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The Apprentice 5: Who Will Win?Page 2
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In the Hair Cuttery task, Lee was 100% right when he suggested that they spend more time on marketing and less time arranging shampoo bottles. But he was really not helpful on the task at all. He spent most of his time flyering cars with Tarek and talking smack about Charmaine. He complained that putting out flyers wasn’t effective, but he never came up with an alternative. And when Charmaine called to ask how things were going, he lied and said they were great. Then after the team lost, he tried to manipulate everyone else against each other. In the boardroom, Carolyn criticized him for giving political, rather than honest, answers.
Lee’s biggest failure as Project Manager came in the task about which he was most confident. Surely he and his all-male team, with exclusive rights to the Rutgers cheerleaders, would win the tailgating task, right? Wrong. Lee’s strategy was to create a huge spectacle- a money grab, an eating contest, and of course, the cheerleaders. He and the rest of the team did get a huge crowd, but they didn’t focus nearly enough on the actual selling. Synergy beat them with simple selling. Michael was fired for being willing to give up the cheerleaders, but it was Lee’s ineffective strategy that lost the task.
Lee improved a great deal in the next task, in which he and Sean designed a display for the X Box 360. He was a great team player and was the one who ultimately decided to put up the display, even if it did have to be held together with duct tape. He was able to adapt quickly to make the best of a bad situation.
Finally, in the most recent task, Lee served as project manager for the fourth time. He and Sean had a decisive victory, but again, how much of it was Lee responsible for? The two of them worked as a team to talk to the hotel staff about their uniforms, but Sean took the lead on just about everything else. On a team of just two people, it’s hard to be a leader, but Lee didn’t seem to lead much at all.
Lee’s record has been really spotty. It is impressive that he’s served as project manager four times, and his 3-1 record is nothing to sneeze at. But how much was he really responsible for those three wins? Lenny pointed him in the right direction in the Gillette task, he delegated a lot in the Ellis Island challenge, and Sean really was the star in the Embassy Suites task. His overall team record is poor- 8 losses- and he’s been to the boardroom a stunning five times. That’s especially bad when you consider that Lee did not participate in two of the thirteen tasks to date because of Jewish holidays.
Lee has a reputation as being a politician, of saying what people want to hear and of trying to position himself advantageously. He spent much of the cruise ship task talking to the viceroys. He has trouble giving direct answers in the boardroom. He actually has a cheat sheet of things Trump wants to hear. In business, politics are important, no doubt. Will Trump see Lee as smart or slippery?
Lee has done some very smart things in his time on the show. He sold very well in the first task, had all of the right ideas in the 7-11 task, and recognizes the importance of an early start and a good location. He also has a reputation for being loyal, a trait that Trump admires.
Sean Yazbeck, 33, recruitment consultant, London, England
Record as Project Manager: 2-0
Boardroom Appearances: 1
Sean was easy to spot in the crowd of Apprentices, both because of his accent and his way with the ladies. As a member of the strong Synergy team, he hasn’t spent nearly as much time in the Boardroom as Lee. That’s not necessarily an advantage- he hasn’t had as much opportunity as his opponent to learn about what makes Trump tick. Does Sean have the stuff to win? Like we did with Lee, let’s look at how he has done so far.
From the beginning, Sean has had, as Allie put it, “a prescence” about him. His smile, accent, and natural charm made him a successful seller in the first task. He also proved himself an effective salesman in the third task. He worked hard to learn as many features as possible that he could impart to the Chevy dealers. Sean’s way with words, however, failed him in a big way in the fourth episode. He and Project Manager Tammy wisely decided that Brent should not be the one to present to the Grape Nuts executives. Unfortunately, Sean himself did a terrible job. He stammered, stuttered, and later admitted to Trump that he got really flustered. Might he have trouble under pressure in the final task?
Sean served as the project manager of Synergy in the Arby’s jingle challenge. His strategy was to adapt his management style to the individual members of his team, and it really seemed to work. Everyone got along well, and they even seemed to have a good time working on the project. He created a positive, collaborative atmosphere, something that is crucial for such a large group. Additionally, he brought his entire team with him to meet with Arby’s executives. That way, everyone was on the same page, and the team got the critical messages that Gold Rush missed.
The next episode was the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs challenge. Officially, Sean wasn’t in charge- Michael was. But he, along with Andrea, stepped in to get the team to “stop pissing around” and get to work. Many times on this show, when the Project Manager is floundering, team members will throw up their hands and just plan on using this against the PM in the Boardroom. Such was not the case with Sean- he worked hard and did what he had to do to get the team back on track.<--Previous 1 2 3 Next-->
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