Sunday, February 11, 2007

Thoughts on The Apprentice: LA, Episode 5

I liked the idea behind the task this week. The two teams had to harvest honey, design packaging, bottle the honey, and sell it. The task gave the teams a good appreciation of the life-cycle of delivering a product. It promised to be a good week for learning, but fell short. The show was so heavily edited that it was impossible to see why one team might win or lose. Instead of showing us the competition, they spent time setting up Aaron as a timid leader.

Arrow ultimately lost the task and Aaron ended up in the board room. Recall last episode that Aaron didn't say much from the other side of the board table. This week Mr. Trump commented multiple times that Aaron didn't contribute from the power side of the board table. Aaron was fired, and mostly because he wasted his opportunity to show Trump what he could do for him as an employee.
Lesson 1: Playing it safe wastes a leadership opportunity and ultimately isn't safe.

Aimee, on the other hand, was very strong on the other side of the board table. She stepped right up, almost taking over the meeting, and asked hard but incisive questions. Trump commented to Aaron, "Do you like it when Aimee is being tough?" and added, "Maybe too tough." Aimee scored points with Trump, but may have set herself up to be shot at equally hard next time she is in the hot seat.
Lesson 2: Don't be shy, but realize that you will be on the other side of the table sometimes, too.

As Trump talked in the board room, he used strong language a number of times. The editing seemed to be showing him as a strong, hard leader. Instead he came off as crude and somewhat out of control. Firm works for him; vulgar does not.
Lesson 3: There is seldom value to swearing in business.

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