Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Apprentice 2: Why Chris Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/18/2004
View Printable version of this article
Chris set himself up for either a spectacular success or a horrible fall when he told Trump & Co. that the team did not work well together. Trump fired Raj and made Chris the Project Manager for the tenth task.
Unfortunately for Chris, the task was creating a one-day bridal salon. Double-unfortunately for Chris, the opposing team had somebody on it who runs a bridal salon. “Spectacular success” did not seem to be in the cards.
But are the reasons that Chris was fired so simple? Or do we need to look a bit more closely not just at the task, but at the taskmaster? It’s the latter, of course, so why did Chris lose?
Since we’re going to be looking more closely, the way we do it is based on What ‘Apprentice 2’ Applicants Should Have Learned. So let’s get to it!
What Trump is looking for the most is a contestant who shows leadership. However, the only kind of leadership that Chris showed was leading his team right into a big hole. We saw Chris throw up his hands at the futility of the task in a gesture that reminded me of a young child getting upset because he didn’t get the cookies he wanted for dessert. In other words, Chris was acting like a spoiled brat, not a fearless leader.
When Ivana and Jennifer (usually enemies, but willing to stand by each other when they realized they had a common foe in Chris) were discussing Chris’ behavior, Ivana noted that Chris had given up within the first five hours. Jennifer wasn’t so nice, cutting the time down to ten minutes.
Furthermore, Chris never divided up the group or gave out specific tasks. They all wandered around together, never maximizing their time or opportunities. He never made a plan, even though Kevin wanted him to, instead apparently preferring to look busy rather than actually accomplishing something. Believe me, I know people like that in the real world – they aren’t good leaders either.
This leads directly into the question of whether Chris stayed cool under fire. On the task, the obvious answer is “no.” Why? Because he froze. He was overwhelmed by the task and the futility of the few things he tried. He didn’t know what to do. That, my friends, is a poor way to handle stress.
If Chris had a backbone, and thus followed the third rule, it was well-hidden when he slumped to the floor in despair. In the Boardroom, he did not stand up for himself particularly well – though that is likely due to the fact that there was little he could say at that point to deflect blame!
The fourth rule says a person cannot be one-dimensional. This task was a perfect example. A good salesperson would have been helpful, but first they needed to get sellers interested, then they needed to get buyers to the store. Chris himself did not need to be a good anything, in particular, other than a good leader. And we already have addressed how that turned out!
Chris really screwed up on the fifth rule – being loyal. In the previous episode, he has told Trump & Co. that his team would keep losing because they had problems. Carolyn was precisely correct in saying he shouldn’t complain about the problems, he should work to fix them! I can just see going to my boss and saying, “Sorry, we can’t get anything done. We don’t work well together.” I’m sure she would just tell me, “Oh, okay. Well then just go sit in your office and wait until there is a reshuffling of personnel and you get somebody you can work with.” Not. She’d tell me to go out there and [bleep]ing do something about it! That’s exactly what Chris was told. Hopefully, if it ever happened to me I’d do a significantly better job than he did!
Before heading into the Boardroom, the teammates shared some of their thoughts on what would happen. Chris said he would go down swinging – though, really, we just saw him go down in a heap, no swinging involved. Because of his advance notice that he would be “swinging” at them, Ivana and Jennifer had the opportunity to join forces against Chris, but I suspect they would have done that anyway. Still, Chris might have wanted to consider trying to spring a surprise on somebody – because that was really the only chance he had, small though it might have been.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article