亲爱的旁观者: 这是个有意思的问题，不过，如果不了解更多细节，这也是一个非常难以回答的问题。总部位于伦敦的全球广告和营销巨头萨奇广告公司（Saatchi & Saatchi）的副董事长理查德•海特纳指出：“在这个层级，接班计划应该是透明公开的。谁将出任下一任首席执行官不该是个让人惊讶的决定。”
他在自己的著作《顾问：阴影下的领导艺术》（Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows）中写道：“我决定出任副手，不再当那个永远在奋力工作、永远在做决策的首席执行官。当二把手是我的首选。事实证明这是我职业生涯中的最佳决策。”
“但对多数人来说，当二把手好像没什么出息，没法像一把手那么位高权重，也拿不到高不可攀的薪水。不过，二把手也不必承受跟最高职位相伴的无休无止、令人痛苦的压力，还能更好地掌控属于自己的时间，”他补充道。海特纳自己就利用空余时间在伦敦商学院（London Business School）教授市场营销。
Dear Annie: I’m curious about what you and your readers have to say about this situation. A close friend and colleague of mine—let’s call him Bob—was expecting, or at least hoping, to be named head of our division. Instead, the CEO position has gone to someone else who was also in the running, and Bob has just been offered the No. 2 job, reporting to the new chief.
I understand that it’s a disappointment, but he’s thinking about leaving the company, which I believe would be a big mistake. I’ve been trying to convince him that being second-in-command could be a huge opportunity for him, and well worth taking (at least for a couple of years), but I don’t think he’s listening. Your thoughts, please? — Concerned Bystander
Dear C.B.: Interesting question, and a tough one to answer without knowing a few more details. “At this level, succession planning should be transparent,” notes Richard Hytner, deputy chairman of London-based global advertising and marketing behemoth Saatchi & Saatchi. “Who is next in line to be CEO shouldn’t come as a surprise.”
The fact that it apparently did (at least to Bob) strikes Hytner as a bad sign. “Did Bob discuss his expectations with the CEO?” Hytner wonders. “If he came away from that conversation having been promised that the job was his, and it was then given to someone else, that is a serious enough breach of trust that he probably should quit and go elsewhere.”
If not, however, Hytner agrees with you that, although he may not realize it right now, Bob has just been given a terrific opportunity. Hytner has done a lot of thinking about the unique advantages of being No. 2: A few years ago, he voluntarily quit his job as CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Europe, Middle East, and Africa to become deputy chairman of the parent company.
“I decided to become a deputy instead of an all-singing, all-dancing, always-deciding CEO,” he writes in his book Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows. “Being second [was] my first choice. It proved the best one of my career.”
In Consiglieri (an Italian word for adviser or counselor that dates back to the Middle Ages but was made famous by The Godfather), he writes about two types of what he calls “C” executives: Those who have taken advantage of the No. 2 role to prepare themselves for the top job—think Tim Cook, who was Steve Jobs’ longtime deputy at Apple before becoming CEO—and those who value the position for its own sake.
Hytner is decidedly in the second camp. For one thing, he likes “having the time to think through a problem deeply, which most CEOs do not have,” he says. “If you are curious and contemplative by nature, and enjoy influencing strategy and events from behind the scenes, then there really is no better job.
“The problem is that being No. 2 looks like failure to many people,” he adds. “You don’t have the status and overt power, or the stratospherically high pay, of the top job. But you also don’t have the miserable, nonstop pressures that come with it. And you have a lot more control over your own time.” Hytner uses some of his freed-up schedule to teach marketing at London Business School.