Networking Takeaways from “Madmen”

“Madmen” fans: Have you ever found yourself at work asking, “What would Don Draper do?” (Hopefully you’re not asking yourself that when it comes to his personal life…)

My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.

Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy.

Peggy, meanwhile, is the lone woman in a boys’ club. She fought her way to a copy-writing position, but needed Don to give her a chance, and has since looked to him as a mentor. She acknowledges his help with every success that she adds to her portfolio. (And if she should ever forget it, Don keeps reminding her!) Now, she’s moved onto a better job at a new firm—thanks to a carefully cultivated relationship—and it looks hopeful that her relationship with Don will continue. (Go Peggy!)

What’s your business takeaway so far from “Madmen”?

Ritu Walia is a FG Analyst.

Comments (4)

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  2. Thanks Marcia! I definitely think all seven of your tips are great take-a-ways as well. I especially agree with the first one, more often than not you’re selling your brand as much as the product itself. I just took a look at your blog, and it’s great, “Always look your best, because if the meal fails, at least you’ll look good and they won’t notice.” Haha! Thank you again for sharing!

  3. Interesting post, and one that touches me on both personal and professional levels. From a professional perspective, I put this list of Mad Men Marketing Rules:

    Mad Men Rules for Marketing Success

    1. You are the Product
    You feeling something – that’s what sells. The reason you are successful is because you make it personal.
    2. Live Like There’s No Tomorrow
    Ask yourself: What would the experience be like if you passed this up?
    3. There’s a Place to Cry – at Home
    You’re lucky in life if there’s someone who can tell you what to do if you have a problem.
    4. Being with a Client is Like Being in a Marriage
    There are as many types of people in the word as there are clients. Sometimes you get into them for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you in the face.
    5. Evaluate Your Strengths
    … and weaknesses, and be honest with yourself.
    6. Only Boring People Get Bored
    There’s no one stronger than their opportunities.
    7. Put Your Nose Down and Pay Attention to Your Work
    Allow yourself to loosen up in order for creative work to be done.

    On a personal note, I am truly a Mad Men fan and recently wrote a blog post earlier this month: How the Women of Mad Men Really Feel About Cooking. Check it out:

    P.S. thanks for the insight!!

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