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The Apprentice: Weekly Performance Review – Initial Evaluationby Mike DeGeorge -- 01/13/2004
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When I first heard about The Apprentice, I absolutely loved the concept, but I had no faith that they could pull an interesting show from it. How could they translate the world of business in a way that would entertain the reality-show crowd?
They found a way, that’s for sure. You see, I consider Last Comic Standing to be the perfect reality show for me. And it still is. The Apprentice is the perfect show for my “business” side. And unlike LCS (and Survivor, and Big Brother, and The Mole, and…), it’s a show I could actually see myself trying out for and competing in.
So I decided to write this weekly column, called The Apprentice: Weekly Performance Review. Obviously modeled after those “special slice of hell” regular performance reviews that everyone dreads, I will be breaking down each applicant, addressing each person’s strengths and weaknesses, and trying to determine their best course of action in order for them to get the job.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Who the heck is this guy to presume to judge these people?” I don’t pretend to be a business genius, and am certainly no Donald Trump. However, I feel that I do have the experience and background to get by.
I graduated from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, with a Bachelor of Science degree (yes, I have a degree in BS – couldn’t you tell?) in Business Management. I have almost ten years of Management and Supervisory experience in the “real world,” so I do feel that I possess a slight advantage over the contestants in that I have considerable experience in both aspects of business. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I quit my last management job because it was causing too much stress, and instead ventured into the more low-key (but still stressful, no doubt) accounting profession, which I enjoy much more.
Now that we’ve covered me, let’s get on to the applicants! Each week, I will talk about each person, grouped into teams, winning team first, fired contestant last.
First I want to comment on the name: Unlike Betsy (in her recap), I like the name. They truly ARE Trump’s protégés. Or at least they want to be. What’s more important, is that with this name they are telling Trump that they want to be just like him. It’s a suck-up name – even more so than (ugh) Donald’s Darlings was. Judging by The Donald’s reaction at the NYSE, it worked.
Ereka: You were the first project manager of Protégé Corporation, and quite frankly, you did a pretty bad job. Your team was disorganized and poorly motivated. Many team members felt they weren’t getting much of a say, and others were giving orders when they should have been taking them. You lucked out in that the sex (and sex appeal) of your team played a large part in your victory. However, you probably still would not have been fired this week had your team gone to the board room. In addition, your failures weren’t fatal, as I mentioned, much lessened by the fact that you won the challenge. Your fortunes can be reversed and your initial slipups even forgotten by a little hard work, something which I am guessing is well within your power.
Omarosa: On the other hand, we have Omarosa. You seemed to be everywhere, giving advice to those who didn’t ask for it and giving orders when you were supposed to be taking them. You seemed more interested in setting your ideas in motion than you were in helping your team. You may have thought that implementing all your ideas would help the team, but that’s not necessarily the case. Knowing the difference is the sign of a true leader, and this is the key to your success. You need to know when to back off and when to lead by example.
Amy: For a good example, see Amy. When she couldn’t find the rest of her team, she and Kristi decided to sell the merchandise they had instead of standing around helplessly. Now, that’s about the best thing I have to say about you today, Amy. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do to impress me, after your opening speech about being worth millions in stock options before the dotcom bust. This may sound impressive at first, but in reality, all it means is that you jumped on the hot property of the moment – dotcom stocks – and hoarded them at their overinflated prices until their true value was revealed. It’s kind of like saying “I won a million dollars in the lottery until I found out I had the wrong numbers.” To illustrate my point, look at Mark Cuban. He built a dotcom company, Broadcast.com, developed it, and sold it to Yahoo while the stock was at its highest. You probably wanted to impress us with your background, but I tend to doubt that Mr. Trump will be. The big question is, will you learn from your past failure?
Kristi: You did nothing BUT impress this episode, Kristi. From your background, you’re obviously a hard worker. You worked to put yourself through college and held down two challenging jobs. You and Amy made a decision that helped your team when they really needed it, and I wonder if your team would have gotten going as well as they did without the two of you. You also seemed to be behind the idea to use your sex appeal to sell the lemonade. Without this decision, you definitely would not have won. Plus, you’ve appeared naked on Red Shoe Diaries. How can we not get along?
Jessie: I honestly can’t remember one thing about you. This is both good, since you didn’t get off on the wrong foot, and bad, since no one wants a President who fades into the background. Your best bet would be to work harder on making an impact.1 2 Next-->
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