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The Apprentice 3: Why Chris Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/21/2005
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Chris went to the Boardroom seven times in a row. Many of those times, he was reprimanded for one reason or another, yet he skated by. After his team’s failure in the car brochure challenge, though, it was just too much for Trump. Why did Chris finally succumb now? Why did Chris lose?
As always, we will look back at What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned to answer these questions. In addition, we will look somewhat at how he managed to last as long as he did, considering all the strikes he had against him.
The first rule is to show leadership. Chris tried to show leadership, but didn’t really succeed. In his earlier stint as Project Manager, Chris let John take control of negotiating auction packages with music stars, and John did a poor job of it. Chris got away without being fired because John did worse – and was a jerk on top of it.
This time around wasn’t really any better. Chris didn’t show that he could lead a team to victory. Instead, he led them to another mediocre performance. That isn’t what Trump is looking for.
The second rule is to stay cool under fire. Well. What can we say here that hasn’t already been said? Not much, so let’s go over what has already been said. Under pressure, Chris showed a tendency to snap at people, yell, swear, and get too aggressive. We saw it happen during tasks and in the Boardroom.
Two tasks in particular that come to mind are the Home Depot challenge and the Domino’s Pizza challenge. At Home Depot, while he was in front of a group of people watching him give a presentation, he began swearing because he had screwed up. Was the swearing loud? No. We don’t even know if anybody heard it. But the fact is that he was giving a presentation and people could have heard it. He simply should not have been doing it.
Of course, in the Domino’s challenge he got in Alex’s face and got angry with him for pretty much no reason. Alex went so far as to say he felt threatened. I don’t know that I would have gone that far, but I wasn’t there.
In the Boardroom, we repeatedly saw Chris snap at people and allow anger to get the better of him, even when talking to Trump, George, or Carolyn. Not smart. How ironic was it that Trump told Chris to watch his temper, yet the very week this episode aired, Chris was arrested because of that very temper? Obviously, the recent incident didn’t play into Chris’ firing, but it seems to show a bit of a pattern that was related.
The third rule says to have a backbone. Considering the way Chris jumped at people who argued with him, I would say Chris had no problem here, either on the tasks or in the Boardroom.
Fourth is to avoid scheming and plotting, but also not to show your hand. Again, Chris didn’t have a problem in that regard here – in part because they were down to three people on the team and so all of them were obviously in danger.
The fifth rule goes back to something we already discussed, playing well with others. Chris almost found himself fired earlier because of the way his anger scared Alex during the Domino’s challenge. Only Stephanie’s incredibly dumb moves saved him there, I suspect.
In fact, dumb moves by other players often saved Chris from himself. Because he didn’t always play well with others, it made him a fairly frequent target of (deserved) criticism. For six weeks, though, he managed to sneak away. Ironically, by the seventh Boardroom visit in a row his temper wasn’t an issue. But by then the die had been cast.
The sixth rule says to focus on the long-term. Considering that Chris lost seven challenges in a row, we certainly know he wasn’t doing a great job of focusing on the short-term! Indeed, Chris did a pretty good job of thinking long-term. For example, Chris saw that Trump was unhappy with his chewing tobacco habit, so he vowed to stop. He recognized that it was better to go along with Trump and try to stick around for the long haul than it was to argue or deflect attention or the like. Plus, Chris showed Trump something inside of him – whether it was spirit or the will to succeed or what have you – that made Trump want to keep him around week after week no matter what happened. His luck eventually ran out, as it had to, really. But in the meantime Chris stuck around a lot longer than many people expected.1 2 Next-->
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