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LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM DON DRAPER FOR FREE




What’s it all about, Alfie?

Don’t think anyone really knows and which is why so much of almost everything out there remains nothing but empty talk, and many, perhaps thinking that either they’re going to trip over answers or depend on the kindness of strangers to lead them to some magical wishing well that they believe holds all the secrets to happiness.


If all this fails, there are “KOLs”, “influencers”, “wellness gurus” and “social media experts” to answer every question and provide solutions like what hashtags to use.

Really?

Me, I prefer listening to Don Draper, the main character in the brilliant television series “Mad Men”- a philanderer, alcoholic and complex human being who didn’t really know what he wanted.

Because he didn’t, he took what he could get and saw his own brand take shape through trial and error, a glass of scotch and incredible self-confidence.


It was this confidence that had him somehow stumble into being part of the early days of advertising on Madison Avenue where he became who he was not.



It’s those days way back then that are so darn interesting today because we didn’t know much and didn’t need “tools” to do everything for us. We didn’t pay to attend conferences and listen to the musings of paid speakers talk knowingly about things like philanthropy and kindness and diversity with, quite often, none of this getting to the heart of the matter and solving problems.



Talk is cheap and like a cheap suit, it doesn’t take long for things to fall apart. Those who have listened to game changers before they changed the game, were selective in what they took in and what they threw away. Another thing: Even game changers have their off days. Instead, we depended on our own intuitive street smarts mixed with common sense and the type of creative thinking that couldn’t be taught or copied as everything was about starting with a blank subterranean homesick canvas.




It still should be about filling that blank canvas with relevance instead of a stage play for clowns in the audience built around monkey see, monkey do thinking and getting physically formulaic. Today, for whatever reason, there’s the need to overthink almost everything in life. This often means that nothing much of any significance ever happens because of the fear of being held accountable for mistakes- or being unmasked as a fake with a firm handshake and good hair running a business that might well be crumbling.



Everything is on silent running and kept going at an even keel with extremely few knowing what’s good and relevant and what’s not and preferring to take that safe middle ground by following everyone else and talking in cliches. It’s corporate hypnosis and lots of bollocks not unlike some cult. It’s something Don Draper would never have accepted. The man had huge balls and could see through crap. He would have seen all the opportunities and creative challenges hidden in the corporate blah blahs.


What’s has had me thinking for at least a decade is who actually started this habit-forming decay of blindly following leaders who can’t lead, why they’re around and how they keep so many going around in circles like hamsters on a speedball treadmill.


Where has any of this got us? To yet another vacuous “diversity” conference where there’s another meeting of various talking heads? Haven’t these networking and nut working sessions been taking place for over three decades? And what changes have they and Igor rung in to make this a better and more giving world?



There appears to be a need to be needy. There’s shrinkage everywhere along the way weighed down with huge dollops of weakness and insecurity disguised as strength. Guess it’s all part of the new abnormal and falling in line as opposed to breaking free like Django and charting new courses to anywhere and everywhere.


Maybe those lockdown years also locked minds down and it’s half past time to wipe those cobwebs away. There’s a need for the truth and honesty of Bob Dylan, the creativity of the Beatles, the love of a strong woman like Joni Mitchell, and the ability Steve Jobs had to see what lies ahead and how to get there.



It’s now about making up for lost time by including empathy in business models instead of engines running on empty.



It’s changing “Revolution” to Resolution. It’s finding sweet soul music in words and melodies and relevant answers in everything we do and which might inspire those who need hope and inspiration- those things that can’t be bought. Without these answers, everyone is just running around like headless chickens in a feeding frenzy of lazy and addictive bird droppings that are never ever enough.

The addiction to keep inhaling crack clutter must stop.


Copyright ©️ Hans Ebert

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