Oh, there was some meaty stuff in last night’s Mad Men episode with our protagonist Don Draper and the psychologist … but I’d rather go in a different direction today … something that was a little bit more subtle. The scenes between Pete Campbell and Harry Crane. Pete is a pretentious ass and will step on and over everyone he needs to to make his way to the top. He’s the sales guy at the firm. The BD guy. He finds the potential clients, schmoozes them up, supplies the hookers, and brings in Don and the creative team to close the deal.

Are you a Pete??
Pete’s job is all about connections, relationships and making rain. Sound familiar (well, except for the hookers … I hope)? Early in the episode, Harry invites Pete to join him for lunch with Ken Cosgrove, a colleague from their firm’s prior incarnation. Pete always viewed Ken as a competitor, and was jealous of his success. Pete’s insecurities lead him to criticize Ken, rather than embrace him. Harry rightly recognizes that they are all up and coming and need to maintain relationships with those, like Ken, from the prior firm.
Or, are you a Harry??
When it comes to maintaining relationships with former colleagues, are you a Pete, or are you a Harry? Pete sees Ken as a competitor. A threat. A waste of time. Harry sees Ken as a friend. A colleague. A collaborator. When you, or your peers, move on from a firm, does your working relationship end and you now view them with scorn, contempt, or cynicism?? When they are deleted from the firm’s website and roster, do you also delete them from your Outlook Contacts?? Or do you recognize that moving on is part of one’s career path, and that paths often intersect further down the road?? Do you choose to use this time to connect via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other opportunities that you might have? NOW is the time to transition the relationship from colleagues, to, well, colleagues, albeit of a different type. Pete, in his own self-concerned timing, recognizes towards the end of the episode that there is value in maintaining a working relationship with Ken. When a conflict comes up between Pete’s client Clearasil and the firm’s (bigger billing, and more important) client Ponds, well, Pete is told to “cut Clearasil loose.” What to do?? What to do?? Well, he plays hardball with his father-in-law to bring in the parent company as a client (oh, Pete, THIS should make for good fodder once that baby arrives), and then shifts the Clearasil account over to Ken. A (now) trusted former colleague. Photos courtesy of AMC’s Mad Men