experimenting with “go pills” that help fighters function for long periods without sleep.

 

第二,某位CEO说,他的几位同事正试着服用莫达非尼和利他林之类的提神药物,帮助集中注意力。这一趋势可能会加剧:对美国大学生的调查显示目前有六分之一的人在考试期间使用提神药物,他们可能会在今后的工作中延续这一习惯。商业又一次向体育界和军事领域学习。运动队通常会使用生物特征检测设备追踪明星运动员的动向(偶尔会使用药物提升他们的表现)。美国的武装部队正在做实验,通过服用药物让士兵无需睡觉而长时间执行任务。

 

It is time to call a halt on all this hyperactivity, before it gets out of hand. There is no doubt that many bosses have heavy weights resting on their shoulders. But are they likely to make these decisions better if they arrive at work exhausted and sleep-deprived? Working around the clock is probably a sign that you are incapable of delegating, not that you are an invincible hero. Frenetic multi-tasking – surfing the web while watching TV while listening to music – is a formula for distraction, rather than good management. And bosses who think of themselves as supermen and superwomen can weaken their companies. As Peter Drucker, a management guru, once pointed out, “No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organised in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.”

 

是时候在事情失控前叫停所有这些超能活动了。诚然,很多老板肩上的担子很重,但是如果开始上班时他们已经精疲力竭、睡眠不足,他们可能做出更好的决定吗?日以继夜地工作很可能是你不会放权的一种表现,而并不意味着你是无敌英雄。疯狂地一心多用,例如上网的时候既看电视又听音乐,只会让人三心二意,而不会造就良好的管理。认为自己是超人或女超人的老板可能会削弱他们的公司。正如管理学大师彼得·德鲁克曾经指出的那样,“如果需要天才或超人来管理,这样的机构不可能存活。机构的组织方式一定要让它能够在由普通人组成的领导层的管理下生存。”


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