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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.11 – Los Angeles)

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The Candidates

Kinetic: Muna, Kristine, Derek, Marisa, Angela, Jenn, Heidi, Aimee, Nicole

Arrow: Frank, Michelle, James, Carey, Tim, Martin, Aaron, Stefanie, Surya


Heidi realizes that when Nicole asked Trump if Tim cold move over to her team it was for her, not the team’s benefit. Tim realizes that having split loyalties is creating a situation he would rather not be in.

The Task:

The teams are to develop a LA Times supplement for a new mouthwash product called SmartMouth. Two SmartMouth execs will oversee the teams and judge which team develops the best advertising supplement.

Kinetic Corp:

Heidi is PM once again and has Kinetic go directly to the photo shoot with each of the women on the team modeling for the product. Heidi begins to wonder if they are not reaching a broad enough audience using only women.

While they have the photographer Heidi wants to get as many different pictures as possible so they don’t lack anything when it comes time to put it all together.

Kristine feels that Heidi is not making any creative decisions so she can blame others if they lose or take credit if they win.

Meeting with the execs, the team hands them a copy of the LA times with the actual supplement inside. The supplement is shaped like two bottles of SmartMouth which opens like a brochure. The brochure provides an around the clock usage using pictures of people in various stages throughout the day with a time indicator (6am, 2pm, etc.) Ultimately they had a very strong presentation.

Arrow Corp:

Tim comes out of the box swinging with ideas for the team. He knows he’s in a precarious situation and he wants to prove himself.

Frank and Stefanie hit the streets looking for models they can use for their ads. They want the everyday person look. They dress them all in their pajama’s and shoot them covering their mouths. Frank wasn’t satisfied with the message and suggested they take some additional shots of something a bit different just in case. James and the team feel that it’s a bit late in the game for that.

On little sleep, Arrow begins putting together the supplement. Down to the wire Frank and Stefanie head back to the mansion so they can get showers and their presentation clothes. Tim stays behind only to realize that he does not have his clothes with him either. Frank assures Tim that they’ll bring his clothes for him, but they are unreachable by phone to ask. Stephanie complains that there is no communication between the two groups, but it was them that left without their phones charged!

James and Tim went straight to the L.A. Times because they didn’t have time. Frank and Stefanie met them there and luckily remembered to bring Tim’s clothes. But they forgot his socks.

Meeting with the execs Stefanie gives the presentation and does a fine job. Their supplement is about four pages and looks strong, with even a page about the science of SmartMouth.

The result:

They execs felt that Arrows presentation used good diversity, but forced the reader to work hard to know what it’s all about. They also felt that the science part was disjointed and didn’t flow with the rest of the brochure.

They loved Kinetics piece because it stood out and did a good job of grabbing the reader’s attention. The execs said that they’ll be walking it over to the LA times right away to run in the next Sunday’s paper. (And it did!)

The Boardroom:

James says they didn’t work well as a team. James says that the argument they had with Tim the night before shows that Tim had split loyalties and caused the team as a whole to be ineffective. Tim defends himself by saying that he is loyal to the team 100%.

Trump says that Tim’s ideas were bad. Tim says the overriding fault was between him and James. He owns up to his part in the creation of the brochure. James says that the team was distracted and that was caused by Frank.

Trump suggests that Frank should be fired since he was in charge of the photo shoot, but Frank replies that he stated his unhappiness and that they should have done more.

Stephanie and Frank both put the ultimate blame on Tim because he was a distraction. Tim is left to try and defend himself in regards to his loyalties. His personal stuff has become the focus. James says he’d rather have Frank than Tim on his team because Frank is a workhorse, Tim’s just a creative guy and James thinks he has plenty of that. Tim does a poor job of defending himself by saying he can be Frank.

Frank lets into Tim and his relationship with Nicole. Trump agrees that it has become a distraction and fires Tim.

Who’s Not Apprentice Material? Frank, James, Aimee, Surya, Tim, Angela.

Final four predictions: Heidi, Kristine. I’ll add Stephanie today just because we are narrowing things down. I still don’t have a good sense of her yet, but she seems stronger than anybody who remains. I’ll also add James because Trump seems to like him, though I’ll still keep him on the Not Apprentice Material list.

Lessons Learned:

  • Team first. Your loyalties should lie with your team, not your own personal relationships or gain.
  • Letting personal baggage get involved in work can cause an otherwise stellar teammate to appear weak and ineffective.
  • Don’t let another team member’s personal problems become your problem.

What would you have done?

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 (6.11 – Los Angeles)

  1. Tim (the kid who forgot why he was there in the first place) finally got fired.

    At the end when Trump waited for Tim to defend himself, I thought, OK, now, tell him how you’re the creative guy, tell him how you’re the fire that helps the team, etc. Remind him of exact tasks that were won and how you contributed to them. Remind Trump that when it was time for the project manager to let go one member of the team, it was NOT Tim.

    Instead what this fool is doing is…

    …he is telling Trump how he can be just like Frank? 🙂

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    You know you’re in trouble when your best argument is “I can be him so fire him instead!”

    Notice how my girl Heidi came through again! She is the next apprentice!