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Lessons From The Apprentice (5.14)

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We’re down to the final two: Sean and Lee. After Allie and Roxanne were fired last week Sean and Lee were called to the boardroom to be told. They were then sent back to the suite to pick three people each to be on their team for the final task.

Did anybody else wonder how they got all the team members there in the suite on such short notice? Trump must have known that he was going to fire (or at least a strong possibility of firing) both Allie and Roxanne before they even entered the board room.

I really liked they way the allowed the teams to be picked. I didn’t see all past candidates but most were there and allowed to be interviewed and make their case why they should be selected. This is the best way they have done this to date, which really allows the finalists to pick the best team possible.

My first choices would have been Andrea, Tammy and Charmaine. I didn’t see Charmaine in the room and I really don’t remember enough about anybody else (positively) to know who I would pick in her place. I do know enough about several others to know they shouldn’t be picked!

Sean immediately shored Tammy (his true love) and Andrea. After talking with several others Sean finally decided on Tarek for his third pick. Tarek never impressed me and he seemed to be not only hard to work with but never a strong contributor. Sean could have picked better, I think.

Lee picked Lenny (his true love) and then pretty much let Lenny tell him who to pick for the remaining two. Lenny decided on Pepi and Roxanne. File this under: What the heck is he thinking! None of these are standouts. Lenny is an OK choice but the other two I would have stayed away from.

Sean by far has the superior team here and I think Trump knows it. In the boardroom Carolyn is drawn to tears over Lee’s choice of Pepi. Trump didn’t even know who he was!

The Tasks:

Sean’s task was to run the Pontiac/Barenaked Ladies concert at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City to benefit the World Wildlife Fund.. This was Lee’s first choice as well but Lee let Sean have that and chose to take on the task of managing the Pontiac/Celebrity Hockey Game at Chelsea Piers for the Leary Firefighters Foundation.

What Went Right for Sean:

Sean seemed immediately organized. I think Sean could have made some better decisions about where he needed to be (opted to select menu items with Tammy rather than meet with the Pontiac exec) but so far it was a pretty solid start.

What Went Wrong for Sean:

Andrea started coughing up blood. She had to take off to go to the doctor’s and there is a good chance that they’ll lose her for the rest of the task (we’ll find out next week). Her absence is already felt when nobody knows where the banners are that were supposed to be delivered. Tarek worries about being one man down.

What Went Right for Lee:

So far? Not much.

What Went Wrong for Lee:

Lee didn’t seem to have a clue as to what was going on. His team met with the Leary Firefighters exec to present some ideas. All of which were shot down as being not substantial enough.

In this meeting, Lee should have taken the time to learn about the audience, find out what’s been done in the past, what worked or didn’t work, then take that information to brainstorm and come up with some ideas to bring back to the exec. She basically sent them away to come up with some real ideas they could use.

When Lee met with the Pontiac execs they brought up an idea of matching donations but then never followed through. The exec felt like they missed a good opportunity there. Later the Leary exec called Lee and expressed her concern that the event doesn’t feel like it’s coming together like it should. Lee feels like she’s busting his balls but really, she just wants to be a part of a successful fundraiser.

Carolyn notices Lee’s lack of leadership and of course, his team mates don’t seem to be contributing much leaving Lee with a lack of good ideas. Ideas are what the Leary exec wants to hear and she’s not getting any good ones.

While Sean is a man down, Lee needs to worry because his team is four men down.

Lessons Learned:

  • Choose wisely. Who you have working for you can make or break you. You’ve got to have people that do more than say they are behind you but have proven that they are. You also need people who have proven skills and experience. All are essential.
  • Business first. It may be nice to work with pretty girls or handsome guys, but don’t overlook doing what’s important or being where you’re needed in order to “hang out” with a friend. And if you work with celebrities, stay professional. Being starstruck will only prevent you from focusing on the task.


The way it looks now, Sean will be the next Apprentice. Of course anything can change as the task concludes next week, but Lee showed poor judgment in selecting his team and really isn’t showing any leadership capabilities with this task.

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 (5.14)

  1. Igor M. says:

    Stoney …” Lee picked Lenny (his true love) ” …. hahaha, excellent remark.

    Lee is a disappointment. You’re the boss and at the same time you look like a kid who’s unsure about decisions, hugely overwhelmed, passive and weak. (He sits in the office while his other 3 people are there with him and he complaints that there is too much to be done. Hello!!! what are you doing now?) It looked like Lenny was his father. Lee … Lenny is not going to be by your side when you’re managing a part of a corporation !!!

    I think Lee is a talented “kid” who’ll make it, but a bit later. He’s just too young for this caliber.

    Sean … he’ll win. He’s got qualities that a business man should have. Just look how people interact with him and respond to him. It’s great when you can be nice to people and yet keep a face of a boss. Not many can master this.

    Now … the teams. Lee’s team is a joke. My pick would be Andrea, Tammy and ….. I actually don’t know. No one else really shined in my eyes. Charmaine? After the idiotic hair makeover she did while being a project manager on one of the tasks, and her loss of focus on that same task, I was disappointed with her.

    Stoney … I’ll bet $100 on Sean making it. 😉

    P.S. I don’t know what happened with Lenny. At the beginning of the show he was actually pretty good. He was active, humorous, … now he sounds like a disaster.

    P.S.S. …… Pepi? I had to go back to your first posts to remind myself of who Pepi was.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Charmain had her problems, but let’s not forget this wasn’t a stand-out crowd by any means. I just remember liking Charmaine on some tasks, which is more than I can say about most of the others… namely Lee’s entire team.

    Yeah, Lee’s a good kid who may go somewhere some day but this isn’t his gig. Just the fact that he picked Pepi (who Trump and Carolyn didn’t even remember) makes that obvious.

    Anything can happen, but right now Sean looks like the next apprentice to disappear and never be heard from again. Can you name two former winners that we’ve seen since? Nope… only Bill, from season one. That should tell you something about the quality of the candidates they are getting.