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“工作伴侣”你有吗?这些创始人认为应该有

Erica Cerulo, Claire Mazur 2019年03月11日

两名或三名女士在领导职务上进行合作为职场的重塑铺平了道路,而且这种职场注重同情、相互支持和透明度这些品质。这些合作关系不仅仅改变了女性在职场中的意义,而且也改变了整个职场。

《工作伴侣》,作者艾瑞卡·塞璐珞与克莱尔·玛祖。概要:

艾瑞卡·塞璐珞与克莱尔·玛祖是时尚电子商务企业Of a Kind公司的创始人。该公司在2015年被Bed, Bath & Beyond收购,但这两位女士在成为合伙人之前就已经是密友。也正是基于这个原因,她们决定撰写一本有关职场友谊的书。这两位女士在本文中分析了以友谊为基础的合作实际上是可行的。下文节选自其新书《工作伴侣:助推商业成功的女性友谊力量》。

当被问及最令人骄傲的商业成就时,我们的答案一直都是“我们!”,也就是我们之间形成的友谊以及通过在Of a Kind公司共事建立的成功合作关系。它是我们2010年共同成立的一家时装电子商务公司。当我们近距离审视双方之间的这种关系所发挥的作用时,我们意识到,双方所形成的这种职业合作关系一直受益于女性友谊赖以存在的基本原则——亲密无间、敏感、热衷于合作以及相互支持。这些品质具有独特的力量和潜力,能够激发奇思妙想,并为打造强大的业务奠定基础。

多年前,为了从朋友向企业合伙人转型,我们意识到,双方即将建立的这种关系比我们在芝加哥大学读本科期间所形成的关系要复杂得多。从每周会面到经常性见面,我们在一起的时间比各自睡觉的时间还多。财务成为了双方经常讨论的话题,内容不仅仅是讨论自己感觉穷的连共进晚餐的钱都付不起。我们在夜间、周末会面,很快就成为了朝九晚五的共事同事,而且各自也会制定影响对方的决策。我们的职业和未来紧密地交织在了一起。

尽管这种转变对于我们来说十分顺畅——在进行创业这种恐怖的事情时,有一位密友作为自己的合作方难道不是一件值得庆幸的事情吗。但当听到我们讲述将个人友谊转化为职业关系之后,很多人对此感到惊讶不已。我的天,多么恐怖的故事!完全是电影《社交网络》桥段的再现!当然我们意识到,为了追寻创业梦想,我们可能是在拿友谊做赌注,但我们共同度过的那段时光让我们感到异常舒心和愉悦,然而在充满动荡和不确定性的白手创业过程中,这种感觉令人向往不已。

在合作时,我们深知大家是平等的个体;双方之间不存在权力争斗,我们相信这是一种恒定的关系。在某种程度上,在经历了足够多令人沮丧的投资者会议和尴尬的求职者面试之后,有关我们是否能够在合作之后成就一番事业的恐惧感逐渐消失。一旦我们在公司投入足够多的时间、岁月和精力之后,我们明显感到,我们的关系不会因为业务的不顺利而消亡,就当是进入低潮期罢了。我们一直同舟共济,即便是“业”不存在了也是一样。

尽管某些(大多为男性)人喜欢将不同的女性进行对比,似乎每一个女性二人组合都会是美剧《比弗利山庄》中连正装都要配对的布兰达和凯利,但证明这些人是错的——友谊也好,职场也好——一直都是职业亮点。我们并非是唯一发现配对合作魅力的女性:在准备拍摄新大头照时——年年照,年年都感到恐惧,我们上互联网寻找照相姿势的灵感/窍门,为的是不会与《沆瀣一气:如何毁掉你的第一次约会》海报中的玛丽·凯特和阿什利·奥尔森撞车。我们通过谷歌的图片搜索结果意识到,不少新企业都由两位女士共同经营,而且具有世界影响力:SoulCycle的伊丽莎白·卡尔特与朱莉·莱斯(照片中的她们受益于自行车道具,有失公允);Shondaland的贝丝·比尔斯与珊达·莱姆斯(采用了奥尔森的姿势);2 Dope Queens的菲比·罗宾森与杰西卡·威廉姆斯(别惹我的面部表情真的是绝了);Rodan + Fields 的凯蒂罗丹博士与凯西费尔茨博士(她们热衷于抱手这种气场强大的姿势)。

然而,在有梦想着达成这种备受瞩目的商业合作伙伴关系之前的10年,尴尬的男性合作伙伴快照在业界满天飞,例如乔布斯与沃兹尼亚克;盖茨与阿伦;普罗科特与盖博;本与杰瑞等等,我们如今也有了大量的女性榜样。这种转变并非巧合,它是商业环境不断变化的直接结果。男性在办公室的主导地位在缓慢而又持续地崩塌,也为女性在职业方面的合作(而非竞争)留出了空间,并为变化奠定了基础。

两名或三名女士在领导职务上进行合作为职场的重塑铺平了道路,而且这种职场注重同情、相互支持和透明度这些品质。她们会实施有远见、能够带来强劲业绩的措施。这些合作关系不仅仅改变了女性在职场中的意义,而且也改变了整个职场。

这种商业环境的进化势必会引发早就应该发生的文化转变,这种转变认为女性友谊并非只是放暗箭或阴谋论。电影《贱女孩》故事中,主人公被巴士撞了,醒来后则创建了拉拉队和Shine Theory。这种思想自然而然也适用于办公室的友谊。

