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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.9 – 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


Frank feels that James needs to step up and be PM. To put up or shut up. Frank takes the challenge. The next morning Arrow wakes up to a windstorm, but that could not dampen Nicole’s enthusiasm for being able to meet Trump on the set of Passions in Studio City.

The Task:

The teams are going to create a 45-seconed soap opera “webisode” for Soft Scrub. The Soft Scrub execs will be judging the webisodes.

Kinetic Corp:

Kinetic goes to work with a brainstorming session. They come up with the idea of “washing up dirty secrets.” Muna gets shut down when she tries to bring in additional ideas. Muna initially gets stuck with the job of making sure everything gets done on time. She’s not happy about that so Kristine makes a very wise leadership decision and removes herself from an acting role and gives it to Muna in order to get 120% out of her.

As they begin putting the script together, Muna objects to using the Lord’s name in vane in her role. Kristine mocks her saying that God said it was OK.

Kristine left with Angela to pick up some props and bitch about Muna. She should have stayed on the set and direct the scene. Later when Kristine returns she is annoyed because Muna keeps (gasp!) trying to make things better.

The team ran into a problem when they played back the scenes and realized that it is difficult to understand Muna, forcing them to cut out quite a bit.

Arrow Corp:

James has no idea how to film and readily admits that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Nicole developed the story line of a guy cleaning a bathroom before he proposes to his girlfriend. Nicole goes into director’s mode and begins telling James how to shoot the scenes.

Nicole and time were leading the editing of the film which left James doing nothing more than just sitting back and “relying” on his time. Frank thinks Tim is over thinking the editing process and is in danger of ruining it.

Everything done, the team was confident of a win. James tells his team that, should they lose, he doesn’t want to bring any of them to the boardroom. It felt like a goodbye.

The result:

Arrow’s video is played first. Frank proves himself to be a slightly worse actor than Screetch. The video was jokey, felt like a bad commercial, but did good branding and added a tie in with the website.

Kinetic was next, Muna was very difficult to understand, but they did a good job of editing an interesting story.

The execs liked the way Arrow had good product tie in, but felt the ending was weak. On the other hand they liked the cliffhanger posed by Kinetic, but felt they did not have enough product tie in and could not understand the dialogue .

Arrow was declared the winner.

What I Might Have Done:

Creating a video boils down to a few basic concepts. Being able to write a good script, being able to act it out, and having a director that knows when things aren’t going right. While I believe Kristine made the right decision at the time to put Muna in front of the camera, it ultimately worked against them. Had Kristine been there she could have either directed Muna to slow down her talking so she could be understood or replaced her before it was too late.

Personally, I think Kinetic’s video was superior overall, but they lost because of the inability to understand the dialogue and needed more product placement.

Speaking to the camera Kristine goes on an anti-God rant because Muna is reading her Bible instead of a book written by Trump! I’d say she’s not apprentice material, but I think she’s going to be fired.

Talking to the Soft Scrub execs, they put the blame on the person behind the camera. Oops, there was no one directing. Can we say buh-bye to Kristine? She’s gonna have to fight pretty hard to stay alive.

The Boardroom:

Kristine immediately tries to blame Muna because Muna wanted to be in front of the camera. Muna defended herself saying that she didn’t demand and said she’d do whatever she was delegated (which is true).

It is noted that the product placement scenes ended up on the floor because of Muna. Muna rebuts that Kristine had ample opportunity to direct and review scenes well in advance.

Angela refuses to answer the “who will you fire” question. She says they are both equally responsible. When asked who she wants on her team she chooses Kristine. Heidi wants both on her team, again evading the question. Muna re-asks the question to Heidi trying to get an answer. Heidi chooses Kristine.

Trump praises Muna for being a risk taker. Then he fires her. So much for friends. My respect for Heidi has just dropped tremendously.

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

Final four predictions: Heidi, Kristine. I’ll add Tim to the final four prediction. He seems pretty solid, though largely untested.

Lessons Learned:

  • Cut the B.S. Don’t tell someone they are the “one” person you want on your team if it’s not true. Pick your friends and stand by them to the end.
  • As a leader you need to show respect to other people’s beliefs, religious, political or otherwise. Making fun of those beliefs publicly, no matter how much you disagree is simply bad form.
  • Show up for your tasks. If you’re in charge, be in charge and delegate small tasks to others. Don’t leave the important stuff to others so you can go off and gossip.
  • If you were not around to lead, take responsibility. Period.

What would you have done?

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