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?#26434;?#35850;为基础的合作?#23548;?#19978;?#24378;?#34892;的。下文节选自其新书《工作伴侣：助推商业成功的女?#26434;?#35850;力量》。
当被?#22987;?#26368;令人骄傲的商业成就时，我们的答案一直都是“我们！?#20445;?#20063;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?#19988;?#35782;到，双方所形成的这种职业合作关系一直受益于女?#26434;?#35850;赖以存在的基本原则——亲密无间、敏感、热?#26434;?#21512;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。
尽管某些（大多为?#34892;裕?#20154;?#19981;?#23558;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?#21363;?#21644;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?#27010;?#25668;新大头照时——年年照，年年都感到?#24535;澹?#25105;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?#20301;?#25481;你的第一次约会》海报中的玛丽·凯特和阿?#24598;?#22885;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?#27492;俊?#27604;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?#26434;?#25265;手这种气场强大的姿势）。
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。
"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.