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The Apprentice 2: Why John LostPage 2
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It was pretty obvious that Trump had a problem with the way Raj behaved during this challenge. But John didn’t seem to even consider bringing Raj into the Boardroom as part of the final decision. Why? Well, I think most people make up their minds about who they will bring with them before they ever get to facing Trump. John knew Raj was backing him, and he didn't want to turn that around by then bringing him in. He probably figured he was safe with one of the guys who messed up the pricing and the guy who he claimed didn't do anything.
In this particular case, I don't think bringing Raj in would have done anything to help him anyway. Yes, Raj was bothering the models and the designer – but is that really the reason the men lost? I don’t think so. In the end, though, what we saw was that being loyal helped Raj, but not so much John.
Did John show his hand before going into the Boardroom? From what we saw, no, but it didn’t really seem to come as much of a surprise. The only real surprise was that John brought in Kevin and Andy rather than adding Wes into the mix. We would be right to consider whether Trump himself thought that John was overplaying his hand in this way, since he asked why John hadn’t brought Wes along.
Seventh, we have the rule saying to play well with others. From what we could tell, this was not a problem with John. So we’ll move on to the eighth rule: Focus on the long-term.
I’m not sure that John focused on anything during this task, other than perhaps the models. But especially he did not focus on how he could best defend himself. Losing a challenge is not the end of the world. But losing a challenge without thinking is the end of the show for you. Because he was not focused on what was going on around him, he was unable to properly explain why he should not have been fired.
The ninth rule says to think outside the box, but not too far. It seems that picking Ilsa may have been thinking outside the box. Sometimes that’s fine, especially in fashion. But the women thought about what would actually sell. As Betsy Wasser said in her recap, “the women’s clothing line looked more accessible and more wearable.” For this particular challenge, the teams needed something saleable, and the men didn’t really have it.
Finally, we have the rule to use common sense. John failed here completely. Whether you’re an experienced manager or not, common sense would dictate that you not hand over control of possibly the most important decision – pricing – to somebody else without any oversight whatsoever.
Common sense would also dictate that you bring with you to face Trump the people that are most likely to be sent home. As already noted, Trump was picking on Raj, so he would have been a likely candidate (though as I also noted, I doubt he would have been fired – but it was worth a shot). Andy had not done anything wrong in this challenge, so it was silly for John to bring him along. This is especially true considering that John made Wes safe but took Kevin along to the Boardroom.
Honestly, though, I’m not sure it would have mattered who he brought along at the end. By that time, it was too late. If he had brought both Kevin and Wes, then what? Trump couldn’t fire both of them. So either they would have been forced to debate who really set the prices, or he'd have still fired John for failing to oversee that task. I think he still would have fired John.
As Trump said, John made “too many bad decisions.” He was a poor leader. When he made decisions, they were the wrong ones – like picking Ilsa as their designer. But worse than that, too often he wasn’t there when leadership or strong decisions were needed – such as when the prices were being determined.
Did the pricing put them out of the market and thus out of the competition? Or was it Ilsa and the clothing line itself? In the end, it doesn’t really matter because both of those problems point back to John. That is why John lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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