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The Apprentice 2: Why Stacy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/27/2004
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Project Managers and other team members had complained on and off about Stacy for several weeks now. However, each time they did so, she managed to walk away while somebody else was sent packing. Finally, the lawyer could not defend herself well enough to get off the hook this time, even though her Project Manager failed miserably and another team member lost their phone. How did she do worse than these two? Why did Stacy lose?
Generally, when somebody on The Apprentice loses, I tend to agree with the decision. However, of all the firings so far this season, this is probably the one I agree with the least. Yes, I hear you screaming at me – how could I not be in favor of firing the annoying lawyer? Believe me, it's not that I think Stacy was going to win. Trump would have killed her (or Carolyn would have) if she actually won and came to work for him. But I do not believe she was the most eligible for firing this particular time. Still, it’s not up to me – it’s up to Donald Trump. So to figure out why she was sent packing, we will look back at What ‘Apprentice 2’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see where she went wrong.
The first rule, of course, is to show leadership. Stacy seemed to know that this was important, because before being fired she begged Trump to make her a Project Manager so she could prove herself. Trump pointed out that you don’t have leadership handed to you, you have to assume the responsibility and convince the others to make you Project Manager. I agree in general, though it seems to me that pretty much everybody on the show knows this and that’s why the teams often drew randomly. Still, we never saw her fight for it, nor did she assume additional leadership roles in the way Kelly has been doing over the weeks.
She did, however, stay cool under fire, as the second rule says to do. Unlike some of the other women (such as Elizabeth), we didn’t see her crack under stress during the challenges. And she certainly maintained her calm during some tense Boardroom sessions – such as when she compared Pamela to Enron. She is an attorney, so it makes sense that she could take some of what she learned about the courtroom to the Boardroom.
Speaking of the Pamela incident, that also showed that she had a backbone and thus followed the third rule. She stood up for herself when Pamela went after her. In fact, she stood up for herself every time anybody went after her. Remember Jennifer C. and her comments about the two ladies in the restaurant? Stacy stood up to her too. Lack of a backbone was certainly not an issue.
However, the flip side might have been an issue. She stood up for herself, but Trump said she never took responsibility. My first thought was, “Responsibility for what? She wasn’t the idiot who missed doggie rush hour!” However, it was pointed out to me by fellow RNO writer Sting7 that even if she felt that way, she should have given a somewhat different answer. He suggested that when Trump asked her if she was at all to blame for the team’s loss, she should have given a fluff answer like, “Well, Mr. Trump, if we all share in the spoils of victory, then we all have to share at least some responsibility for losing too.” But she didn’t. She just insisted that she bore no responsibility. That is taking backbone a bit too far.
Another issue could have been the fact that Stacy is a lawyer. Well, it’s not so much that she is a lawyer but that she didn’t have much other business experience. Yes, I know, she worked at an auction house – that’s what she told us when Pamela tried to hang the “no business experience” label on her. But really, we didn’t see her contribute a whole lot business-wise to the various tasks. Trump isn’t looking for another attorney.
The fifth rule says to be loyal. The only way it’s an issue here is that Project Manager Wes gave Stacy an opportunity to make a deal before heading to the Boardroom – don’t badmouth me and I won’t badmouth you. It appears she declined the deal. I don’t know that it would have held anyway, but she might have considered giving it a shot.
Sixth is to not show your hand. Wes showed his hand to Stacy by offering the deal. If Stacy didn’t take it (we never really saw for sure), she showed her hand right back to him. If he knew she wouldn’t agree to not badmouth him, it was pretty obvious that she would. So he would have had time to prepare for the attack.
The seventh rule says to play well with others. Here is where Stacy had some problems. Stacy was full of ideas, but it apparently got to the point that nobody wanted to hear them anymore. Numerous times we heard that she was annoying. People didn’t want to deal with her. Maybe she had some good ideas, but it seems they might have gotten lost in the other issues. We all know or work with people who simply annoy us. Anybody who can be truly objective about themselves will also admit that sometimes an idea from such a person is ignored or shot down – or at least argued against a little harder – simply because it came from that person. It appears that Stacy was that person on both her teams. Being that person made her an easy target for the others to blame even when she really hadn’t done anything to cause the loss.
Did Stacy focus on the long-term or worry too much about short-term? It seems to me that she did the latter. We understand that she didn’t like dogs. We understand that she tried to convince Wes and the others to go with her doggie costume photos idea. We understand that it was shot down. But she should not have simply given up and stood around doing essentially nothing. Contestants on The Apprentice need to always look busy. Maria might have been strutting around looking like she was selling herself instead of doggie baths, but at least she was selling something. Stacy failed to think beyond this particular challenge and realize that she needed to make a good impression for the long-term.1 2 Next-->
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