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The Apprentice 2: Why Kelly Wonby David Bloomberg -- 12/17/2004
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Kelly has been looking like a good candidate to become the second Apprentice for a while now. When Jen was picked as his final opponent, his win was virtually assured. But he still had to do well on the final task, and he had to do something that nobody had been able to do – beat Jen in the Boardroom. Let’s look at why Kelly won.
Before going further, if you didn’t watch the three-hour finale, I’ll summarize by saying it could have probably been condensed to one. But in any case, you should read Betsy’s finale recap to find out what happened.
To get to the heart of Kelly’s win, we will use the same method that we have been using all season long to figure out why other contestants fell by the wayside. That method is to go through What ‘Apprentice 2’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see where Kelly did things well and where he perhaps didn’t do as good a job.
One place Kelly was excelled was the first and most important rule: Show leadership. Kelly practically exudes leadership. He was Project Manager three times and won all of them. When he wasn’t officially Project Manager, he often stepped up to take a leadership role and do whatever it took. This was one thing that almost everybody agreed on, whether it was viewers, fellow contestants (including those who didn’t like him on a personal level), or the other “experts” that Trump had on the finale.
Trump’s CFO talked about Kelly showing leadership. The head of Unilever said Kelly showed leadership. The head of Genworth said Kelly showed leadership. See a pattern? And these are certainly all people who should know what they’re talking about!
How did Kelly show leadership? In many ways. Raj talked about one that occurred during the final task, noting that Kelly did a good job of mediating between himself and Elizabeth – who suddenly had found her spine. Raj concluded in his interview, “that is a form of leadership.”
Kelly was not a perfect leader. He did spend a bit too much time behind his keyboard and is not the most inspiring person in the world. But he led by example. He stepped up, he worked hard, he took charge, he thought on his feet, he knew what needed to be done and did it.
The part about thinking on his feet leads us to the second rule, about staying cool under fire. Since Kelly was in the armed forces, he had to learn about literally staying cool under fire. I can’t think of a time when we saw Kelly get flustered, even in tasks that his team was losing or when something was going terribly wrong.
Look at the final task, for example. Jen had an issue with the power for the X-Boxes (a major sponsor of her event). She got upset and while she got the problem taken care of, it was certainly not her finest moment. Kelly, on the other hand, had to deal with his own major sponsor issue when he was told they could not paint the Wisk logo where they wanted to. Kelly didn’t get upset, didn’t get flustered. He simply and quickly talked to the sponsor and got their okay to make an alternate choice. No harm, no foul, no problem.
Besides his work in the field, and unlike some of the other players – such as Andy and Sandy – Kelly did not allow Jen, or anybody else, to make him lose his cool in the Boardroom. He quickly and firmly put her in her place without resorting to the type of childish yelling that she often showed us.
Not only did Kelly stand up for himself in the Boardroom, but he was also certainly willing to stand up for his ideas – and they were usually listened to. He even sat down and drew out a clothing design for the fashion challenge!
Indeed, this was one of the things that showed Kelly’s different dimensions. He was not just a salesperson or an idea guy – or a screamer, like Jen. He helped in many different ways, and often led his team by example.1 2 Next-->
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