Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thoughts on The Apprentice: LA, Episode 4

Finally a loss for Kinetic. They didn't do a bad job, but they were up against Aaron leading Arrow, who did an outstanding job. Aaron will be difficult to beat. He has energy and charisma, but more importantly, he inspires his team to succeed. He makes them feel confident, and that gives them a tremendous edge. Heidi is well organized but doesn't seem to engender enthusiasm.
Lesson 1: Leaders inspire their teams to feel confident of success.
Lesson 2: Confidence helps create success.

I was pleased this week to see the number of volunteers to help Arrow. It is tempting to see this as indicative of the number of good people on Kinetic. I think it shows that the people on Kinetic knew the importance of getting a leadership role. So long as they were on Kinetic and winning, Heidi was not sharing the lead. Her teammates needed to leave to find good opportunities. When Surya left, he couldn't stop sharing his ideas for improving Arrow. I recommended that Heidi delegate leadership before she had problems on her team. Now I'm recommending the same thing to Aaron. Take more of the lead by delegating the lead.
Lesson 3: Lack of leadership opportunities will cause your leaders to look elsewhere for them.

I need to highlight an important error on Heidi's part, one that hasn't played out yet, but I bet will later. Heidi discussed Marissa's performance with the group behind her back. It may have been a good game tactic, but it was incredibly poor leadership judgment. She has created an environment where her teammates know that there is culture of gossip. She should have shut down the conversation the moment Derek sniped about Marissa's chicken suit idea, or at least asked Marissa to join the conversation. The team now knows they can't trust each other.
Lesson 4: Integrity matters.

Marissa was fired this week. She might have been able to avoid it if she hadn't been annoyingly tenacious at every turn. Mr. Trump was trying to give her more chances and might have fired Amy. Instead, Marrissa fought to survive beyond Trump's ability to stand her, just like she did for the chicken suit idea and the Bravado name for the product. While she might have survived this week, she would have never made it to the end.
Lesson 5: You can push too hard.

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