Mad Men's Top 10 Tips to Become a Successful Leader
"Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you're doing is OK. You are OK."
A quote uttered by Don Draper, the protagonist of a series that marked a milestone in American television, and that during the seven seasons in which it was broadcast was full of all sort of quotes that in turn could serve as learning tips from an academic manual or guide to help you become a successful leader.
Furthermore, the quote also demonstrates something important, no matter how much the series was focused on the successes and failures of an advertising agency, what shown there can be replicated by you to apply in your own company or business and help you achieve ‘Iconic’ status.
1. Take initiative
It’s appropriate that you show yourself as a leader to take the initiative and to take action, whether your employees do it or not because of you set an example of having taken the initiative they will follow you.
2. Always “think outside the box” and leave space for innovation
For you to innovate, you always have to be constantly thinking about something creative, which will lead you to take risks and lead you to continually improve your business or company. The action is on your own as a leader, you don't need to wait for the competition, or an unfortunate setback in your business or company to lead you to innovate or "think outside the box" because it may be too late when you do it.
3. Check up your finances
Regardless of whether you ever got A+ in math or not, it’s imperative that you understand and comprehend your business accounts because if not, a miscalculation can seriously affect your position as a leader and can adversely affect your business as well, for the worse.
4. Reinvent yourself constantly
As you know we are ending the first decade of the new millennium, far away are those sixties that were so well shown in Mad Men, you just as Don Draper lives in a world that is constantly evolving, what predominated fifty years ago is not still now. Everything undergoes a transformation, which in itself is an organizational revolution, which affects all sectors of a business or company, and you must take the reins as a leader taking the habit of reinventing yourself in the face of the changes that occur.
5. Do not mix business with pleasure
In Mad Men, if there was something that predominated in Sterling Cooper's offices more than the smoke of the cigarettes was the number of indiscreet relationships between its employees. Of course, not every romantic relationship in the workplace is going to lead to a disaster that is capable of wrecking an entire company or a business endeavour completely, but you better not take any part in a sexual or romantic relationship with a colleague, it's better to maintain a strictly professional relationship in the workplace.
6. Seize and generate opportunities
You as a leader always have to see opportunities at every moment, and a good leader knows very well how to take advantage of the few opportunities that arise and obtain something successful from them, opportunities can be presented at any time, whether favorable or adverse, you have to act in a calm manner, an essential quality in a leader.
7. Seek to encourage colleagues and collaborators
The key to productivity in a company or business comes from a leader encouraging colleagues and collaborators, which generates in them happiness and comfort which provides a stable working environment for them to perform more. Doing this you are proving to be a leader who thinks about the wellbeing of your colleagues and collaborators with this the success of the company or business is more than guaranteed.
8. Loyalty a keyword to achieve success
A leader seeking loyalty needs to possess a series of qualities, competencies, and behaviors that will turn the leader into someone inspiring, credible, and whom his colleagues and collaborators will want to follow and trust with complete loyalty. As a leader, you will encourage your colleagues and collaborators through motivation, and in order to do so, you have to take into account the Hierarchy of Needs of American psychologist Abraham Maslow. He indicated through this theory collaborators, and colleagues will be motivated through their needs, and you have as a leader to act according to those needs expressed by your colleagues and collaborators.
9. Keep up to date with technology
With each new technological advancement, there is much that is said about the revolution that is taking place in the world work, which in turn affects the world economy. As a true leader, you don't have to think twice about taking advantage of any technological advancements in order to be one step ahead of the competition and thus obtain greater benefits.
10. “Don't put all of your eggs on one basket”
As a leader of your own business or company, it is understandable that you devote your attention and resources to the same, buyers, investors, workers, suppliers, among others. Because it is safe and you have placed your trust in them, and that means something to you, and you expect it to be so for them. Although as life itself or with the Mad Men television series shows, with some of Sterling Cooper's client's, trust is something that can be lost over time, that's why you have to be prepared for any contingency.
Let us know in the comments of some other tips to become a successful leader that you learned through Mad Men.
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By trade, I'm a computer engineer who dabbles as a writer and wants to spend the rest of his life writing all sort of stories and publish an all great Latin American novel. An avid reader, karaoke enthusiast, action/martial arts movie buff, and a self-obsessed fan of rock/metal music. To friends and relatives, I'm the groovy sort of guy who likes to travel a lot, to prepare and serve all kinds of drinks and cocktails, and speak with varying degrees of proficiency a few languages.