Thursday’s episode of The Apprentice was easily the best episode the show has ever aired. A joke turns into an opportunity, all gone awry by a bad project manager and a team mate that doesn’t know what he wants. This had all the makings of a scripted show or, well, real life! But let’s back up a bit to refute something Omarosa said…
Business Lesson 1: Business is never personal, even when it gets personal.
As much as we try to keep personal issues out of business they will inevitably find their way in. They have to. We work with people and we learn to either love them or hate them. We build friendships with our coworkers and share laughs and frustrations by each other’s. Despite all of that, business decisions need to be made because they are the best decisions for the business.
Only bad managers make business decisions base on personal issues. And while personal issues may a “reason” ultimately it’s about the business. And a business person needs to be able to work with other people on a personal level. Personal issues can be a determining factor in whether you can or can’t do business with someone, but it still comes down to business. And business comes first.
Business Lesson 2: Trust God but lock your car.
A lot of wisdom if wrapped up into those six words. The moral is simply to believe in the best of others but prepare for the worst. This is something the women failed to do by taking Vinnie into their team and trusting him completely.
I don’t have a problem that they brought him in, but for them to do it so completely blind to the possibility that he was a spy was incredibly stupid. Any time you’re dealing with an opponent, or a potential opponent, be weary. Think smart and don’t be caught with your pants around your ankles.
Business Lesson 3: Information is gold. Get what you can through any legal means possible that will allow you to sleep at night.
So the big question here is, how do you feel about corporate espionage? I think that’s a tough question to answer. From the business side I think you should get information through any legal means possible. On the other hand just because something is legal that doesn’t make it “right”. You should never betray a confidence, don’t stab your friends in the back, and only do what you’re comfortable with.
But there is more to corporate espionage than just that. There is also the reputation factor. This is what Stephen had to deal with. As a Christian he said he didn’t want to take part in the spying. But he did enjoy a good joke which made him appear to condone those actions. Stephen is now in a position where he has to explain his actions–or perceived actions–and he has to reconcile that with his faith.
The one thing to keep in mind is that there will always be people who believe very strongly that spying is wrong and immoral. If these people are influencers in your life and business then consider carefully if spying is right for you. Being able to sleep at night is just as an important business decision as any other.
Business Lesson 4: Anybody willing to lie for you can just as easily lie to you.
Everybody loves when they have people who have their back and are willing to lie for them. But they also don’t consider the possibility that a liar is just that, a liar. Whether they do it for you or to you, to an accomplished liar, it can all be the same.
It was interesting to see the progression of the Vinnie spy case unfold. Vinnie was sent outside to see if he could gather intelligence. He then volunteered himself to the women’s team knowing full well he was intending to be a spy. And he did that well. It was only later that he had a change of heart and decided to work with the women’s team and against his own team. Was this a surprise? It shouldn’t have been.
Vinnie started by lying for the guys team then ended up working against them. In business, the very same can happen. Only policies of complete honesty can create an atmosphere of complete trust.
To conclude this I have only one thing to say. Was that not the most perfect ending for this episode?