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The Apprentice 3: Why Kristen Lostby David Bloomberg -- 02/11/2005
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It was pretty obvious from the moment I heard that Kristen was on The Apprentice 3 that she wouldn’t last long. After all, let us not forget that when she was on Murder in Small Town X, Kristen was picked by either a team vote or the team leader to have a 50/50 shot of being “killed” and leaving the series five out of the first six times! They weren’t sending her out because they liked her! She beat the odds for a while back in 2001, but they eventually caught up to her. On The Apprentice, she only needed to be in front of Donald Trump twice before he knew it was time for her to go. At least this time she was only fired, instead of “murdered.”
We didn’t look at why people lost back in the Murder in Small Town X days – this is a newer idea. However, we will give Kristen the same treatment we give all of the people Trump fires. Let’s see how she stacks up against What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned. Why did Kristen lose?
The first rule is to show leadership. After Trump fired Kristen, he repeated several times that she was a terrible leader. Well, that pretty much sets the tone!
Kristen seemed to think that leadership meant yelling at people, giving them orders, and ignoring whatever anybody else thought. Let’s look at just a few of the ways Kristen “led”:
Sure, it could be said that Kristen followed the parts of this rule that say you shouldn’t let other strong personalities overwhelm you, and that if you’re going to be blamed for a loss you should make sure it’s a loss that you created. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to be a strong personality that overwhelms others or to almost seem to try to create the loss! Also, note that the advice immediately following both of these discusses not blaming somebody else, but instead taking responsibility. Kristen took zero responsibility, trying to cast blame everywhere else.
Before we move on past the first rule, we should get back to what Trump was talking about. He said that Kristen simply had no control over her team. I’m not sure I would agree with that, given what we saw. The problem in my mind is that she tried to exert total control over her team and almost every aspect of the task, and there was no way she could come up with a decent end product at the same time.
So we’ve made it clear that Kristen was not a good leader. What about the other rules? The second is to stay cool under fire. Kristen is not the type of person who folds under pressure. However, she does seem to be the type of person who yells under pressure. The more pressure, the louder the voice.
We saw this type of behavior both on tasks and in the Boardroom. The most obvious occurrence was in the Jersey motel refurbishing task, when she got into a screaming match with Project Manager Brian – in front of the guests. Even when she was told to calm down and hush up, she still kept yelling. Not smart.
She exhibited similar behavior this week in front of Trump. Indeed, from the get-go she seemed ready to yell, as her voice started escalating in volume and negative tone as soon as she began to talk. Again, not smart. While history has shown that some amount of emotional yelling can win the day, Kristen was not in that league. She was definitely outdone by calm, rational explanations.
Kristen did just fine with the third rule, having a backbone. In fact, she has enough backbone for her whole team – or at least to overwhelm her whole team. She overwhelmed them into submission, but then she paid the price for it.
She didn’t do so well in following the fourth rule, which explains that scheming and plotting doesn’t usually work and you shouldn’t show your hand. In fact, Kristen blew it on both sides.
First, Kristen tried to talk to several of her teammates in an effort to get them to point the finger elsewhere. She was blown off in these attempts. First John refused to go along with her and said he would state the truth – that he wasn’t around when certain decisions were made. Then Tana discounted what Kristen had said about trying to target Audrey.
Indeed, the latter also shows where Kristen tipped her hand. We don’t know if Tana talked to Audrey, but Audrey sure was prepared when Kristen targeted her in the Boardroom. Kristen tried to claim that Audrey was in charge of the models, but Audrey quickly corrected her on that. Was this in part because she knew Kristen’s attack was coming? It sure wouldn’t surprise me.1 2 Next-->
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