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英语新闻:《纸牌屋》只有阴暗面?对不起,你的打开方式不对

2015-03-24    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:《纸牌屋》只有阴暗面?对不起,你的打开方式不对

英语新闻:

As many of us start binge watching the third season of Netflix’s House of Cards, which aired last week, it’s clear that top dogs from Washington to Silicon Valley and everywhere in between can identify, at least to some extent, with the main character, Frank Underwood. The scheming politico obsessed with keeping his post in the Oval Office has few, if any, friends, and countless enemies and frenemies, but viewers actually have much to learn from Underwood.

Even though he would probably have said of this piece, “If you need a magazine to tell you how to be a good leader, then you don’t belong in the leader’s chair at all,” the show serves as a rich source of leadership advice for ambitious men and women looking to navigate and conquer the corridors of power — not just in politics, but in the business world, too.

So here are 5 leadership lessons from House of Cards:

Never leave your wingman (or woman)

A central arc of House of Cards is the love-hate relationship between Frank and his wife Claire, who represent the ultimate yin and yang of a power partnership – two quirky souls who echo each other’s neuroses and potential to help the partnership reach great heights. Yet when either of them feels abandoned, that glorious marriage quickly turns into a destructive dance of betrayal. In the current season, Frank strips Claire of her ambassadorship to the UN for his own gain. Even though she agrees, it sows the seed of distrust between the two and risks losing Frank his only real ally and confidant, not to mention his biggest source of moral strength. So remember that no matter what the stakes or what happens, never leave your wingman (or woman). Flying solo may be satisfying for the ego but a great co-pilot can help you weather much bigger storms and fly much further than you can by yourself.

Be careful what you reveal, even to your friends

In the first two seasons, Frank confides sensitive information to an investigative reporter who is willing to help him destroy his opponents on Capitol Hill. But when the reporter becomes a threat to himself, he has to take drastic measures to silence her. In the new season, he fears that a former right-hand man might betray him by selling incriminating information about Claire to a political challenger. When playing power games, indiscretions are never a good idea. That doesn’t mean you should harm anyone to protect yourself, but smart leaders know that even trusted friends can sometimes become enemies, and therefore hold their cards close to their vest at all times. Unlike Frank, don’t give ammunition to anyone who could use it against you on a rainy day, even if the short-term gain is tempting.

Treat your subordinates with respect

One of the guilty pleasures of the show is watching Frank be the natural tyrant that he is and keep everyone, especially his underlings, under strict control. It’s a fantasy most of us have but never get to live out (thankfully). It also, however, has its limits, which Frank discovers to his detriment when he publicly humiliates his choice for vice presidential running mate and the former protégé turns against him in a spectacular way. The lesson here is that while it’s necessary for leaders to exert authority and demand loyalty, it’s also necessary for them to treat everyone with respect and dignity. The moment that line is crossed, even the most diehard of supporters can become bitter nemeses, and even the most capable of leaders can’t perform without a dedicated team.


Be a problem solver

Frank Underwood doesn’t waste much time feeling bad about setbacks. In a perfect display of this crucial ability of a leader to find solutions instead of complaining about problems, when his party’s leadership refuses to back him for a Presidential run in 2016, Frank turns the tables by dropping his immediate demand and focusing all his energy on an ambitious plan to create jobs for every American. His calculation is simple but potent. When confronted with an impossible obstacle, he decides to walk around the obstacle (by courting voters directly) instead of trying to punch his way through it. This episode, like others in previous seasons, demonstrates clearly that Frank is not just resilient but capable of finding even greater opportunity in a setback, as his America Works plan evolves into a potential legacy (if not necessarily a home run) over the course of the season. That’s great leadership.

Nothing lasts forever

In clever symbolism, the third season of House of Cards shows Buddhist monks painstakingly create an intricate and beautiful mosaic with colored powder, only to wipe away the whole display when they’re done. This mirrors Frank and Claire’s relationship, which attains great complexity and beauty at times, only to crumble a part at others

The fact that nothing lasts forever is one that Frank doesn’t grasp. He alternately stumbles and blazes through his career, but is unable to find balance. He makes unnecessary mistakes because at some level he maintains the illusion of immortality. The best leaders realize that they are only as good as their performance and that arrogance is a fatal flaw. It makes you careless, self-centered, non-compromising, and prone to impulsive action – which in turn can lose you allies, create more enemies, and pave the way for your downfall.

Without giving away anything, Frank finds himself at just such a crossroads by the end of this season. The question is whether he will modify his ways or continue to hurtle obliviously, possibly to nowhere? But then, Frank Underwood would probably never read an article like this, so what will happen in season four is anyone’s guess.

