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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.3 – Los Angeles)

I’m a bit late with this week’s recap. Unforeseen circumstances prevented from getting this to you earlier.

Apprentice Logo

The Candidates

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

Arrow Team A: Aaron, James, Stefani
Arrow Team B: Michelle, Tim, Nicole, Frank
Carey, Martin


Arrow doesn’t seem too happy to see Michelle come back from the boardroom. The team says she asks too many questions and is therefore disruptive. The team appears to be strategizing how to get rid of her.

Because they won last week the Kinetic team will not be participating in this week’s task. Instead they get to spend the day being pampered at a luxury hotel!

Arrow is divided up into two teams with Aaron volunteering to be PM and Trump volunteers Michelle. She hesitated when asked and then said she felt cornered. That’s too bad, she should have jumped at the chance to lead!

The Task:

The teams are to create a theme tour for Startline tours. Tourists will take a survey and the answers will determine the winner.

Kinetic Corp:

Arrow Corp Team A:

James came up with the idea of having two Laker Girls to be a part of the tour. Murder sites and movie locations come up but then the team decides to go with “Famous Places, Beautiful Faces.”

James is sent on a Starline tour to take notes and talk to tourists to find out what the like and what they don’t like. James didn’t care much for driver’s jokes and he felt that refreshments should be served. The team decided on Perrier and popcorn.

Later that night the team hunkers down with some research to plan the route.

The following morning there is a line for the tour but no Laker Girls. Finally they show up and the crowd pretty much goes wild as the girls sign pictures as the tourists board the buss.

James takes the microphone. The team thinks he’s a bit overbearing and a potential reason for a loss. Finally Stephanie takes over the microphone and does a phenomenal job with interesting facts and a professional demeanor.

Arrow Corp Team B:

Michelle has the idea of a day in the life of the rich and famous. Half the team loved the idea, the other half was lukewarm to it. Michelle wanted to ensure the whole team is on board. Unfortunately, this makes her look indecisive and if she’s just trying to cover herself if it’s a flop.

The team starts driving around looking for landmarks around Hollywood. The realized that Hollywood is pretty much a dump and there really are no rich and famous around there. The moved on to Beverly Hills to see the sights and then realized that such a tour would be incredibly boring.

The other half of team took things in their own hands and got some banners for the bus printed up and rented some tuxedoes. They have little confidence in Michelle. Meanwhile Michelle cannot decide between Hollywood or Beverly Hills. They decide to remain with Hollywood but still need a “location” for a big attraction.

With most of the day wasted Michelle wants to pull an all-nighter but the team wants to sleep. Michelle wants the team to work together but offers no plan or agenda. Nicole and Michelle go head to head over the issue.

Michelle took the microphone for the tour and started rambling. They certainly didn’t have much of script and certain aspects of the script should have been left out (James Belushi ODing on heroine!) The microphone was creating terrible feedback almost constantly which created obvious discomfort to the tourists. Michelle admits that the tour was pretty much a disaster.

What I Might Have Done:

A tour such as this is determined by research. With access to the internet there is no reason to jump in a vehicle and start driving around until you know exactly what you want to show. Knowing this, a route could have been mapped out, driven out and then pictures taken so the team can then work on the script. Locations and script are paramount and time needs to be invested in both to pull it off.

The result:

Team A is confident of a win. When asked Team B would not stand behind Michelle as PM. Team A received an 82% approval rating. Team B scored a 58% approval.

Michelle speaks up and tells Trump she doesn’t want to come back to the board room. She said this was more than she signed up for and the process was too tough for her. She wants to work for Trump but through “conventional” means. Michelle quits.

The remaining members of Team B are now worried that one of them would get fired when Michelle should have and would have been the one to get canned. They feel she jeopardized someone else’s chance of remaining in the game.

A last minute call from Trump’s secretary put those fears to rest as Trump cancelled the boardroom.

The Boardroom:

Who’s Not Apprentice Material? Frank. This week’s addition: James. He’s got good ideas but he’s a bit over the top in his personality. I wouldn’t rule him completely out but he needs to tone down a bit.

Lessons Learned:

  • There is a difference between getting team consensus and just not being able to make a decision. Team consensus is good but at some point you just have to decide what to do. Getting team input is also good and shows good leadership, unless its just a cover for the inability to truly lead them down a chosen path.
  • It ain’t always going to be like you thought. In fact, very little in life does turn out like we thought. A good business person expects this and figures out how to adapt and succeed in an unexpected environment.
  • Don’t quit!

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 (6.3 – Los Angeles)

  1. Stoney … Michelle was simply silly to watch on the show. Waiting until each and every member of the team accepts her plan? Comon … for people to follow you, you don’t have to ask for their approval … just be confident, lead, and this will make them believe in you.

    She puts her tail between her legs and runs away (quits). This is embarrassing.

    For the task … I think Team A did a great job by going on the trip to analyze things that can be improved. Serving water and snacks is a good way to “Americans” heart.

    I think the mistake of Team B was that they were trying to recreate the wheel by going out and looking for good places to place on their “road map”. That’s a waste of time and something that could have never been finished in 1 day.

    What else can I add here? It was a simple task. All the teams had to do was improve what was out there already and smile. A little research, food, smile and great script would seal the deal.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    I fully agree. Michell was a disaster from the moment Trump asked her to lead. Who hesitates like that? Heck, I would have volunteered. Nothing shows leadership by being willing (not forced) to take the reigns. Michelle was one of those that you wonder how she got on the show to begin with… especially when I was available!!! 😉

  3. Stoney, if you would only wear a dress and a colorful hat to the Apprentice “casting”, I am sure you would have gone through at least 2 rounds.

    I don’t know … there is something wrong with this season. Something is missing. They are not giving the audience a broader look at the candidates. I sometimes see a person and I have no idea who the heck they are, their name or what they said or did before. It’s like they focus on 3 people at a time.

    Also, I’ve noticed that if before they would allow these guys (candidates) to meet with the executives of these huge corporations (something I enjoyed), now it’s all rushed.