“Intelligent, entertaining and useful” – The Times reviews Consiglieri
The Times By Emma Duncan. For some people the deputy’s job is better than the boss’s. Hytner is one of them: he swapped the job of head of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide in Europe, Middle East and Africa for deputy chairman, and reckons that both he and his company benefited. His book is written to help people decide if they are like him; and, if they are, to give them advice on how to be a good deputy.
The cult of the celebrity leader makes the deputy’s job a hard sell. Deputies do not get their photos on magazine covers, shot slightly from below in the heroic manner, nor do they get to swank around at international conferences with other deputies making grave speeches while basking in the psychological hot-tub of their collective smugness. Deputies do not rake in billions, nor get a constant drip-feed of the best drug in the world — power.
Being an alpha can be rough. Sure, the boss’s job panders to vanity, but the opportunity for getting one’s ego stroked is matched by the scope for public humiliation. Power certainly delivers a buzz but it doesn’t necessarily make you happy. Knowing that you are going to be held responsible for the fate of your company or party is a lonely business. A good deputy (Hytner prefers the term consiglieri, the advisers to mafia families, which, let’s face it, sounds more glamorous than deputy) can mitigate the difficulty of the boss’s job and — with access to the big decisions and secrets — have an exceedingly interesting time.
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