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The Apprentice: Weekly Performance Review, Episode 6 – A Chance to Shineby Mike DeGeorge -- 02/17/2004
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If my email was any indication, I wasn’t the only one who heard the list of celebrities on Episode 6 and thought it was very unfairly balanced in Versacorp’s favor. But in thinking a little more about it, I realized that it may be my own personal bias influencing that. It was apparent that the crowd at Sotheby’s didn’t really care much about Tiki Barber, whereas a similar auction held in, say, Times Square may have caused a stampede of interested bidders.
Along that same vein, I really didn’t like this challenge. Well, actually, I loved the challenge as a viewer. I thought it was fascinating television, and a great way for Trump and Burnett to “give back” via their shows. But it just wasn’t a very good indicator of management talent, especially of the Project Manager. It was an excellent indicator of sales talent, however, and allowed salespeople like Heidi and Troy a chance to really shine.
Tammy: I reiterate what I said last week: your sole contributions have been negative and have done absolutely nothing to help your team win every competition. In fact, it becomes obvious that they’re winning in spite of you. That is, shall we say, not a good thing. I can’t imagine what advice I could give you to help you win, because I honestly don’t think “clueless” is on Trump’s list of ideal qualities.
Katrina: You’re apparently back to being a nonentity, which I think is to your detriment. When you have something to contribute, as with last week, you do well. I suppose your personality isn’t strong enough to keep up with folks like Nick and Amy.
Ereka: We didn’t see much of you this week again. This is a bad thing in that you won’t win unless you stand out, but a good thing in that as long as Tammy is on your team, “little contribution” looks great by comparison.
Bill: As with Ereka, we haven’t seen much of you, but unlike Ereka, I think you’ve earned the right to take a week off here and there.
Amy & Nick: I’m grouping you together this week for what I hope is an obvious reason. Your main contribution to this episode was the beginning of your little love affair. There’s nothing wrong with this – I met the love of my life at work, so I’m the last person to rail against it. However, and it seems to be obvious to at least Nick, at least at this point, it’s vital to keep in mind what you feel is most important. Again using myself as an example, I found another job as a direct result of my relationship. In order to win this competition, one of you might have to make sure that the other gets fired. Are you willing to, in the words of another reality show contestant, reach over and break the kitten’s neck?
Troy: How many times do I have to say it? You are, once again, the MVP of your team. This week, you displayed exactly the sorts of traits successful companies drool over: confidence, quick thinking, a cool head, and a willingness to lead by example. It would have been really easy for you to say, “Look, I’m from Idaho, how am I going to connect with five gay guys?” No, you simply did it. I feel that you’ve already won, in that even if you are not “The Apprentice,” you will have to beat the headhunters off with a stick after all this is over.
Kwame: It’s not often that I agree with Omarosa, but she’s dead-on when she calls you the “MBA robot.” It’s a matter of actually taking control and doing something worthwhile. If you need an example of what I mean, just watch Troy.
Heidi: I was really not looking forward to writing this column this week, and after reading this it should be obvious why. Heidi, you did a damn good job on this task. It looks as if the very reasons that I find you annoying – your attitude, your brashness, and your straightforward nature – are exactly why you are successful. I can dislike you and still respect your ability, I suppose. The best advice I can give you – and the results of the Boardroom this episode should make this obvious – is to keep doing what you are doing. It’s obviously working for you, and Trump seems to respect that sort of attitude.
Since I simply cannot let a week go by without saying something negative to you, I should comment that you should have been much more forward when Trump questioned you in the Boardroom. And it’s funny, for the last two weeks I’ve been rooting for you to leave, but I find myself hoping that the mystery phone call doesn’t mean that you’ll have to go home this week.
Maybe I’m just getting soft. Or maybe I’m saving up my venom…
Omarosa: I find it amazing that you were not kicked to the curb this episode. Normally, I would advise you that you need to mellow out a little bit and sheathe your claws. But that’s a lesson you should have learned a long time ago, and obviously you haven’t, so I won’t bother. I will repeat something I said a few weeks ago: you can be the most competent worker in the world, but if you are a total bitch, no one will want to work with you and your results will suffer. As Project Manager, YOU were to blame for Jessie’s poor performance with Isaac Mizrahi, and it was only Troy’s quick thinking that saved you. In that sense, I think that you were most to blame for the failure of your team, but that was not the cause of the firing this week.
I said last week that this week would be your downfall, and I stand by that. I know that you weren’t fired, but I think a number of your co-workers will now be “out to get you” and thus will try to highlight problems that they might otherwise overlook.Jessie: It should be incredibly obvious by now that the quickest way to earn Trump’s ire is to be timid and not stand up for yourself. We saw it with Sam (in that the only reason he lasted three weeks was that he fought tooth and nail, until Trump finally gave up on him), we saw it with Kristi, and we saw it with you. The underlying principle seems to be that if he’s going to let someone head one of his companies, he wants it to be someone who will take charge and be the boss. We never saw anything close to that with you, so it’s not surprising he tossed you out at the first opportunity.
Next week is something of a crapshoot, since we don’t know anything about Heidi’s phone call. Assuming she stays, I think it’s pretty clear that it will either be Tammy or Omarosa hitting the bricks.
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. Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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