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Lessons From The Apprentice (5.12)

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The Candidates

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

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


Back from the board room, Lee is told by Allie, “I think Trump likes you.” Glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Lee must hold the record for most trips to the boardroom in a single season!

The Task:

The teams are to create a display at a Wal-Mart for the new X-Box 360. Execs from both Wal-Mart and Microsoft will determine the winning team by who they feel puts together the best display.

Synergy: As team leader, Tammy comes up with the idea to do a “red carpet” award theme, to display all the “award winning” aspects of the X-Box console. Roxanne and Allie don’t care much for the idea, which shows both in their contribution to the ideas and execution of the tasks.

As Tammy tells Bill their idea, Allie was seen rolling her eyes, an obvious show that she doesnโ€™t like the concept. Bill doesn’t like the obvious disunity Allie shows.

Finally Tammy sits her team down to see if they can come get things out in the open between them. She expresses to them that she feels she is not being respected and that the two are backbiting against her and constantly rolling their eyes. This shocks the women to argue vehemently that they were not rolling their eyes and privately (to the camera) used all manners of justifications and explanations to point out they were absolutely not doing that. BS!. They were caught and they know it!

Roxanne was in charge of signage and ultimately underperformed in getting attention grabbing signs that fit their theme. They were small and inconsequential.

Gold Rush: Sean leads the team (Lee) and they come up with an idea to set up their display in 360 degrees, with the various features of the X-Box on display formed in a circle with the X-Box the center feature.

With their idea they chose to outsource various components of the display rather than trying to do everything themselves. Talking to their signage guys, he promised to deliver the floor by midnight. A couple of hours before the deadline he calls the guys telling them that the floor will take seven more hours to dry. Without the floor in place, the guys really can’t do anything with the display and have not choice but to wait it out.

Once the floor arrives, the guys are told they need another two hours to complete the roof, a crucial component to the overall display. They guys ask for a rush but soon realize that no matter what the roof will not arrive in time. They scramble to assemble the walls, which is additional signage that was supposed to hang from the roof, which they don’t have, so the guys are forced to improvise.

The end result is an unfinished display with sagging walls. They guys know they are in trouble.

The execs had already come and gone before the roof for their display arrived.

The result:

Synergy had a complete showroom that ultimately came together well, while Gold Rush’s display was unfinished, thanks to the signage guy.

While the execs felt that Synergy’s display was inviting it didn’t give a High-tech feel, nor did it do enough to sell the product. On the other hand, noting that the guysโ€™ concept was not well executed, the concept itself was a winner as they guys priced the units in the display along with many other products that can go hand in hand with the X-Box unit.

Gold Rush was astoundingly declared the winner.

What I Might Have Done:

The guys had the right idea outsourcing the signage, but unfortunately they did get screwed. They should have shopped it around a bit more, but on short notice that’s a hard thing to do. Overall, their idea was good but a bit cramped inside, they should have spread things out a bit more. I probably would have avoided the “enclosed” display opting for something a bit more open and inviting. I don’t want to walk into a tent!

The Boardroom:

Tammy felt she was hung out to dry by her team mates, and made a very correct statement when she said her teammates strategically chose not to respect her. Both Allie and Roxanne made a conscious decision not to give this task their best effort simply because they didn’t like the concept. Did they bring any ideas of their own to the table? Not that we saw.

Even though it was obvious that the two girls didn’t contribute and were then ganging up on Tammy, Trump fired Tammy for not being able to lead her team. While this isn’t a “wrong” decision, I don’t think it was the most right one. The girls chose not to contribute, chose not to be led, and chose to blame the one person they were least close to. But the only other option was for Trump to fire both Roxanne and Allie, but I don’t think NBC would have liked that.

Apprentice 5.12

Lessons Learned:

  • It’s not always fair. As leader you are the person most responsible for failure. Even if your team strategically and deliberately makes a decision not to follow, you may be held accountable for an inability to lead. It’s not right, but that’s the way it is sometimes.
  • It’s not always fair. Some things you just don’t have control over. You got a good plan, you hire the right people but somewhere along the way things begin to breakdown, completely outside of your control. Be prepared to take the heat. It’s not right, but that’s the way it is sometimes.
  • Don’t count yourself out. Things may not be going your way and may be obviously jacked up, but a good idea poorly executed is still a good idea. Unlike a bad idea which ultimately must be scrapped to start from scratch, a good idea can be improved upon later.

Final Two Predictions:

It will be interesting to watch these two girls work together on the next task. My gut feeling is without a third party to bitch about, they’ll turn on each other. This will make for a good episode. Maybe that’s why they werenโ€™t fired!

I think Lee and Sean both stand a much better chance of winning the next task over Allie and Roxanne. Given that, it’s Allie’s turn to be PM and I think she’ll be the one who gets fired. After seeing these girls bitch about stupid stuff over the past couple episodes, I’d be happy to see them both gone. Shame, too, because I was really pulling for Roxanne at one point.

My prediction for the final two are Lee and Sean.

What would you have done, and who do you predict will make the F2?

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.

3 Responses to Lessons From The Apprentice (5.12)

  1. Igor M. says:

    Stoney …. I can sense that you felt bad about Tammy being fired.

    Anyway … my birth day is coming pretty soon. As a gift can I have those 2 “girls” fired? ๐Ÿ™‚ Cruel, but ….. I think many would share my opinion. They remind me of a Junior High School. I don’t like her, and her, and her, I mean c’omon …. grow UP!

    I think that yes, they decided not to support Tammy from the start, BUT I would never sit them down and tell them that I feel that I am not getting the respect and support I want. Listen ……… you should never ASK for respect! You either get it or you don’t and if you want to change things around, do not sit and cry to those that don’t respect you. Instead, change your strategy and decide what you want to be done. Either drop them and go at it alone, OR find the right “path” to them to win them over on your side.

    Just like in most tasks the idea is to sell. The idea is not to make a lounge, a great design or to please someone. ……….. Sell!

    We are all selfish and we care only about ourselves (harsh isn’t it, but in some respect true). Thus, we put too much of ourselves into the project (our desires, our wants and our opinion). The girl wants a RED CARPET, so she goes and creates one. What was the strategy??? Where are the prices??? How do I buy this???

    The guys on the other hand did a better job because they focused on selling. I laughed when I saw that guy bring the roof after the execs already left….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    In the boardroom, Tammy didn’t sound too well. She didn’t really prepare for it. Would I fire her…??? Even though I like her, I would fire her …………… oh and the other 2 at the same time.

    Stoney I think you’re right, it will be between Lee and Sean, unless Lee screws up again and gets his butt in the boardroom.

    What I would do??????? I’d get rid of the tent. Stoney you’re 100% right …. why the tent???

    To get people into the tent I’d maybe do some “grabbers” within the store to get the interest and curiosity of the consumer. …. But the design … I guess it was fine. I can’t really add anything to it right now. Have to go get some Dunkin Donuts coffee now.

    Stoney did you see Allie in the boardroom??? Can someone please fire her? ……… I don’t mean to be controversial. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Tammy deserved to be fired, no doubt. But the other girls deserve much worse! Jr. High is right, and you’re absolutely right about how Tammy handled it. I don’t think she did that well, she should have just said… “Hey, I don’t like the eye rolling, now lets all work together and win this task. You don’t like the idea, fine I’ll take the heat for that, but I sure won’t be taking the heat for sitting around, rolling my eyes and not contributing!”

    I’m kinda hoping for a cat fight next week! Is that wrong?