Leadership Advice We Can Take Away From Don Draper

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: August 12, 2020
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Don Draper is a fictional character and protagonist on the AMC television series Mad Men. Jon Hamm portrays him. Don is an iconic character and made a career selling the promise of happiness. Up to the Season 3 finale, Draper was the creative director of Manhattan advertising firm Sterling Cooper.

Here are the leadership lessons we can all learn from Don Draper.

“If You Don’t Like What’s Being Said, Change the Conversation.”

This isn’t just a piece of leadership advice. This is life advice. Sometimes in life, the path we take isn’t often the one we want to, learn that is okay to change it. If you know that something is wrong or if you aren’t sure but your gut instinct is telling you something is wrong, then stay away from it. This can also be really practical advice for times when you want to change a negative topic of conversation into one filled with positivity.

“You’re Good. Get Better. Stop Asking for Things.”

This is the advice that all complainers must heed. If you think you aren’t a complained, think again, when was the last time you complained? Chances are it wasn’t that long ago. Complaining never works for anyone. Getting better at your job is possible without complaining along the way. Remember that no one owes you anything.

 “Success Comes From Standing Out. Not Fitting In.”

If only someone had said this to you in school, right? This is, in theory, a Dr Suess quote “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” But Don Draper makes it his own in many ways. Don’t follow the crowd if you don’t feel you are part of the group. Create a niche that you know you will excel in, and soon you will have takers for your niche.

“The Minute You Sign the Client Is the Day You Start to Lose Them.”

This is true for almost all service-related companies. This statement is a complex one — you can only lose a client if you have a client – so it actually could mean that you should do everything you cannot to lose your client. Or that should you lose the said client. You should be ready to deal with it. You have to be invested in your client in a way that makes it difficult for them to lose you rather than the other way round.

“I Don’t Believe in Fate. I Create My Own Opportunities.”

Opportunity only knocks on your door once. Answering the door when it knocks is essential. But it is just as important to have that door that to be home when the opportunity comes knocking. Creating your opportunities is something all leaders believe in.

“People Tell You Who They Are, but We Ignore It Because We Want Them to Be Who We Want Them to Be.”

Most people turn out to be precisely who we think they are. Now, this statement refers to the gut instinct that we feel when we meet a person, not the persona they try to project. Like they say – When a person shows you who they are — Believe them.

“Change Is Neither Good nor Bad. It Simply Is”

Don said this in a meeting with Madison Square Garden executives. But this line can change the way you look at things when changes are happening around and inside you. If someone is trying to throw a situation at you, this quote could help save the day.


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