Sanjay Sanghoee is a business commentator. He has worked at investment banks Lazard Freres and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, as well as at hedge fund Ramius Capital. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

binge: n.饮酒作乐; 狂饮,狂闹; 放纵

top dog: n.胜利者,夺魁者,主要人物

frenemy: n.指伪装成朋友的敌人或者互相竞争的同伴

neuroses: n.<医>神经机能病,神经官能症( neurosis的名词复数 )

confidant: n.心腹朋友,知己

drastic: adj.激烈的; 猛烈的; (法律等)严厉的

detriment: n.损害,伤害; 造成损害的事物 

protégé: n.被保护者,门徒

painstakingly: adv.刻苦地,煞费苦心地; 精心

crumble: vt.把…弄成碎屑; 弄碎

stumble: vi.跌跌撞撞地走,蹒跚; 结巴; 弄错,失足; 偶然碰见

hurtle: v.猛冲; 猛烈碰撞

(财富中文网)


让众多粉丝翘首以盼的Netflix公司热播剧《纸牌屋》第三季终于在上周开播,而不论是华盛顿、硅谷,还是其他地方的当权派,肯定会与主角弗兰克•安德伍德产生一定程度的共鸣。这位善耍阴谋诡计的政客费尽心机想要保住他的总统宝座,他没有什么朋友,却有无数的敌人和友敌,但事实上,观众们可以从安德伍德身上学到许多道理。

如果安德伍德看到这篇文章的话,他可能会说:“如果你要让一本杂志来告诉你如何成为优秀的领导者,这表明你并不适合做这个位子。”尽管如此,不论是政坛还是商界,那些雄心勃勃,一心想要进入和征服权力中心的男男女女们,都可以从这部电视剧中发现很多领导之道。

下面是《纸牌屋》中蕴含的5条领导之道:

永远不要丢下你的事业伙伴

《纸牌屋》的剧情核心是弗兰克和妻子克莱尔之间爱恨交织的关系。夫妻二人分别代表了权力合作关系中的两面——两个诡诈的灵魂彼此呼应着对方的神经症和潜力,让这种合作关系达到了不起的高度。而一旦其中一方感觉被对方抛弃,这桩美好的婚姻很快就会变成毁灭性的背叛。在第三季中,弗兰克为了自身利益剥夺了克莱尔的联合国大使职位。虽然她接受了这样的安排,但这件事却在两人之间播下了不信任的种子,令弗兰克面临失去唯一真正的同盟和知己的风险,而且克莱尔还是弗兰克最大的道德力量来源。所以,切记不论面临怎样的风险或发生什么,不要离开另一半。独自飞翔或许自我感觉良好,但一位出色的“副驾驶”却可以帮助你经受住更大的风暴,让你飞得更远。

要严守秘密,即便对你的好友

在前两季中,弗兰克向一位调查记者透露了一些敏感信息,这位记者愿意帮助他击败国会山里的对手。但后来这位记者倒戈,变成了对他自己的威胁,他不得不采用极端的方法让她闭嘴。在新一季中,他担心之前的得力助手可能会背叛他,向政治竞争对手出卖关于克莱尔的归罪证据。在权力游戏当中,不明智的行为从来都不是好主意。这并不意味着你应该伤害他人来保护自己,但聪明的领导者都清楚,即便最值得信任的朋友有时候也会变成敌人,所以要收好自己的底牌。不要像弗兰克那样,为任何人提供倒戈相向的武器,即便面对诱人的短期好处。

尊重下属

这部剧集给观众的一种罪恶快感就是看着弗兰克这位天生的暴君,如何严格控制所有人,尤其是他的部下。大多数人都有过这样的幻想但却从未付诸实施(谢天谢地)。这种控制也有局限性,弗兰克曾公开羞辱他的副总统竞选伙伴,最终这位曾经的门徒以一种惊人的方式背叛了他,并给他造成了损失。这告诉我们,虽然领导者有必要展示权威和要求忠诚,但他们同样应该给予每个人必要的尊重。一旦越线,即便最坚定的支持者也会变成充满仇恨的复仇者。如果没有一支忠诚的团队,最强大的领导者也寸步难行。

做一位问题解决者

弗兰克•安德伍德从来不会因为一时的挫折而把太多时间浪费在沮丧上面。当他的政党拒绝支持他参加2016年总统竞选时,弗兰克不再直接提出要求,转而把全部身心投入到为全体美国人创造就业的宏伟计划当中,最终扭转了局面,完美展示了一名领导者最关键的能力——寻找解决方案而不是抱怨问题。他的考虑非常简单但极其有效。在面临难以解决的困难时,他决定绕过障碍(直接取悦选民),而不是尝试冲破障碍。与前两季一样,这一季同样证明在面对挫折的时候,弗兰克不仅有韧性,而且可以从中找到更好的机会,比如在这一季,他的“美国就业”计划便成为一项潜在的宝贵遗产(甚至是一次伟大的胜利)。这便是优秀的领导力。

没有什么是可以永恒存在的

《纸牌屋》第三季采用独特的象征主义手法,展示了佛教僧侣们如何呕心沥血用彩沙创作错综复杂、精美异常的坛城沙画,僧侣们在绘制完成之后便将这些精美的图案扫掉。弗兰克与克莱尔之间的关系与此极其相似,这种关系的复杂和美妙程度曾经达到极高的境界, 结果却陷入崩溃。弗兰克并未理解“没有什么可以永恒存在”这句话。在职场中,他一路横冲直撞,却无法找到平衡。他犯下不必要的错误,因为在某种程度上,他依旧抱有不朽的幻想。最出色的领导者会意识到,他们的好坏取决于自己的表现,自大傲慢是致命的弱点。自大会让你疏忽、以自我为中心、不懂妥协,可能做出冲动的决定——你会因此失去同盟,树立更多敌人,一路走向毁灭。

无意剧透,但在本季结尾,弗兰克终会站在这样的十字路口。问题是他会改变自己的方式,还是依旧懵懵懂懂地横冲直撞下去,最终或许一事无成?但到那时候,弗兰克•安德伍德不会有机会读到这样一篇文章,所以谁也说不准第四季会发生什么。



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