2012年6月24日 星期日


今天NYT的弗里曼(就那位世界是平的、台灣健保有夠讚的作者)的專欄滿好看的,我覺得最後三段是最重要但也最難實現的,事實上我在這篇 裡想要表達的,也不過就是這樣的概念。



6/24 更新:表妹Wenny來信跟我說她因為覺得有趣,利用下午翻了這篇,慷慨地贊助了敝小格,所以我重貼了下面的中英對照。


June 23, 2012

The Rise of Popularism

TRAVELING in Europe last week, it seemed as if every other conversation ended with some form of this question: Why does it feel like so few leaders are capable of inspiring their people to meet the challenges of our day? There are many explanations for this global leadership deficit, but I’d focus on two: one generational, one technological.

上星期到歐洲旅行, 幾乎所有的對話都圍繞在這個話題打轉: 為什麼現在的領導者無法激勵人民勇於面對現今社會所面臨的挑戰呢? 關於這個全球領導力的匱乏有許多解釋, 但是我想聚焦在以下兩個成因:一個是世代面, 一個是技術面.

Let’s start with the technological. In 1965, Gordon Moore, the Intel co-founder, posited Moore’s Law, which stipulated that the processing power that could be placed on a single microchip would double every 18 to 24 months. It’s held up quite well since then. Watching European, Arab and U.S. leaders grappling with their respective crises, I’m wondering if there isn’t a political corollary to Moore’s Law: The quality of political leadership declines with every 100 million new users of Facebook and Twitter.

先從技術面談起. 1965年英特爾的創辦人之一Gordon Moore提出了摩爾定律,指出一個微型積體電路晶片的計算能力每十八到二十四個月就會倍增.這個定律至今依舊適用. 看看歐洲, 阿拉伯和美國的領袖努力的解決各自所面臨的危機, 我在想也許摩爾定律有個政治上的必然的結果:當臉書和推特每增加十億新的使用者時, 政治領袖的素質也隨之下降.

The wiring of the world through social media and Web-enabled cellphones is changing the nature of conversations between leaders and the led everywhere. We’re going from largely one-way conversations — top-down — to overwhelmingly two-way conversations — bottom-up and top-down. This has many upsides: more participation, more innovation and more transparency. But can there be such a thing as too much participation — leaders listening to so many voices all the time and tracking the trends that they become prisoners of them?

當世界透過社交媒體以及有上網功能的手機連結起來, 改變了領導者以及被領導人溝通對話的性質.從原本上對下, 單一方向的宣導, 變成壓倒性的雙方對話.這當然有許多好處, 更多參與性, 更多創新和透明化. 但是有沒有可能參與過了頭, 領導者傾聽太多了民眾的心聲或太專注於追蹤社會的趨勢而變成它們的囚犯?

This sentence jumped out from a Politico piece on Wednesday: “The Obama and Romney campaigns spend all day strafing each other on Twitter, all while decrying the campaign’s lack of serious ideas for a serious time. Yet at most junctures when they’ve had the opportunity to go big, they’ve chosen to go small.”

星期三Politico的一篇文章中提到這麼一句話: “歐巴馬和羅姆尼的競選團隊整天忙於在推特上砲轟對手,責難對方在這個關鍵的時代提不出有建設性的主意. 但是在大部分的緊要關頭, 卻又避重就輕.”

Indeed, I heard a new word in London last week: “Popularism.” It’s the über-ideology of our day. Read the polls, track the blogs, tally the Twitter feeds and Facebook postings and go precisely where the people are, not where you think they need to go. If everyone is “following,” who is leading?

上星期在倫敦我確實聽到了一個新字彙: “大眾化.” 這是我們時代的意識形態. 讀民調結果, 追蹤部落格, 累計推特和臉書的貼文, 並且直接到民眾所在的地方, 而不是領導者認為民眾應該前進的方向. 如果每個人都只是在 “跟隨”, 那麼誰在領導呢?

And then there is the exposure factor. Anyone with a cellphone today is paparazzi; anyone with a Twitter account is a reporter; anyone with YouTube access is a filmmaker. When everyone is a paparazzi, reporter and filmmaker, everyone else is a public figure. And, if you’re truly a public figure — a politician — the scrutiny can become so unpleasant that public life becomes something to be avoided at all costs. Alexander Downer, Australia’s former foreign minister, remarked to me recently: “A lot of leaders are coming under massively more scrutiny than ever before. It doesn’t discourage the best of them, but the ridicule and the constant interaction from the public is making it more difficult for them to make sensible, brave decisions.”

