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5 Life Lessons From Don Draper

Prepare your gullets for some secondhand smoke and dark spirits, because Mad Men is ready for another go-'round, and season 6 is guaranteed to feature plenty of poisonous substances, philandering, and close-ups of Christina Hendricks’ big, beautiful…eyes. From tips regarding your significant other to blatant shows of moxie, here are five life lessons every man can learn from Don Draper.


Photo Courtesy of Michael Yarish / AMC
 

Recognize an Easy Upgrade

Don Draper wasn’t always the sly and debonair ad man whose smooth-talking ways closed deals and opened women’s legs. It took a transition from lowly Dick Whitman to an assumed identity to give birth to his opportunistic renaissance. A modern and smart man always recognizes a good opportunity to upgrade.
 

Ditch the Crazy Broad

If there’s one thing you can take from Don Draper, it’s that a woman with a crazy streak can be more like a knife in the back than a thorn in the side. From ex-wife Betty Draper and her wildly inconsistent antics to new wife Megan Calvet’s “Zou Bisou Bisou” warbling, Draper reminds us that having a challenging spouse may be invigorating, but it can quickly morph into something more like self-destruction.
 

Working With Your Woman Sounds Good, But Really Isn’t

On paper, working in close quarters with a spouse might sound like a dream scenario. While co-workers are forced to argue about who stole the last donut, you can explore the kama sutra possibilities of the broom closet. Yet, Don Draper and his experience of working with Megan is proof that there should be a distinction between “wedded bliss” and “business as usual.” (Scroll to 1:08 for the world's most awkward office elevator scene.)
 

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Against Popular Opinion

In one of the gutsier business moves made by Don in his tenure as creative director, he hid the sting encountered by a loss of a prominent tobacco client by turning it into a highly visible public relations dynamo. Penning a letter to The New York Times dubbed “Why I’m Quitting Tobacco,” the move not only softened the blow that Lucky Strike had inflicted on the company, but signaled that going against popular opinion is often a man’s most effective weapon.
 

Know When You’ve Outstayed Your Welcome
There’s nothing worse than an individual who doesn’t realize that they’ve become a pest and that the fist of authority is teetering overhead. Don’s self-assured realization that his time had come to an end at Sterling Cooper not only served his own interests, but the interests of all those around him who were wise enough to realize that it’s better to arrive late and exit early.


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