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The Apprentice: A Look at the Final FourPage 2
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Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Last job: Cigar entrepreneur
Project Manager: Twice (Donation Auction, rickshaw Take Over)
Trips to the Boardroom: 2 (Apartment Renovation, Trump Ice)
Bill might not be as showy about it as Nick and Troy are, but he has proven himself to be an excellent salesperson. In the Flea Market challenge, it was his suggestion to sell the merchandise as quickly as possible, to avoid being stuck with inventory at the end of the day. In the Trump Ice challenge, he had a wealth of ideas. When Ereka was focusing on the quality of the bottled water, he rightly suggested that they focus their sales pitch on price. Then, when the two of them were meeting with potential customers, while Ereka blathered about “creating a buzz,” he cut to the chase and offered a good price, which netted the team some sales. Then again, in that challenge, when Nick was getting nowhere telling a nightclub owner about the quality of the water, Bill offered him a good price and made the sale. In the Art Gallery challenge, Bill offered excellent personal attention and service to gallery patrons, telling them that not only would they get the paintings at good prices, but also that the artist would hang and light the paintings for them. He sells well by understanding his customers and by being friendly without being high-pressure or sleazy.
Bill’s great salesmanship and friendliness were especially evident in the casino challenge. His strategy of targeting the high rollers was, without a doubt, the reason Protégé won the challenge. Even though they had fewer registered players than Versacorp, Protégé’s players spent, on average, more than twice as much money. It was a smart idea, and Bill executed it well.
Bill also works very well with the other candidates and seems to have earned their respect. In the Planet Hollywood challenge, Bill was in charge of managing the restaurant itself, and one of the players commented that Bill seemed more like the man in charge than project manager Kwame. Troy and Kwame selected Bill to join their team before the Atlantic City challenge. And Amy, the candidate with the best record, named Bill as her chief competitor. Bill even handled his more difficult coworkers effectively. It was his idea to make Sam project manager of the negotiation challenge, to see if Sam was as smart as he claimed to be. Bill also had a sympathetic ear to Omarosa after she was hit in the head with the plaster. Sure, he might not have believed the extent of her injuries, but he was polite and respectful to her about it. At the same time, he was not a pushover. He felt that he was unfairly sent to the boardroom by both Katrina and Ereka and did an adept job at standing up for himself.
Bill has made a few mistakes in his time on the show. In the apartment renovation challenge, he was in charge of negotiating the rental price of the property, and many believed that he settled for too low of a price. It is worth noting, though, that Bill did rent the apartment for the price his team was aiming for, but nevertheless his performance in that challenge remains a black mark on his record. In the rickshaw challenge, his team won the task, but Bill made some moves that might be counted against him. He had the idea of having Katrina and Amy pull the rickshaws, figuring that an attractive female driver would be a draw. It wasn’t. And when Nick wanted to give an advertiser a full refund for a damaged sign, Bill wanted him to give just a partial refund, which could have been construed as less ethical.
Perhaps the biggest challenge Bill faces is his tendency to be too diplomatic. When Trump or one of his advisors asks Bill who did the worst, he typically hesitates and avoids giving the tough answer. He could be perceived as afraid to make crucial decisions. In fact, George once told him, “You’re an executive. You’re going to have to make some decisions which are very painful.” If Bill can’t make himself do that, then he might not be given the chance to make any decisions at all.
Hometown: New York, New York
Last job: Investment manager
Project Manager: Three times (Planet Hollywood, Art Gallery, and Casino Promo)
Trips to the Boardroom: 4 (Negotiation 101, Planet Hollywood, Art Gallery, Penthouse Brokers)
Kwame has a different approach to management than many of his counterparts. He thinks that he is most effective when he has good people on his team, gives them direction, and stands back to let them do what they’re good at. Kwame used this style to great effect in the Casino Promotion challenge. Kwame didn’t interfere or micromanage; he just let Troy work the room and Bill court the VIPs. If you’re a smart person who works well independently, then Kwame is a great boss for you.
Kwame is also very direct and honest. When his team lost the Art Gallery challenge due to their choice of Meghan as the artist, Kwame looked Trump in the eye and told him that his team made a risky decision, and that the risk did not pay off. He didn’t make excuses or spend too much time explaining why the team made the choice they did. Similarly, Sam took Kwame into the boardroom after the negotiation challenge because he said that Kwame didn’t respect him. Kwame said that if Trump wanted to fire candidates for not respecting Sam, then he might as well head home now. It takes a lot of confidence to be that direct, and Trump has surely noticed that Kwame has that confidence.
Kwame has also served as project manager more times than any other candidate in the final four. That shows that he is willing to be a leader and to risk failure. Trump doesn’t like tentativeness, so he’s bound to admire Kwame for being willing to take the reins. On a similar note, Kwame has been to the boardroom more times than any other candidate. Trump has had four chances to fire Kwame and hasn’t done it yet.
Kwame was also able to get along with Omarosa. When Amy declared that she could no longer work with Omarosa in the Trump Ice challenge, Kwame stepped in without complaint. And when Omarosa needed a shoulder to cry on after Trump criticized her in the boardroom, Kwame was willing to help. As I mentioned before, a good manager is able to work not just with great employees, but also difficult ones. Kwame certainly has that ability.<--Previous 1 2 3 Next-->
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