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The Apprentice 3: Why Audrey Lostby David Bloomberg -- 03/04/2005
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Audrey’s fate was sealed five minutes into the most recent episode. Everything from that point was just like watching a horror movie – you knew what was coming, but you didn’t exactly know how bad it would be. It was bad.
She gave Donald Trump more reasons than he could ever hope for to fire her. But in the end, why did Audrey lose? Let’s look back at What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see what she did wrong, and if she did anything right.
The first, and always most important, rule is to show leadership. Let’s start by giving Audrey a little credit: she knew just how important this was. She wanted to prove to her team that she could lead them, especially after having been called out in the Boardroom (and on the patio) by John and other members of the team.
However, that’s where the credit ends. Audrey’s idea of leadership does not actually have anything to do with reality. My dictionary defines “lead” as “to show the way to, or direct the course of, by going before or along with; conduct; guide.” Apparently, Audrey’s definition says, “to delegate and do nothing but sit back; to give no guidance whatsoever; to blame when things go awry.”
To put it succinctly, Audrey was a terrible leader. The only thing she did, apparently, was tell other people to be in charge of certain areas. When they asked her questions, she not only flat-out refused to answer them, she got mad at them for asking! Ye gods. There is no way I would ever want to work for this woman – in fact, I cannot imagine anybody wanting to work for her if that’s what she thinks leadership means.
Looking at one example, Audrey put others in charge of marketing and promotion (though she didn’t know what the word “promotion” meant!). OK, that’s fine. But then she just let them twist in the wind when they sought guidance from her. That’s not fine. If she recognized that marketing and promotion were the most important parts of the task, then she should have taken steps to ensure they were done right. Instead, she let them fail and then was ready to fling blame. As John noted, “Audrey has made one big decision, and that was that she would not make any decisions.” Bad move.
Also, we have to once again go back to an all-too-commonly cited quote from the rule: “What is worse than walking into the Boardroom after having lost? Walking into the Boardroom and saying, ‘Yes, we lost, but it wasn’t my fault because I had no control over my team.’” That’s what Audrey did – admitting that she couldn’t control her teammates (though I don’t think she actually tried). Eventually, she even took the stance that everybody should be fired except Tana. Harumph! Oh, that’ll get you far.
That leads us directly into the second rule, about staying cool under fire. There was pretty much nothing cool about Audrey. She had a meltdown at the suite after the previous Boardroom as she went on about how people hated her because she was beautiful, how she wanted to scar herself, how she had a brain, etc.
Let me just go off on a tangent for a moment here and state for the record – I don’t know of anybody who has ever “hated” somebody for being beautiful, and I really get annoyed by these reality people who use their looks to get on a show and then whine about it. Are some people prejudged based on their looks? Absolutely. It happens all the time, to people who are beautiful, ugly, old, young, fat, thin, etc. So it’s up to each individual to rise about those judgments and prove themselves. Did Audrey prove to anybody that she has a brain? Not in this episode! In some cases, she couldn’t even string three words together to form a sentence!
That brings us back to our point – when she was under pressure, she cracked. She could barely speak sometimes. She became flustered. She yelled. She swore. She stormed out. She said stupid things (like the aforementioned comment about how everybody but Tana should be fired). She made bad decisions (such as bringing Angie into the Boardroom and wording her reasoning so as to turn Angie against her).
In short, Audrey is definitely not the person I would want to rely on in a high-stress situation!
One thing I will say for Audrey is that she followed the third rule about having a backbone. She stood up for herself, she fought back. Unfortunately, she did so in such a horrible way, as already discussed, that it ended up hurting rather than helping her cause.1 2 Next-->
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