Success and reward 成功与奖赏

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Image caption Success or luck?

媒體英語會帶大家一起學習 BBC 撰稿人在報道世界大事時常用到的單詞和短語。

社會往往對那些商業上的成功者給予獎賞,這其實並不好。真正應該受到讚頌的是那些具有才能但是並不成功的人。根據英國兩所大學的調查,成功者之所以成功往往同運氣有關。以下是BBC 記者 John McManus 的報道。

The message that society's top performers are not the most skilled and shouldn't be emulated, appears to be counter-intuitive. Yet this report says that those who appear to have achieved the most in their particular field of expertise, are often the beneficiaries of luck, an external, random force.

The authors of this study point to the example of Bill Gates, the co-founder of the computing giant Microsoft, and one of the world's richest men. They say that although he is undoubtedly talented, he achieved his initial success because his affluent family were able to send him to a school where programming was on the curriculum - at a time when most Americans didn't have access to computers. Family connections also helped, according to Professor Chengwei Liu from Warwick University Business School.

That kind of luck is often at work in the lives of the most successful, argues Mr Liu, which means their achievements aren't completely attributable to their own skill. Instead, he advocates looking at those whom he calls 'the second best'. They aren't relying on lucky chances, so their performances offer an opportunity to measure real success. The study also argues that there are dangers if colleagues try to emulate the achievements of those who've been overly fortunate. This could explain the global Banking crisis, says Professor Liu, who also believes that studying the lives of people such as Bill Gates for tips on reaching the top is fruitless. Of course, some academics argue that individuals can in fact create their own, lucky circumstances, through using personal contacts, and pursuing all available opportunities. This research though, says that because those with the highest salaries haven't completely earned them through skill, they should be taxed more heavily - which would be very bad luck.