Thought Starters

What’s that thing that’s good for sleep but bad for business?

Pssst…..it’s not in pill form. At least not yet.

So, recently, a blogger and now friend (at least I hope I can call him a friend) was writing a story about Mad Men, the popular television show on AMC, relating the show to a few business lessons about creativity, life and ingenuity.

Very intriguing stuff.

I love that show myself and his point of view on the show and the relationship he draws to creativity was and remains solid. I can understand why he enjoys Mad Men as his approach to writing has a similar feeling to the purity albeit reckless abandon prevalent in the series.

There is a video link there and if you decide to watch it be warned that it will literally make you well up. Don Draper sells an idea in such a stellar manner that it actually leaves you breathless. Undeniably brilliant.

Check it out here. Yep, you have to look around a bit and maybe even read his post but it will be worth it.

That particular hour of television is as good as anything I have ever seen.

Well, for those that don’t know, we are all about management and leadership over here and with respect to management, in general, we saw an episode of Mad Men (Ep 03 S 05) the other evening which left us thinking about something that is, hopefully, not seen outside the annals of the make-believe very often. We are concerned that this might not be true but hey, who knows.

Personally, I was struck by a casual comment made in a scene between two characters discussing the hire of a new copywriter. In flipping through a pile of portfolios of work they came across one that was a clear standout. Both were astonished at the calibre of the work that was displayed. After some brief discussion on the content one said to the other, “Its better if you stick to mediocre. You’ll sleep better at night.”

It’s better if you stick to mediocre.

My mind was literally blown.

 

 

 

 

Left sitting there with a smouldering and charred neck (head, a distant memory) I began to imagine myself as a mediocre manager and what I would do in this situation. Along comes someone with talent and drive. Would it not be an endless challenge just to keep from getting blown out of the water or at minimum exposing my self-inflicted weaknesses? I mean, come on, how am I supposed to feel when I have been coasting along all this time and now I have this young, eager, hungry, know-it-all nipping at my heals every day? Sanctimonious prick that he is. Imagine that? Imagine the work that I will have to do to keep ahead of that guy. Dammit.

“Why don’t you just bury his talent ridden portfolio at the bottom of the pile?” I ask myself. Be done with that.

So, what do you think happened?

Well you may just have to watch the episode.

In order to comply to the blog post length issue pointed out by Jayme Soulati over at Soulati-tude this post is about to end abruptly. I made my point and I hope, for your sake, you got it.

So, tell me, is there even any point in trying to hire or let alone mentor an ambitious talent like that?

I thought so.

You would sleep better though.

About this Author: Ralph Dopping (195 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday: www.designdialog.ca


32 comments
internet marketing5
internet marketing5

I've heard that show, but haven't watched it yet..  It seems interesting, as I read the comments below..

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

Holy Moses. I get chastised for not answering toot sweet (which movie is that from, pray tell?) and there my funny comment lies with no attention from Mr. Dopping himself. Sheesh.

KDillabough
KDillabough

If you're a ten, hire twelves (or higher!). That.is.all. Cheers! Kaarina

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

LOL! I was settling in with my popcorn, and then, voila, blogus interruptus! And, you think that's my fault? Heck, I'm thinkin' someone's gotta call a spade a spade!

richescorner
richescorner

I remember that episode.  Mad Men does have some really good and thought provoking writing.  Though I would say that Game of Thrones really gives it a run for the money for the best hour on TV these days. 

Craig McBreen
Craig McBreen

The young upstart copywriter sure brings out Don's ego. This kind of tension is so common in a creative agency. One of the reasons I started my own business years ago ;) Now some of the smartest people I know are the developers I use. I look for the best and don't know what I would do without them. I just think it's cool I have yet another friend in T-Town ;)

suddenlyjamie
suddenlyjamie

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.  - Mahatma Gandhi 

 

I feel sorry for people who cannot be generous with their support because they live in fear of losing what they have. There will always be someone smarter than you, funnier than you, more connected than you, younger than you, prettier, more talented ... you get the idea. Thinking that the only way to maintain your position is to make sure no one else hits the playing field ... well, that's just sad ... not to mention delusional. That's the mindset of murderous kings who plot to kill the unborn babes that might one day challenge the throne. (Yes, I'm reading Game of Thrones.) Things never turn out well for those kinds of monarchs. 

 

Those who can look at the competition and learn from them - even collaborate with them - those are the people who will continue to grow and learn and excel at what they do. They will evolve. The one-time prima ballerina who no longer has the physical stamina to perform at the height of her younger contemporaries becomes a celebrated mentor and choreographer. There is always somewhere to grow with your talents.

 

Thanks for the food for thought. Good stuff - nice and chewy on a Friday morning. :) 

bdorman264
bdorman264

If you set your expectations low enough you will never be disappointed..........:)

 

My philosophy is, you are only as good as the company you keep. I want to be surrounded by smart, creative, talented people; it will only elevate my game. I would like to think we raise the bar every time we bring a new person in.

