Mad Men and Engagement

Mad Men…What a great show.  That is what everyone is saying.  I have watched it a couple of times on the road and it is good.  However, one of episodes shares a leadership lesson.  To share the lesson one of the characters told an Aesop’s Fable.  Do you remember this one…?

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak around him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

Possible morals of the story:

Kindness effects more than severity.

Persuasion is better than Force.

However, I think we can take the moral further. We cannot engage those who hide or spend their time protecting themselves.  Our job as leaders is to bring out the person and their passion; and we can only facilitate this when we encourage our associates to express themselves.  Of course, we need to be confidant and comfortable enough with ourselves so that we are not threatened by such expressions.  Imagine the transparency…the feedback…the success!!!

2 thoughts on “Mad Men and Engagement

  1. Brad,
    I like the engagement moral.

    Government owned and operated schools (some call them public) come to mind. Rarely do you see any kid thrilled to attend. Many non-government schools have the same problem.


  2. I too enjoy the engagement moral. I just started working with a new group today at a public univeristy. I’ve been talking with key stakeholders for the past couple months about the group and their needs. Everyone has commented about the lack of engagement but being the positive person I am I was hoping for the best. Well…today I found out they were right. Out of 17 people in the division I would say that there are probably 2-4 engaged, 4-8 faking it and 4-5 that are outwardly disengaged. It makes a person wonder how they got to this point and more importantly, where to go now.

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