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The Apprentice 2 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 7: Dogging ItPage 2
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Wes: Well, you didn't do very well as Project Manager. For the second straight week, you made a possibly-fatal error, this time missing the "rush" hour for dog walking. But for the second straight week, you took responsibility for it. I can't stress enough how huge this is. Well, maybe I can. You took the blame for failure, apologized, and pledged that you wouldn't make the same mistake again. Stacey blames everyone else, refuses to accept any responsibility, and… was fired.
Stacey: Should you have gone home this week? Actually, Wes or Maria would have been equally deserving. But I agree whole-heartedly that you should be fired, if not for this week than for, oh, let's say EVERY OTHER WEEK. What did you do wrong? Let's go back to my column two weeks ago:
But there's one thing in business that many people NEVER learn, which is there comes a time when you have to just SHUT UP and do what you're told, no matter how much you disagree. I'm not saying to do this all the time, in fact, the hard part is knowing when to argue and when to shut up. Continually doing one or the other is a fast track to becoming a troublemaker and eventually NO ONE will listen to you because it will become, "What does Stacey not like about the plan THIS TIME?" Pick your spots. I know you had to be frustrated - I would have been, too. But screaming about it and arguing won't help.
Yes, I know you were fired for not selling your idea, but stay with me here. Sandy and Maria discounted your idea because they've been on a team with you since the start. Wes knew it already, but he would have figured it out quickly because you wouldn't shut up on the first night. Basically, everyone discounted your idea because they've heard it all before. Had you not been running your mouth non-stop for the past six weeks, people might have been more receptive to your idea.
In addition, you were also fired for not taking responsibility. I've never really had that problem with you on this, because you never really had any responsibility. This is another direct result of never shutting up. Basically, if you have a million ideas and none of them are adopted, your bosses are going to look at you as someone who can't get anything done - which is the case with you here. You could never get your ideas through, and so you threw up your hands and absolved yourself of any guilt.
It's a vicious cycle, and one that you can't win. Managers say that they want feedback, but they don't want constant, argumentative feedback. Managers also want someone that will do what they're told, but they also want someone who will do more than the bare minimum. And above all, managers want someone who will take responsibility for an area - whether it was their idea or not - and make sure it gets done. You screwed up in each and every one of these departments.
Maybe if you would have just shut up and done your job, and not have been a constant negative influence, you wouldn't have been taken into the boardroom in the first place.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. He is also Associate Editor of RNO. Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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