A Stunning One-Liner from “Mad Men”

What You Say To A Rude, and Stupid, Employee
By Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Whatyousay.com is a big fan of “Mad Men.” In a recent episode, there’s a memorable one-liner that we hope you never have occasion to use.  And even if you are in such a situation, we don’t recommend that you use it.   But here it is anyway.

You won’t have to be a follower of the popular series to understand what occurs.

Don Draper, senior executive at the advertising firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, is in an elevator with a brash young free-lance graphic artist whom Draper has recently hired. They briefly discuss the outcome of a presentation that Draper has just made to a client.  The presentation was successful. Draper presented his own concept, not the one that the young man came up with.

The graphic artist testily and foolishly remonstrates with Draper, his boss, as follows:

“They never heard my idea.”

“I don’t like going in with two ideas. It looks weak.”

“You wouldn’t wanna look weak, would you? …What do I care? I’ve got a million of ’em. A million of ’em…”

“Good. I guess I’m lucky you work for me.”

“I feel bad for you.”

“I don’t think about you at all,” Draper replies, ending the conversation by walking out of the elevator without even a backward glance.

There are few responses you could possibly make to someone who’s saying cutting things to you than to respond, in effect: “Say what you will, think what you may. I won’t give your words, or you, a thought.”

As for business advice, whatyousay.com scarcely needs to  tell an employee never to put himself or herself in a position in which the boss is even tempted to say something like this.  Never ever attack your boss’s character.

The attitude we recommend, as long as you work for someone else, is always, “Here’s my recommendation. It’s your decision.”  Some bosses will want you to fight for your idea, but when the decision is made, you accept it as gracefully as you can so that you get a chance to fight another battle on another day.

—Gene Griessman is an award-winning professional speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or abe@mindspring.com Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com

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