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The Apprentice 3: Why Tana Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/20/2005
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Tana seemed to have the Apprenticeship in the bag… right up until the final task. Then she blew it all away. What happened to cause such a huge turnaround? Was it something she did or something her opponent did? Why did Tana lose?
We’ve waited two weeks to find out who would win, now we analyze the final results. But the way we do it hasn’t changed – we still look back at What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see what Tana did right and where she went so very, very wrong.
The first rule is to show leadership. Tana did a good job of this throughout the course of the show, being Project Manager three times and taking on a leadership type of role even when she wasn’t officially in charge. Overall, her record as a Project Manager was two wins and one loss – not bad, though Kendra beat her by going three-for-three.
One thing she did in leading her group was to create a good atmosphere. Tana always showed her personality, which had been fun-loving and excited.
Until the final task.
Tana went into the final task with three of the most hot-headed contestants, two of whom were virtually worthless (Chris was the only one with redeeming qualities). The problem is that leaders are often saddled with employees they don’t necessarily like and couldn’t pick. In fact, in the real world, managers quite often are promoted or transferred into areas where the employees are already there; rarely does a person get to handpick their entire staff. Good leaders can make the best of what they’ve got.
Tana didn’t do that. Instead, she griped about her staff to everybody who would listen. This is not a sign of good management. Furthermore, after all her talk about how she thought they were horrible, she didn’t even keep tabs on them for some of the most important tasks, such as when she allowed Kristen to do the printed program job all by herself – which of course ended in disaster.
So really, her failure here was twofold. First, she did not treat her employees well. Second, she knew she had bad workers but failed to properly manage them. It’s not looking good when you have two strikes just from the first rule!
The second rule says to stay cool under fire. Throughout Tana’s time on the show, she did one of the best jobs in this area – even including the final task. For example, while her answer to the governor’s aide about him sitting and waiting was probably not the best one, some people would have freaked out with that and all the other pressure points being put upon them. Tana didn’t. She handled all of the various crises by simply dealing with them one at a time.
Tana showed that she followed the third rule, having a backbone, by the way she stood up for herself and her ideas throughout the process. Then, in the final live Boardroom, she really gave her backbone a workout. Unfortunately, I don’t think it came off quite the way she wanted it to. She was raising her voice and making sure she was heard when she wanted to defend herself or make a point. But she was also pointing her finger a lot and even pumped her fist in the air at one point!
I suspect Tana was acting this way because she knew she had nothing to lose. Might as well go in and be fierce and try to steal the thing from Kendra, right? Well, maybe. But it didn’t impress any viewer I’ve talked to since then, and it didn’t impress Donald Trump either, who was quoted in an AP news story as saying, “I thought it was a little much. I don't mind aggression in men or women, but I found it to be a little obnoxious. I didn't love it.”
The fourth rule has no bearing on Tana’s loss, so let’s skip to the fifth. That rule says to play well with others and stay professional. We’ve already detailed how Tana dealt poorly with her staff on the final task, but there is another aspect to staying professional that we should address.1 2 Next-->
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