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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.6 – Los Angeles)

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The Candidates

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

Arrow: Nicole, Frank, Michelle, James, Carey, Tim, Martin, Aaron, Stefani, Surya

Prelude:

Surya goes off on his team, telling them, “Don’t lie!” Surya believes he has to be PM on the next task in order to prove himself. “I’ll bleed for this team,” he tells them.

The Task:

The teams will be promoting Priceline at an LA shopping mall. The team that generates the most sign-ups for the Priceline sweepstakes will be declared the winners.

Kinetic Corp:

Aimee continues to be PM for the team, despite her shortcomings last week. She immediately starts assigning tasks to her teammates, but doesn’t seem to have a coherent plan. Some had more than they could handle while others had nothing to do for hours.

The team decides to raffle off a$1000 Priceline voucher every 30 minutes. The kiosk is decorated in a Hawaiian theme, but Aimee takes exception to a pink octopus. Aimee wants to take a team vote about it instead of just making a decision about it.

Kinetic has some difficulties communicating with the shoppers because a good percentage of them speak Spanish.

Arrow Corp:

Tim starts leading the team with ideas as Surya starts to designate individual responsibilities. Frank starts drawing pictures of Surya during the meeting and then verbally making fun of him with the rest of the team. Not a good sign of things to come.

Arrow prints up some very basic looking fliers they start putting on car windshields. Surya disappears and his teammates have no idea where he is or what he’s doing. Surya was confident in his ability to sell. Based on his performance, his confidence is severely misplaced.

What I Might Have Done:

This task success was almost 100% dependent on the ability to sell. Decorating the kiosk was a good move, but there needed to be more “buzz” around the drawings. One team had a drawing every 20 minutes, another every 30 minutes. In either case I think a big count-down time could have been a nice touch. They could have also used something to help draw crowds a bit more. This needed to be an “event” that drew people.

It also could have helped if the forms did not have to be filled out on the computers. That’s a nice touch and all, but instead of forcing everybody to come back to the kiosk each team member could have had forms in which to gather the information needed. Even if participants needed to be present to win, the information could have been gathered in order to prevent any bottle-necking at the kiosk itself.

The result:

Surya believes his team did amazing. When Kinetic asked about Aimee as team leader everybody held their tongue. Kinetic signed up 326 while Arrow signed up 359.

Aimee goes on damage control and puts blame on Jen for not addressing the needs in order to sell to the 50% Hispanic demographic. Aimee blames the rest of the team for not offering more ideas on the task.

The Boardroom:

Aimee was not aggressive as a PM. She left her team confused because of her lack of delegation. Aimee says she is not responsible because she didn’t know about the demographic issues.

Aimee chooses both Derek and Jen to come back with her to the boardroom.

Aimee is described as an absent project manager. Neither Derek or Jen told Aimee the demographic issue. Aimee says this was the job of the marketing team. Trump tells Aimee she is not a leader. Aimee was fired.

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

Final four predictionsYeah, it’s a bit early, but I think Heidi has it made barring a future disaster of her doing.

Lessons Learned:

  • Weak leadership creates weak teams. You can’t blame the team for failing if you can’t provide the leadership to win.
  • Rarely ever is it always somebody else’s fault. Those that fail to find their own shortcomings and contributions to a loss will continue to lose.
  • Know your audience. Don’t guess about them, know who they are and what language they speak.
  • Communication is key to success. If nobody communicates then important decisions can’t be made.

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.

2 Responses to Lessons From The Apprentice (6.6 – Los Angeles)

  1. Stoney,

    “…but instead of forcing everybody to come back to the kiosk each team member could have had forms in which to gather the information needed.”

    I thought exactly the same thing. WHY did they have to bring people back to the station? Just get their info. If they are not there to claim the prize … great, $1,000 saved.

    Remember that “buying a drink-bait” for PubCon speakers at the LasVegas event, where you would have to buy a drink for a speaker and take a picture with them to win a prize? The guy who won didn’t drag speakers to the bar. He would fail with that strategy. Instead, he brought the drink to THEM.

    Same thing could have been utilized in this task!

  2. PJ says:

    I worked in the mall for many years and nothing draws like live music.
    It doesn’t even have to be good music, but the sound brings people to that area see what is going on. I would have hired a local band.