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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.8 – 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


Surya tells his team that he feels he made a great move coming over to Arrow. Unfortunately, his team does not share the same sentiment of him.

The Task:

The teams will put on a half-time show promoting GNC during an LA Galaxy soccer game. The team that promotes GNC the best, determined by a GNC VP, wins the task.

Kinetic Corp:

Kristine takes up the PM role because she has experience with running half-time promotions. Their idea is to do a GNC vitamin challenge using people in vitamin costumes running through various challenges. Muna wanted to brainstorm for some additional ideas, not wanting to be locked into the first idea they came up with. Kristine tries to reassure Muna by telling her she’s done this before. Muna feels silenced, but is determined to do her best with whatever tasks she’s given.

Muna asks lots of questions and is thorough to a fault. She is annoying Kristine because she feels as if Muna is micro-managing.

Out on the field, I’m not sure the point of the “challenge” came across. The spectators saw some GNC pills running around, but it’s not clear whether the fans were able to determine what exactly the pills were doing. There was some narration (in Spanish too!). The pills were obvious GNC pills so the branding was there at the very least.

Arrow Corp:

In the van Arrow begins brainstorming ideas. Tim has an idea of a Popey-like boxing match that Frank and James immediately take a liking to. Surya seems cool to the idea and asks the team for five minutes of silence so everyone can create their own idea in their head. Frank is openly disdainful of Surya’s leadership, which is childish, but quite comical.

James is concerned that there is not enough happening to please the crowd. Surya feels James is just dissenting to cover his butt in the boardroom and fails to listen to any legitimate concerns.

After the run-through, James is still concerned that they won’t get the message across properly. The team is in the locker room waiting for show time trying to work out the final details, but it seems to be more like working out all the details.

On the field there was a lot of narration with not too much action. Surya feels good about it, but the GNC exec leans to trump noting that it’s a pretty complex story line. He’s afraid they lost the crowd.

What I Might Have Done:

I think the most crucial part of this task was to be able to tell a story without having to actually tell it verbally. The teams needed to essentially be able to get the point across without using words. Kinetic came closest to that.

The result:

GNC felt that Kinetic had good branding, was entertaining, liked the multi-lingual, and overall felt the concept worked. He felt that arrow did a poor job at branding and didn’t understand the concept at all. Kinetic is the clear winner!

The entire Kinetic team is backing Surya and believe that he’s a great leader (he’s not) and that the wins that he has led them to are unappreciated. Can we say: delusional?

The Boardroom:

Tim believes the concept of the story was good, but the execution was flawed. The team believes that Surya has poor leadership skills. Surya points out James as the biggest problem on the team. Surya doesn’t believe in his team and his team points out Surya as being the least competent.

Surya brings back Tim and James. James for not being a team player and Tim for coming up with the idea. Kristine says they should all go, but Bill says it’s James or Surya (Tim at least had an idea to work from.)

Surya wants points for stepping up to go to the losing team previously, but wishes he didn’t. Surya says James is disloyal. Tim agrees with the others that James has a CYA attitude, but still feels that Surya should go. Surya admits that he’d function better in a non-leadership position. Um… Trumps looking for leaders, not followers. Surya gets fired.

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

Final four predictions: Heidi. I’m going to remove Muna from the list, she needs to be less intense. She may be added later. I’ll add Kristine to the list today for the win she got. This late in the game any win (subject to no pending screw ups). At this point, I don’t see any men who I think are F4 material with the possible exception of Tim. I’ll also be keeping an eye on Angela as she has F4 potential.

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you see a problem, say it… but don’t just cover your butt, be constructive and helpful.
  • Know when to let the leader lead, even if that leads to a failure. Sometimes you need to step back.
  • You can lead a team to a win, but not be a part of the victory. Be sure you’re really leading your team!

What would you have done?

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