12 Great Lessons From Mad Men

Posted by | April 27, 2015 | All, Featured | No Comments

One of the greatest television programs of all time is in its final season. Part of what has made it so memorable are the keen insights it provides into human nature and how it impacts our conduct in the workplace. The following are a dozen great takeaways.

  • “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” (Don Draper describing the conversation-steering technique that would later come to be known as “bridging.”)
  • “The most important thing about an interview is to express enthusiasm in a believable way.” (Joan Harris coaching her husband before a job interview)
  • “You have to decide what kind of company you want to be – comfortable and dead or risky and possibly rich.” (Don Draper selling a client on the rewards of non-conformity)
  • “Nobody who has ever been associated with an actual event has thought it’s been portrayed honestly in the newspaper.” (Roger Sterling)
  • “You didn’t give him any facts. He had to make assumptions.” (Roger Sterling admonishing Don Draper for playing his cards too close to his vest with a reporter)
  • “They raise you up and they knock you down.” (Don Draper bemoaning the media’s favorite pastime)
  • “Who gives a crap what I say, my work speaks for me.” (Don Draper trying to minimize the impact of bombing in a media interview)
  • “It’s about listening to people and never really saying what’s on your mind.” (Roger Sterling describing the secret formula for handling clients)
  • “It wasn’t a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover.” (Don Draper’s euphemism for prevarication)
  • “The drunker you are, the funnier I become. ABC did research.” (Jimmy Barret on what makes for an ideal audience)
  • “I don’t know if anybody’s ever told you that half the time, this business comes down to ‘I don’t like that guy.” (Roger Sterling on why a good Q rating is important for everyone)
  • “My father used to say this is the greatest job in the world except for one thing: the clients.” (Roger Sterling)


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