'It's like an office marriage,' says Rosanne Badowski, 53, of working
since 1988 as the executiveassistant
to Jack Welch, the retired
General Electric Co. chairman and CEO.
这就好像是一场办公室婚姻。"在谈到从1988年起就一直给通用电气公司(General Electric Co.)前任董事长兼首席执行官杰克•韦尔奇(Jack Welch)当高级助理的经历时，53岁的罗塞娜•博得斯基(Rosanne Badowski)这样说道。
Mr. Welch disagrees. 'This is smoother,' he says.
Such long-term partner
ships between an executive
and an executiveassistant
(or 'EA,' 'admin,' or 'secretary,' depending on your location
and generation) are becoming increasingly
rare. Executives change companies more frequent
ly, and while some assistant
s will relocate, many can't uproot
to follow the boss. Cost cutting and technology mean that fewer mid-level executive
s are assigned assistant
s, cutting back chances to move up the ladder
together. At some law firms in Manhattan, for example, as many as five attorneys might share an assistant
. At certain technology companies, having an assistant
is considered outdated.
can buffer you from a lot,' says Tim Westergren, the founder
of Pandora, the Internet radio company. For this reason, he is assistant
Yet, at the same time, the demand for highly skilledassistant
s has increased in the last several years as shareholders and customers demand greater connectedness with executive
s. Tech-savvy assistant
are targets of poaching by other executive
s. 'The term chief of staff is being used a lot more,' says David Goldman, the owner of Ruby Peak Recruiting, a San Francisco head-hunting firm which specializes in placing assistant
s with top-level executive
s in the technology and venture
但与此同时，过去几年来对高素质助理的需求在不断增加，这是因为股东和客户要求与企业高管有更多的接触。精通电脑和IT手段的助理日益成为被挖角的对象。"在越来越多的情形下，人们用参谋这个词来形容助理所扮演的角色。"旧金山一家猎头公司Ruby Peak Recruiting的老板戴维•高德曼(David Goldman)说。这家公司专门为IT和风险投资行业的高管寻找合适的助理。
'Demonstrated longevity' is now an explicitly sought-after qualification
, headhunters say. Sun Microsystem's longtime CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, worked with his 'admin' for 10 years before Oracle acquired Sun and he left the company. Richard Parsons, chairman of the board of Citigroup Inc., has worked with his assistant
for 22 years. The former Bear Stearns chairman Alan 'Ace' Greenberg has three secretaries whose tenures with him range from 10 to 25 years. When Jan Verhage moved from Washington, D.C., to New York this spring to become chief operating officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, her last act at work was a sit-down conversation with her assistant
of 16 years. 'It was a heart-string situation,' Ms. Verhage says.
猎头公司表示，助理能够"长期追随老板"已经成为市场特别需要的一种特质。太阳计算机系统公司(Sun Microsystems)多年在位的首席执行官乔纳森•施瓦茨(Jonathan Schwartz)与他的"行政助理"共事了10年，直到公司被甲骨文(Oracle)收购，施瓦茨辞职，这段关系才告一段落。花旗银行(Citigroup Inc.) 董事长理查德•帕森斯(Richard Parsons)跟他的助理合作长达22年之久。前贝尔斯登(Bear Stearns)董事长阿兰•格林伯格(Alan 'Ace' Greenberg)有过三个秘书，在任时间从10年到25年不等。2010年春天，简•沃赫基(Jan Verhage)从华盛顿特区迁往纽约担任美国女童子军(Girl Scouts of the USA)首席运营官时，她在原先公司做的最后一件事情是坐下来跟共事16年的助理长谈一次。"那是一段动人心弦的谈话。" 沃赫基说道。
'It's about chemistry
and trust, and when you have it, it's the difference between having an assistant
who manages your errands and a partner
who is looking out for you and your career,' says Flor De Leon, 36, who worked for a decade
as the assistant
to Vish Makhijani, a tech-industry executive
"经理和助理如果能彼此产生默契和信任，助理就不再是一个帮你料理杂事的人，而是一个为你本人和你的事业着想的合作伙伴。"36岁的弗萝尔•德里昂(Flor De Leon)说。她为一个IT行业的高管当了10年的助理。
is involved in the nitty-gritty of a company's operations. She (and she is often though not always a she) may listen to her boss' voicemail messages, if she's not listening in on calls directly. She is privy to email correspondence
and proprietary information. At some companies, assistant
s sign nondisclosure agreements. Others rely on honor and discretion.
Dawn James worked for seven years as the assistant
to Alfred Chuang, a founder
and CEO of BEA Systems, until the Silicon Valley company was acquired by Oracle in 2008. 'They're getting pinged by 5 million people a day. You have to be able to weed through the madness,' says Ms. James. 'I was a sponge
absorbing the business.'