 

I just recently started watching the show; it is good. 

 

So, Jayme has you on a word count, huh? 

rdopping
rdopping moderator

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing So sorry. My comment on your site was meant jokingly. Thank you for coming by. I do appreciate the attendance and the time to leave a reply. Patience has been purchased, unwapped and is in full use. :-)

KDillabough
KDillabough

P.S. Still can't figure out how to get "My latest conversation" to show up, despite your email Ralph. Who can help me out here? Maybe because I'm signing in with my Twitter account? I have no idea...HELP!

rdopping
rdopping moderator

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Nope. Not your fault but you dude say my posts were long-ish. See, this one was over quickly. Enjoy your popcorn! :-)

rdopping
rdopping moderator

 Thanks @richescorner for dropping by. I have not seen this Game of Thrones but per @TheJackB and @suddenlyjamie below I see that it might be the show to watch. The writing on Mad Men has gotten progressively better and I love that I can draw some ideas for writing from it. Not a common occurence but hey I take what I can get.

 

Good to see you here, sir!

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @Craig McBreen There is a great scene in Duck Soup where the simple use of the word "upstart" starts a war. Ego can be dangerous. ;)

rdopping
rdopping moderator

 @Craig McBreen Craig, thanks for stopping by. I hope #BWNY was a blast and you met and connected with a ton of great people. I would live to hear about it when you have time. Agreed that you need to surrpond yourself with intelligent people especially ones that work for you. There is no better way to elevate a team, a product or a system.

 

And, it makes everyone better. Ciao for now!

rdopping
rdopping moderator

 @suddenlyjamie Nice and chewy? I think that's a compliment.....;-) and I totally agree (I suppose that's why I wrote it). That scene in that show was so brilliantly structured to make the exact point you made in a rediculously obvious way that it was impossible to miss. The thing is that the old guard characters are not the ones who really gave a crap about the talent; it was the younger contemporary who recognized the potential of have that talent on board. Brillinat stuff.

 

Thanks for your thoughtful comment and thanks for popping by......:-)

rdopping
rdopping moderator

 @bdorman264 you are likely right @suddenlyjamie certainly does and well said too. Kinda disappointed that the other Jamie @soulati didn't drop by and p[oke fun at me.

 

Right on with the talent! How else are you going to look so good, huh? I know it's not about that but just like you said you always want to elevate your team and the best way is to hire the best talent and unleash them to see what they can do to raise the bar. the beauty is that the bar gets reset every time the talent gets renewed or grows. I love that sentiment and it's a good way to avoid mediocrity.

 

Anyway, thanks for dropping in Bill. Always inciteful with a touch of the ole humour (CDN spelling.....pppppth....;-)

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

 @KDillabough Hey, Kaarina. Set up a Livefyre profile via livefyre.com, just like anywhere else you'd launch a new profile. In one of the settings you'll find a button for "my latest conversation" and you can register your blog there.

 

I'm thinking about whether I needed to have this comment system on my blog before I was able to do that or not; perhaps so.

 

Meanwhile, to your Q...I love this BMW of commenting systems. I also never had a complaint with the Cadillac that is Disqus. It's all a matter of how your blog grows.

rdopping
rdopping moderator

 @KDillabough  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @TheJackB That is correct. Install Livefyre to get "my last conversation" to show up. I will defer to Jack and others for actual benefits. I am new and started with Livefyre but I do love it. I see it a lot more than Disqus and you don't need CommentLuv or anything else to share posts. Seems like a one stop shop and more and more bloggers are using it. But again, I am not the expert.

KDillabough
KDillabough

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Thanks Jayme. I've been debating back and forth about making a change, because disqus has given me zero problems to date. And I've lately heard about a few glitches with migrating to livefyre in terms of losing comments along the way (I believe that was you @TheJackB ...but maybe that's all been resolved)

 

My question to all would be: what is the one/most important reason you chose to switch to Livefyre?

 

And let me be sure I'm correct in this. I must have Livefyre installed as my commenting system on my blog in order for "my latest conversation" to show up, right? Thanks! Kaarina

rdopping
rdopping moderator

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @KDillabough I love this Livefyre stuff. It is awesome. Kaarina, I did exactly what Jamie suggested. Let me know if you want my help.

KDillabough
KDillabough

 @TheJackB Thanks Jack, but this duh-bird didn't realize that I need to have livefyre installed on my blog for this benefit. Shoulda' been crystal clear to me, but it wasn't. I've been with disqus from the outset with no problems, but now I really must look seriously at livefyre. How are you finding it? Don't want to #TeamBlogJack things here (are you listening my friend @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing ?), so maybe we can chat via email at some point. Or I'll just keep paying attention at your blog as you continue to use livefyre.

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @suddenlyjamie It is worth watching. They did an excellent job of converting it into a series.

suddenlyjamie
suddenlyjamie

 @TheJackB I'm still only on the first one ... have a ways to go. Am interested in watching the HBO series after I've finished the books.