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Business Lessons from Celebrity Apprentice (ep. 5)

Celebrity ApprenticeThursday’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.

Celebrityh Apprentice Vinnie Resigns

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?

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

5 Responses to Business Lessons from Celebrity Apprentice (ep. 5)

  1. Stoney, I agree … great episode.

    Vinny is a true ass****. If they didn’t fire him I would be shocked. People seem to hate “Pierce” but I actually really like the guy. At least he was not changing his mind every hour about his actions. There is nothing wrong with sending a spy if it’s for the well being of the business (and does not physically harm others). If women were dumb enough to trust the guy (actor), it’s their fault.

    What really bothered me was the Baldwin brother. The man is a hypocrite and a “back stabber”. Anything he’ll do just to get rid of the competition (Pierce). I am not surprised to see him either resign or ask to be moved to the other team just to avoid looking in to the eyes of Pierce.

    I love it when he didn’t want to pick up the paper off the floor but called a teammate to do it instead. So it’s as if … “I won’t stoop to that level, but hey, my friend, do it for me instead”.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    I have a totally different take on Baldwin. I think when he saw the paper he realized it had gone too far (for him) and he wanted hands off. But he also felt compelled to let his team mates know and to let them make their own decision. He was just caught in a place where he didn’t really know what to do.

    I also don’t think he stabbed Piers in the back at all. They have a love-hate relationship and in the boardroom it’s all business. I don’t think Piers was a particularly effective leader and for him to reveal that Vinny was a spy while in their camp was just bad, bad leadership.

  3. Stoney …. Baldwin said “…. come pick up this paper”. He did not go into the room saying that there was a paper outside.

    I don’t know … I tend to trust people who are not too sugar coted and fake in what they say and how they behave. Usually they’ll smile in your face and put a fork in your back the minute you turn around. Pierce is very forward and harsh in some of the statements he makes but at least he does it in your face.

    You can’t image how many times I’ve seen the same thing over and over. People who are “too” friendly and “too” nice and “too” perfect usually turn out to be the total opposite.

    Bottom line is … Stoney … we’ve been commenting on this thing for how long? 3 years now? Let me congratulate you on keeping it interesting instead of just recapping the entire episode like other places do.

    P.S. In case you didn’t know … NBC signed Apprentice Celebrity for the 2nd season. Like I said …. “Dancing with the Stars phenomenon”.

  4. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    The impression I got is Baldwin saw the paper and said (I paraphrase) “Hey, I’m not going to be part of this but I”m just letting you guys know what’s out there.” I don’t think he was just trying to get someone else to do what he was unwilling. It was more of him being a team player but setting his limits.

    I don’t know what to think about a Celebrity Apprentice 2. How a about we get some REAL business people on the show? Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Jack Welch, etc.