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Lessons From the Apprentice (5.11)

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The Candidates

Synergy: Allie, Andrea, Brent, Pepi, Roxanne, Sean, Stacy, Tammy

Gold Rush: Bryce, Charmaine, Dan, Lee, Lenny, Leslie, Michael, Summer, Tarek, Theresa


Why are Allie and Roxanne still griping about Sean? Roxanne thinks Sean owes Allie an apology. Why? It’s over. It’s done. Sean did nothing wrong but by their continued sniping I think the girls are showing their own fears. Let it go already!

When the teams assembled to be told their first task, Gold Rush was down two members from Synergy. To even it up, Trump asked who Synergy wanted to get rid of. Before being thrown out like yesterday’s donuts, Sean volunteers to go, creating men vs. women.

The Task:

The teams were to plan and execute a tailgate party serving food from Outback Steakhouse. The team that makes the most money wins.

Synergy: Roxanne steps up to be PM for the women. First order of business, sample the food at the nearest Outback Steakhouse. This sort of reminds me of Charmaine getting her hair done instead of promoting the task. I mean, who doesn’t know how good Outback is?

Allie talks to the Rudgers Cheerleader coach to get the squad to participate in their tailgate party. Although the cheerleaders already have an exclusive deal with the other team, the coach agrees to talk with Gold Rush to see if she can break it.

Allie then shows up at the pep rally only to find that not only does Gold Rush have their fliers printed, they are handing them out en masse and really building up the excitement factor. By the time the other two women show up with the fliers to pass out the pep rally has ended and most everybody has left.

Driving around in the van, the cheerleader coach calls Allie to tell her the bad news, Gold Rush will not allow their original agreement to be broken. Adding insult to injury, the women pass frat houses and see Gold Rush hyping up their event and getting everybody excited ab out coming out to their event.

On the day of the event, the women dressed as cheerleaders themselves to compensate for not being able to get the real deal. With very little publicity turnout was minimal, but the girls used that as an opportunity to make bulk sales. $5 per plate, delivered! This went over pretty big with many people wanting to eat from their own areas. If you can’t attract them to you, go to them!

Gold Rush: Lee believes he’ll be best for the task so he takes on PM duties. In the planning session Sean suggest finding lots of women in skimpy outfits. The team decides to try and snag an “exclusive” deal with the Rudgers Cheerleaders.

The cheerleader coach agrees to work with Gold Rush exclusively. Gold Rush is already giddy with excitement. But when Michael went later to work out the details the coach asked to break the exclusive agreement so she can send some of the cheerleaders to Synergy’s event. Michael thinks that it’s only fair to give up one or two to the other team, but decides to let Lee make that decision.

On the phone both Lee and Sean are incredulous that Michael would allow such a thing and tell him in no uncertain terms that they will give up exclusivity.

On the day of the event, Gold Rush attracted thousands of people to their tailgate party. The sported an eating contest, money pit, cheerleaders and food for $2-3 a plate. Michael was given the task of running the event from the microphone. While the crowd was big, Michael did little to promote the purchase of the food from his stage.

What I Might Have Done:

I think the guys had the marketing mechanism down. They created an event that people wanted to come to and be a part of. But with a big crowd, they failed to convert. More time and planning needed to go into getting people to buy the food. The mechanism to get them there was great but the latter lacked.

The girls on the other hand had the opposite problem. They had no mechanism to bring people in, but found a way to convert people through service. Together, these teams would have put on the perfect event.

Oh, I would have done without the eating contest. I don’t think seeing people shove food down their throats is something that builds an appetite!

The result:

Gold Rush brought in $1750, $1000 less than Synergy’s take of $2750.

I have to admit I was completely shocked by this outcome. I really thought the guys had the upper hand with all the planning and pre-event marketing, but the women did a better job selling, which is what counts in the end.

Sean and Lee talk about how Michael should have used his microphone to promote the sales rather than just the events that got people there. Later Michael tries to convince Sean that Lee’s poor planning is what lost the task. I think the case can be made both ways But if Lee didn’t like the way Michael was running the microphone he should have stepped up and took over, or at least made an announcement or two.

The Boardroom:

Sean sided with Lee in blaming Michael for not pushing the sales. Michael tried to pass blame to Lee. George and Carolyn though the pricing of the food was too low, but Lee stood by that decision. When asked what the cheerleaders did for the event Lee jumped at the opportunity to tell them that Michael was willing to give up their exclusivity. This didn’t sit well with Trump who doesn’t like giving up any kind of advantage, regardless of how “fair” it is.

For both the cheerleader fiasco and not selling from his stage, Michael was fired.

Apprentice 5.11

Lessons Learned:

  • Get over it! If you have issues with your coworkers or colleagues, get past it. Move on. If they have problems, don’t let their problems become yours. Chances are, however, that it’s not them with the problem, it’s you. Get over it or you’ll get exposed.
  • Attract and convert. Both are necessary components, but if you can’t attract, then get out there and go to your customer base. Attracting without converting is simply a waste of time and engery.
  • Don’t give up your advantage. If you have something that the other company doesn’t, keep what you have and use it to win. There is no “fair” in business.

Final Four Predictions:

My F4 predictions remain intact this week: Lee, Sean, Roxanne and Tammy. I don’t think Allie has what it takes to succeed here, but by some stroke of luck, she might get in. In which case I think it’ll be Lee that doesn’t make it.

What would you have done, and who do you predict will make the F4?

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