Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thoughts on The Apprentice:LA, Episode 3

After last week's poor showing, I was worried that this season might start heading downhill. I worried too soon. This was an excellent episode, full of all the drama and armchair quarterbacking we watch for.

Let's get Kinetic out of the way first. Kinetic got to sit out the task this week and instead spent the time enjoying the amenities of the Lowes Santa Monica Hotel. Once again, Heidi squandered her opportunity to strengthen her leadership position. Mr. Trump didn't make this mistake. He used his position of strength to advertise his friend's hotel.
Lesson 1: Take every opportunity.

After Kinetic left for their reward, Mr. Trump asked for two people from Arrow to volunteer to lead teams for the next task. I couldn't believe what happened. I expected to see seven hands shoot up for the lead. Instead, only Aaron stepped up. Mr. Trump asked Michelle if she wanted to lead and she said "yes" because she couldn't figure out a way to turn it down. The fear of accountability cowed them: what a shame. It is no coincidence that Aaron's team won this mission.
Lesson 2: Always volunteer to lead.

This week is the story of Michelle. We saw last week that she had trouble making commitments. She started her leadership reign by trying to build a team of consensus. Time after time, she avoided accountability and asked her teammates to make decisions. The team begged her for leadership, and when she didn't take it, they stopped respecting her as their leader. Michelle wasted her team's time. They responded by checking out of success.
Lesson 3: Teams really want you to lead them.
Lesson 4: Be willing to take accountability for making decisions.

In the board room, Michelle's team struggled to stand behind her, while Aaron's team was enthusiastic in their support. Michelle's team found out predictably that they lost by a large margin. Before either team left, Michelle announced that the program was harder than she expected and that she was quitting. Michelle appeared to be running from the shame of being fired, and in doing so put the rest of her team at risk of being fired later in the boardroom. Mr. Trump summed up the lesson well:
Lesson 5: "You can never be successful if you quit."


PJ said...

It was pretty obvious the losers knew they had blown it when Michelle mentioned they were counting on the "sympathy vote"
Great recap..:)

Ken Flowers said...

I agree it was obvious that Michelle's team all knew they had lost. I've been trying to think of what I would have said in the same position if Mr. Trump had asked me if I thought we had won. Seems like "no" is a horrible truth to admit. There must be a better answer than an insincere lie. Perhaps "lets see what the customers think" would work better.

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