“工作伴侣”这个术语源自于“办公室妻子”,后者起源于20世纪30年代,并被男人们用于描述那些有着超凡个人能力的秘书。最近,人们借鉴了这个词语,用其描述女性之间一种捆绑了私人和职业、相互支持的健康紧密关系。这是一种动态关系,要求人们本着同舟共济的态度,并采用能够在任何商业场合下与正直人士打交道的方式,而且在我们看来,这是一种颠覆式的关系。(财富中文网)

节选自艾瑞卡·塞璐珞与克莱尔·玛祖撰写的《工作伴侣》,艾瑞卡·塞璐珞与克莱尔·玛祖版权所有 © 2019。在使用时得到了Ballantine Books的许可,后者是企鹅兰登书屋有限公司下属业务部门兰登书屋出版集团的出版品牌。版权所有。未经出版商书面许可,不得对本节选文章进行复制或翻印。

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

"Work Wife" by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur. Credit:

Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur are the co-founders behind Of a Kind, the fashion e-commerce business that was acquired by Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2015—but they were best friends before they were partners. That’s why the pair decided to write about female friendship in the workplace. In this excerpt from their new book, Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses, the pair analyze how friends-first collaborations can actually, well, work.

When asked about our proudest business accomplishment, the answer is always “Us!”—the friendship we’ve nurtured and the successful partnership it’s fostered through Of a Kind, the fashion e-commerce business we founded together in 2010. What we’ve realized in taking a closer look at the ways in which our relationship functions is that our professional partnership has been the beneficiary of the tenets that anchor female friendship: emotional intimacy, vulnerability, a penchant for collaboration, and a pattern of mutual support—qualities that have unique power and potential to spawn great ideas and create foundations for strong businesses.

In making the transition from friends to business partners all those years ago, we knew we were signing up for a much more complex relationship than when we met as undergrads at the University of Chicago. We went from seeing each other weekly to spending more time together than we did sleeping. Finances became a constant topic of conversation, and not just in the context of whether one of us was feeling too broke for a dinner date. We spent our nights, weekends, and soon 9-to-5s each making decisions that would affect the other. Our careers and our futures became intertwined.

Though this transformation felt natural to us—how else would someone do something as scary as start a business other than with a close friend by their side?—we encountered plenty of people whose eyes popped out of their heads when we told them we were taking our personal relationship professional. Oh, the horror stories! The whole plot of The Social Network! Sure, we recognized that in pursuing this at all, we could be putting our friendship on the line. But our shared history brought us immense, intense comfort—a much-sought-after feeling during the constant turbulence and uncertainty that come with building something from the ground up.

We also walked into this knowing we saw each other as equals; there was no power dynamic to contend with, and we trusted that would remain a constant. At some point, after enough soul-crushing investor meetings and awkward interviews with job candidates, the looming sense that we could walk out of this venture short a business and a bud faded away. Once we’d put enough hours, years, and life into Of a Kind, it was clear that if something didn’t work out with the business, our relationship would survive, just as it had plenty of other lows. We were in this together, even if “this” ceased to exist.

Though a certain—mostly male—breed of human loves to pit women against one another, as if every female duo is Brenda and Kelly on the matching-formal dress episode of Beverly Hills 90210, proving those people wrong—both in friendship and in business—has been a career highlight. We are hardly the only women who’ve found something appealing about pairing up: While prepping to have new headshots taken, as we do and dread annually, we turned to the internet for inspiration/instruction on how to pose without looking like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on the poster for Two of a Kind: How to Flunk Your First Date. It was there, in our Google Images search results, that we realized how many of the new ventures taking over the world were run by pairs of women: Elizabeth Cutler & Julie Rice of SoulCycle (who, in photos, benefit unfairly from the use of bikes as props), Betsy Beers & Shonda Rhimes of Shondaland (who have taken the Olsen approach), Phoebe Robinson & Jessica Williams of 2 Dope Queens (who excel at giving don’t-mess-with-us face), Dr. Katie Rodan & Dr. Kathy Fields of Rodan + Fields (who love a crossed-arm power pose).

Whereas 10 years prior our vision board of high-profile business partnerships likely would have been littered with awkward snapshots of men who’d monopolized the space—Jobs and Wozniak, Gates and Allen, Procter and Gamble, Ben and Jerry—we now had plenty of female icons to reference. This shift isn’t a coincidence—it’s a direct consequence of an evolving business environment. Slow but steady progress toward dismantling male dominance at the office has carved out space for women to collaborate instead of compete professionally, and that’s set the stage for change.

Duos and trios of women who have partnered in leadership positions are paving the way for a reimagined workplace that leads with qualities like compassion, mutual support, and transparency. They’re implementing long-view practices that result in strong business outcomes. These partnerships are changing not just what it means to be women in the workplace, but the workplace as a whole.

This evolution in the business world coincides, unsurprisingly, with a long-overdue cultural shift that recognizes that female friendships aren’t all about backstabbing and cattiness. The Mean Girls narrative got hit by a bus and in its wake came #squadgoals and Shine Theory. Naturally, this ethos also holds true for friendships at the office.

“Work wife,” a term spawned from “office wife”— which itself dates back to the 1930s, when it was used by men to describe an especially high-functioning secretary—has more recently been co-opted to describe a combination of personal and professional bondedness and healthy, supportive closeness among women. It’s a dynamic that requires an in-this-together attitude and approach that’s viable in any business setting with right-minded people, and in our experience, it’s a game-changing one.

Excerpt from WORK WIFE by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur, copyright © 2019 by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur. Used by permission of Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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