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已故时尚教母的管理经

Patricia Sellers 2012年08月16日

不吝称赞、乐于认同和尊重他人,这就是《时尚》杂志传奇掌门人的领导策略。

    已故时尚传奇海伦•格雷•布朗与凯西•布莱克在出版巨头赫斯特(Hearst)共事时曾对她说过:“我已经过了退休的年龄。”布莱克领导赫斯特杂志14年之久,直到2010年,而布朗80多岁时还是备受《时尚》(Cosmopolitan)杂志社尊崇的女家长。

    布朗本周一逝世,享年90岁,《时尚》杂志并不是她创立的,但正是她1965-1997年担任该杂志编辑期间的功绩才使它成了当今全美销量最高的月刊,在全球各地拥有64个地区性版本。她那令人迷醉的工作风格(她的办公室墙壁刷成紫色,铺着豹纹地毯)和敢于挑战世俗的内容(“有趣、无畏、女性”是《时尚》的箴言),使人们往往忽视她在商业经营上的真才实干。其实,同事们从布朗那里学到的管理经验影响深远,并不仅限于出版世界。凯西•布莱克为我们讲述了她从海伦•格雷•布朗那里学来的最重要的三个管理经验:

    对事业充满激情——竭尽所能做到尽善尽美。“海伦相信,不管职务多么微不足道,只要带着激情工作,在朝九晚五之外也愿意投入精力,机会之门总会为你打开,”布莱克说。这个信条对布朗本人很有帮助,据报道,她做过好几份秘书工作,之后才有机会撰写广告文案。海伦本人的经验也不得不提:她在博达大桥广告公司(Foote Cone & Belding)当秘书时,曾给老板的妻子撰写旅游指南,其作品细节丰富多彩、令人眼花缭乱,以至于后者极力说服老板提拔海伦当广告文案写手。

    平等待人。“海伦谈起别人总是说:‘你永远都不知道他们有多大潜力,也不知道他们将来会有多大的成就。’”不吝称赞、乐于认同和尊重他人——包括任何级别的员工,这就是布朗的领导策略。布莱克回忆说:“她从来不觉得有什么赞扬太过分。”

    亲切而明确。布朗长期坚持用她那值得信赖的Royal打字机写信——高峰时期每周写数百封,晚年也有几十封。每个月,她都会评论《时尚》全球各地的版本。看不懂某些版本的文字不要紧,她可以评价版式、照片和排版,并给相关人员发备忘录,指出下次如何如何做得更好。用布莱克的话说:“海伦愿意花时间与人们亲切沟通——现在已没有人这么做了。”

    译者:小宇

    "Retirement passed me by," the late great Helen Gurley Brown told Cathie Black back when the two worked together at Hearst. Black headed Hearst Magazines for 14 years until 2010, while Brown, into her 80s, was the ever-present grand dame of Cosmopolitan.

    Brown, who died on Monday at 90, didn't invent Cosmo, but as its editor from 1965 to 1997, she created the wonder that is now the top-selling U.S. monthly magazine, with 64 customized editions around the world. Her intoxicating work style (her office had pink walls and leopard carpeting) and provocative content ("fun, fearless, female" is Cosmo's motto) diverted attention from the reality that Brown had bona fide business chops. And the management lessons that colleagues took from Brown transcend the publishing world. Cathie Black offers three of the best lessons she learned from Helen Gurley Brown:

    Care passionately about what you do—and do it the best you possibly can. "Helen believed no matter how small your job, if you approach it with passion and work beyond 9 to 5, doors will open for you," Black says. The credo paid off for Brown, who reportedly had a slew of secretarial jobs before she moved up to writing ads. Helen's break: At Foote Cone & Belding ad agency, she wrote such colorfully detailed, dazzling travel itineraries for her boss's wife that the wife coaxed him to promote Helen from secretary to copywriter.

    Treat everyone the same. "Helen said about people, 'You never know who they are. You never know what they will become.'" Heaping kudos, recognition and respect on people--employees at every level--was Brown's leadership approach. "She never thought any amount of praise was too much," says Black.

    Be personal and specific. Using her trusty Royal typewriter, Brown wrote letters constantly--hundreds each week in her heyday and dozens weekly in her later years. Each month, she critiqued Cosmo's editions around the world. No matter that she couldn't read the language; she appraised the layout, the photos, the typography of each edition and sent notes advising how to do a better job next time. Says Black: "Helen took the time to communicate in a way that no one does today."

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