道恩•詹姆斯(Dawn James) 给BEA系统有限公司(BEA Systems)的创始人及首席执行官庄思浩(Alfred Chuang)当了7年助理，直到2008年这家硅谷企业被甲骨文收购。"每天都有500万人关注我们，必须学会怎么去过滤和筛选。"詹姆斯女士说，"我就是一块能吸收多余水份的海绵。"
s to top executive
s say they know each other, only over email and the phone, from years of connecting their bosses. They tap this network
for tips on where best to pull together last-minute board meetings, find a limousine service in Shanghai, and to vent about bosses who take out their frustrations on their aides.
Ms. Badowski was working
for a GE senior
vice president in 1988 and applying for sales jobs within the company when human resources encouraged her to apply for the job managing the life of Mr. Welch, a CEO with 350,000 employees. She ran Mr. Welch's GE office for 13 years. After he retired
from the company in 2001 and eventually
moved to Boston and remarried, Ms. Badowski moved too, even though she had never lived outside Connecticut. Then the Welches moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a year ago, so too did Ms. Badowski.
1988年的时候，博得斯基正在给通用电气的一位资深副总裁当助理，并打算应聘公司内部的销售岗位。这时，人力资源部建议她给手下有35万员工的通用电气首席执行官杰克•韦尔奇当助理。自此，她为韦尔奇工作了13年。2001年，韦尔奇从公司退休，搬到波士顿，重新组建家庭，而博得斯基一直跟随着他，即使她以前从未在康涅狄格州以外的任何地方居住过。一年前，韦尔奇又搬到佛罗里达州的棕榈滩花园(Palm Beach Gardens)居住，博得斯基也跟着搬过去了。
Ms. Badowski tells Mr. Welch her opinion, even when she knows he's not going to agree. And she will defy his orders on occasion. 'I'm not going to do something inefficiently just because he's told me to,' she says. 'It's for his own good.'
When Mr. Welch launched the Jack Welch Management Institute, an online MBA program
through Chancellor University, this year, he had Ms. Badowski enroll
as a member of its first class. She is giving Mr. Welch an insider's analysis
. Ms. Badowski has not hidden
from her instructors her connection
to their boss, nor has she advertised it.
2010年，韦尔奇通过钱斯勒大学(Chancellor University)创办了杰克•韦尔奇管理学院(Jack Welch Management Institute)，推出MBA网络课程，并让博得斯基登记入学，成为第一届学员，让她从学生的角度来评估教学质量。博得斯基没有向教授隐瞒她是韦尔奇助理的事实，但也没有四处宣扬。
'I respect her views of what is working
and what isn't,' Mr. Welch says. 'Candor is what you want. As an executive
, you search for that.'
s are well compensated. When an executive
changes jobs or is promoted, the assistant
's pay is often negotiated by the boss as a part of his or her overall deal. Of the placements Ruby Peak has made in 2010 in San Francisco's Bay Area, the average starting salary has been $72,000, a base which excludes bonuses, profit-sharing and 401(k) plans. Working as the assistant
to a 'screamer' might entail
a base salary of $100,000, Mr. Goldman says.
高级助理的收入水平不错。当高管跳槽或升职时，助理的薪酬也往往作为高管薪酬谈判的一部分来加以讨论。2010年至今，Ruby Peak公司在旧金山湾区(Bay Area)挖到的高级助理平均起薪为7.2万美元，这还不包括奖金、分红和401(k)退休计划。高德曼说，给"大人物"当助理，基本工资可能高达10万美元。
In movies, plays and television shows, secretaries have often been portrayed as temptations for married executive
s. While surely some professionalpartner
ships have morphed into personal relationships, assistant
s to top-tier executive
s say having trust and frequentcommunication
with their boss' family is vital. 'You need to partner
with your exec's spouse,' says Melanie Delaney, an administrativeassistant
. 'You don't want to send them to school for a school play when there is no school play.'
For a decade
, she was the 'admin' to Mr. Schwartz, then the CEO of Sun Microsystems, Ms. Delaney, 38, also helped him to have a life: She blocked out time for him to work out several times a week. She was kept apprised of his kids' activities by his wife and made sure he attended as many as possible. She looked after his health too -- making sure he took time to eat and that what he was eating was in keeping with the appropriate
regimen. 'If they're doing no carbs, there can be no carbs,' she says. 'I put thought into what I fed my guy.'
After the company was acquired by Oracle in January, both Ms. Delaney and Mr. Schwartz left. She now works for the president of a pharmaceutical company. He is deciding what to do next.
'Melanie understood all my priorities and not simply the Sun priorities,' Mr. Schwartz says. 'She was critical
to my productivity. She was my liaison to customers, shareholders, to the media, to my employee base, to members of my family. She was at the nexus of all of that.' When he left Sun, he didn't think he would have enough work to justify keeping Ms. Delaney employed.
"德莱内不但了解公司的重大事项，也清楚我每一件工作的轻重缓急。" 施瓦茨说，"我工作上能取得好成绩，她功不可没。她是我与客户、股东、媒体、员工和家人沟通的媒介，她是这所有一切的交汇点。" 施瓦茨离开公司时，认为自己暂时不会有很多事情要处理，因此不得不让德莱内另谋他就。
The first day, he triple-booked lunch. 'Then I failed to show up for all three,' he says.