'Tamara brings out the best in people'

The company motto is "Nothing is impossible". Tamara embodies that. She joined Saatchi & Saatchi as a computer operator when she was 24 and now she's executive chairman. She's amazing - she has such drive and she's bursting with energy and vibrancy. That energy struck me when I met her for the first time - we gelled immediately.

The company motto is "Nothing is impossible". Tamara embodies that. She joined Saatchi & Saatchi as a computer operator when she was 24 and now she's executive chairman. She's amazing - she has such drive and she's bursting with energy and vibrancy. That energy struck me when I met her for the first time - we gelled immediately.

I came here for a day's temp work last September, and Tam asked me to stay on. I was so flattered. It turned out perfectly, because Tam was looking for a PA, and I was looking to settle down and get what my Dad calls a "real" job. I'm from Australia, although I have British nationality, and I've been over here for a year. I still can't believe how lucky I am to have come into a company like this, and to be working for someone as dynamic as Tam. I'm almost the same age she was when she joined, and that is inspiring.

I'm young to be a PA, but it has its advantages. Tam couldn't work with someone set in their ways, and I'm learning more every day about how she likes to operate. She's unconventional. She doesn't sit in her office waiting for people to come to her - she goes to them, and is forever having quick, impromptu meetings. The problem is that I lose her and end up patrolling the building to find her. She's like a whippet, constantly on the move. I try to get her to take her mobile, but she switches it off. Sometimes she'll ring from the office she's in, but by the time I get there, she's moved on again.

One of her great strengths is people. Tam's like the big sister of the agency. Even when she hasn't seen someone for a while, she'll still remember details about their personal life. She's great at coaching people and bringing out the best in them. She's very involved in every level of the business and has enormous respect for the talent of the staff. She gets so excited about projects - you hear these shrieks of delight which fill the whole building. Everything is "fantastic" and everyone is a "darling". She's passionate about the business and its clients - Saatchi & Saatchi runs through her veins.

I don't think she could pick a favourite brand or campaign - it would be like asking her which of her two children she prefers. Now in her new role as executive chairman she's looking forward to a wider role and to even more high-profile business wins, the London agency already has billings of £400m. She was promoted to the position last month, after five years as chief executive officer.

It's a challenge to keep up with her. If she's going to a meeting I'll often get in the lift with her, and I've been known to get in cabs with her just so I can talk to her. She goes into her meeting and I come straight back to the office. The majority of my job is diary management, which is always a challenge because so many people want to see her.

I do the organising. Creative people aren't terribly good with paper and letters. Tam is always thinking about so much. Often she'll write a memo and leave it on her desk, believing she's given it to me. It's up to me to get it and type it.

I look ahead, I can never just look at tomorrow. Tam is most happy with me when I'm three steps ahead, already thinking about advance preparations. When she asks me to do something and I tell her I've done it already, she'll say: "Of course you have, darling! How stupid of me to even ask!" I'm the time-keeper. Fortunately we have glass-walled offices, so when she needs to be leaving I can signal to her. I give her an anxious look through the glass, and she knows what I mean. Sometimes I write a big note and stick it up on the glass - "Coat on, please!"

She gets heaps of invitations to places. As a high-profile person in London, she always did, but since her recent appointment to the London Development Agency, the invites have flooded in. She chairs one of Ken Livingstone's boards, a business committee which aims to make the capital flourish for everyone. It's right up her street - she's London-born and bred and loves the arts, and she's always at the theatre and the opera. Tam was thrilled to be asked.

It's an amazing job but it's hard work, too. I keep the same hours as Tam but I don't mind because she involves me, and asks my opinion. I wouldn't work a 50-hour week if all I did was type e-mails and answer phone calls.

I feel a part of things and I'm learning a lot. Not least, that if you're doing a good job as a PA, people probably don't notice; but if you're doing a bad job, and things fall through the cracks, they certainly do.

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