Lessons in Business to be Learned from Mad Men

Here at Look-Solutions, we love Mad Men. It gives us insight into the oh-so-intriguing world of advertising in New York City circa the hugely different world of its time, and yet we find that so many of the business and career realities still reign true in our modern, not to mention real-life, world.

Of course, we know we’re not the only ones who feel this way about the show. Nearly everyone we know — regardless of what line of work they’re in — takes pleasure in the antics of Don Draper and roots for Ms. Peggy Olsen, the female underdog who’s proven to have some serious… well, let’s just say verve.

With all of this said, we were thrilled to see a recent blog post done by The Grindstone, 10 Career Lessons From Mad Men. The season finale aired last night, and while we promise not to give away any plot twists or spoilers, we do think it’s perfect timing to flesh out our favorite four of the 10 lessons — with our own takes on them — via The Grindstone. Here they are:

  • “Surprise Everyone With your Talent” (a la Peggy Olsen); As The Grindstone puts it, Peggy entered Season 1 with an air of naivete and shyness that made her utterly endearing yet altogether too under the radar to ever make it that far — or so we thought. In the seasons to follow, Peggy surprised everyone with her courage, her wits, her talent and her capacity to ask for what she wants and deserves. The lesson is to stand up and speak up for yourself in the workplace; if you’ve got the talent, show it. And if you’ve proven your worth, make sure you ask for what you deserve.
  • “Don’t Depend On Your Superstar Coworker” (Don Draper); Everyone at Sterling Cooper Draper Price relies on Don for something. And yet, most of the time, he’s a little less than reliable. The lesson is to rely on yourself — not on anyone else, no matter how superstar their status is in the social hierarchy. The more prepared you are, the better you (and your business) will operate. 
  • “Style Can Be a Very Important Part of your Job” (everyone); Although you may not consider what you wear to be of the utmost importance in business, Mad Men has proven that what you wear does count. Remember when Joan told Peggy it was time to start dressing like a woman? That was part of the key to Peggy’s success. The lesson is to Dress appropriately, stylishly and fit what you wear to your age, your body type, etc. In the end, it can only help you. 
  • “Take Risks in Your Career” (Don and the gang); As the show progresses from season to season, the agency (namely Don and his crew) are faced with opportunities to take a big risk — that could allow for big payoff. One of the best lessons Mad Men teaches us is that risks are inherent and necessary to success. 

We could go on and on with lessons from the show, but we’ll keep it short and sweet and end it there. Do you have any insights or additions to this list from watching the show yourself? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Photo Thanks To: amira_a

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s