Seven Life Lessons We Can Learn from Blacklist’s Raymond Reddington

Ever since I saw James Spader in Pretty in Pink, I loved him. Sure, his character, Steff, was deplorable but there was just something about his character that stood out. Now with the Blacklist, 80s movie buffs like me can’t get enough! I want to be friends with Raymond Reddington and go eat with him in Budapest, Havana or wherever he happens to be jet setting off to that afternoon. His charisma is among his character’s best qualities. Here are some of Raymond Reddington’s (who Spader plays with devilish perfection) other traits we can strive to emulate. (featured image credit:

1. Red’s a master storyteller. He pulls you in by telling his terrific stories. Whether it is recalling a scene from a movie he loved or time spent with a friend, he’s very detailed and dramatic. He makes you want to hang on every word. Think about this in your writing. Try to eliminate what’s unnecessary and use more descriptive words.

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2. Loyalty is paramount. Reddington is loyal to protecting and defending his friends. Have you ever noticed how fantastic leaders never talk badly about others? It also shows a lack of confidence to try and bring others down. Red’s friends are so loyal to him, even when he is nearly gunned down, they don’t want to leave his side. Those are the kind of friends I want. If you already have ones like that, consider yourself lucky. You need them during the low points.

3. Connecting people is a gift. Yes, Red’s a connector of criminals, the “Concierge of Criminals” to be precise, but putting all that aside, it takes hard work to forge strong relationships with people. So, to do this and be able to connect people is an invaluable trait. And if you have it, be careful whom you choose to connect and align with. You don’t want to damage your reputation by recommending others that don’t take their work or responsibilities as seriously as you.

4. He doesn’t give away all his secrets. No matter what your profession or career, you always want to have an ace up your sleeve if you can. Always try to stay a bit ahead of the curve. Maybe you don’t have the contingency plan of a suitcase full of half a million dollars and a surgical team at your disposal like Reddington, but keep abreast of changes in your field. Never allow yourself to become complacent. In the blogging world, make sure to stay on top of your social media game as it’s becoming more important with each passing day.


5. Look out for yourself. Raymond Reddington finds a way to work things out for his own betterment. I’m not saying you should always put yourself above all else. But you need to know when you can leverage a situation to help yourself. Especially those of us that are bloggers and freelance writers. Don’t let big companies take advantage of your generosity and knowledge as they are more than happy to do. After all, if you are helping others meet their goal, why not you too?

6. Know when to fold them. Red knows when to walk away from a deal. Many of us hold on to the past, whether that is agonizing over past relationships or staying in a job we loathe, when we clearly know it is time to move on. Yes, there is fear of the unknown, but Red has learned to adjust to new circumstances, just as we all should otherwise we’ll miss out some tremendous opportunities. Didn’t get a writing gig or assignment you wanted. Move on as there are other better ones out there for you.

7. Red is good at reading people. In one episode he says, “We become who we are. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can by its first few chapters. And most certainly by it’s last.” Good advice as most people can pretend to be something only for a short while, but their true nature comes out. Blogging is about connections and it is important to be able to read people so you know who you can rely on and who might be out to stab you in the back.

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