然後還有曝光的因素. 只要有手機, 人人都是狗仔; 只要有推特帳號, 人人都成了記者; 只要能連上YouTube, 人人都是製片家. 當人人都是狗仔, 是記者, 是製片家, 其他人就成為了公眾人物. 而如果你是真正的公眾人物, 一個政治家, 社會大眾對你的仔細觀察可能令人相當不愉快而使攤在陽光下的生活變成政治家不計成本都要避免的. 最近澳大利亞前首相就對我說, “很多領導者受到比以前更嚴格的檢視. 這並不會使他們沮喪, 但是大眾的嘲諷和從不間斷的與社會互動讓領袖們越來越難以做出理性勇敢的抉擇.”

As for the generational shift, we’ve gone from a Greatest Generation that believed in save and invest for the future to a Baby Boomer generation that believed in borrow and spend for today. Just contrast George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush. The father volunteered for World War II immediately after Pearl Harbor, was steeled as a leader during the cold war — a serious time, when politicians couldn’t just follow polls — and as president he raised taxes when fiscal prudence called for it. His Baby Boomer son avoided the draft and became the first president in U.S. history to cut taxes in the middle of not just one war, but two.

再談到世代的交替, 我們從一個偉大的世代, 相信儲蓄和投資未來, 變成今天的嬰兒潮世代, 相信借貸和消費. 布希父子就是很好的對比範例. 老布希在二戰珍珠港事件之後就志願從軍, 冷戰時期---一個關鍵的時代, 當時的政治家可不能只是關心民調---是個有著鋼鐵般堅硬的意志的領袖, 而且在國庫有正當需要的時候提高稅賦.他的嬰兒潮世代兒子避去了徵兵, 並且成為美國歷史上第一個在戰時減稅的總統. 而且不是一場戰爭喔, 是兩場!

When you have technologies that promote quick short-term responses and judgments, and when you have a generation that has grown used to short-term gratification — but you have problems whose solutions require long, hard journeys, like today’s global credit crisis or jobs shortage or the need to rebuild Arab countries from the ground up — you have a real mismatch and leadership challenge. Virtually all leaders today have to ask their people to share burdens, not just benefits, and to both study harder and work smarter just to keep up. That requires extraordinary leadership that has to start with telling people the truth.

當科技宣揚快又短視的回應及批判, 當這個世代的人們習於短暫的滿足, 但是所面臨的問題卻有著漫長且曲折的解決之路, 比如現今的全球信用危機和失業率高漲和重建阿拉伯國家, 領導者所面對的是一個(問題與解決方法)相當不協調的挑戰.幾乎所有的現代領導者都需要人民一起同甘共苦, 並且需要更努力用功和更聰明的工作才能跟得上時代的挑戰. 這超凡的領導力就從告訴民眾真相開始.

Dov Seidman, the author of the book “How” whose company LRN advises C.E.O.’s on leadership, has long argued that “nothing inspires people more than the truth.” Most leaders think that telling people the truth makes that leader vulnerable — either to the public or their opponents. They are wrong.

“How”這本書的作者, Dov Seidman, 他的公司專門提供CEO有關領導相關的建議, 長久以來一直提倡 “沒有甚麼比真相更能激勵人.” 多數的領導者認為真相會使自己變得容易遭受公眾或對手攻擊. 他們錯了.

“The most important part of telling the truth is that it actually binds you to people,” explains Seidman, “because when you trust people with the truth, they trust you back.” Obfuscation from leaders just gives citizens another problem — more haze — to sort through. “Trusting people with the truth is like giving them a solid floor,” adds Seidman. “It compels action. When you are anchored in shared truth, you start to solve problems together. It’s the beginning of coming up with a better path.”

“說出真相最重要的是讓你和人民產生羈絆,” Seidman如此解釋, “因為當你以真相取信於大眾, 大眾也會回應以信任.” “領導者的模糊只是給民眾另一個問題, 更多的迷障, 需要釐清.” “向民眾交代真相就好像給他們一個堅固的平台,”Seidman補充. “這會給人們行動力. 當你們被分享的真相支撐著, 你們就會開始一起解決問題. 這是找出正軌的第一步.

That is not what we’re seeing from leaders in America, the Arab world or Europe today. You’d think one of them, just one, would seize the opportunity to enlist their people in the truth: about where they are, what they are capable of, what plan they need to get there and what they each need to contribute to get on that better path. Whichever leader does that will have real “followers” and “friends” — not virtual ones.

這並不是我們所觀察到在美洲, 阿拉伯世界, 或歐洲的領導者的表現. 你以為會有一個, 就那麼一個, 會把握這個機會讓他們的民眾知道真相, 關於領導者本身的定位, 能力, 以及他們有怎樣的計畫達到未來的目標和民眾需要貢獻些甚麼來將國家導入正軌. 能夠真正做到這個的領導者才會有真正的, 而不是虛擬的, “跟隨者” 和 “朋友”.