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What ‘Apprentice 4’ and ‘Martha Stewart Apprentice’ Applicants Should Have LearnedPage 5
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Taking a look at the Final Two from Apprentice 2 also gives some good insight about long-term thinking. Kelly did win far more challenges than Jen. But more than that, Jen had a very narrow outlook, focusing more on doing what it took to survive each round than on showing she would be a good person to hire overall. She attacked other players whenever she had the opportunity, and it got her to the finals. But it was obvious that it would not get her any further. Kelly, on the other hand, focused on his own abilities and on showing why he would be a good pick rather than on why somebody else would be bad. He won.
7) Understand the Challenge
This new rule was necessitated by several incidents over the course of the series. Basically, it seems that sometimes people don’t really understand what they are supposed to be doing!
We’ve already mentioned Tara from the third season in the PS2/graffiti challenge – she wanted to create a mural to represent the people of the area. But PS2 wanted her to create a mural that would sell their product. Thus, she lost – and was fired.
Similarly, the entire Magna team failed to comprehend the point of the Burger King challenge. They were not there to make the most money. Anything they sold other than their particular sandwich choice did them absolutely no good. The goal of the challenge was to sell that sandwich, period. But they didn’t focus on it and they lost.
Some challenges require making the most cash; some require making the most profit; some require being the most creative. Each one must be approached differently, with the ultimate goal in mind.
I suspect Stewart’s version will emphasize the creative, as most of the candidates in this first season have backgrounds in that area. Even in challenges that may seem to just be about money, the candidates need to look at the overall goal. For example, if they have to market something, passing out flyers probably just won’t cut it with Stewart – you will need to show some serious creativity to succeed.
8) Be Creative, But Not Insane
Which leads us to the eight rule. This rule used to be called “Think Outside the Box, But Not Too Far.” However, because people – including recapper Betsy – were sick of overuse of the “outside the box” phrase, I decided the time had come to change it.
No matter what the title, there is a fine line that applicants need to walk for this rule. Trump and Stewart are not looking for an applicant who is too conservative, too stuck in the usual way of doing business. Applicants need to look at what they are asked to do and see how they can do it in ways nobody has thought of before.
Think of Protégé’s advertising campaign for the jet company in the first season. The men went conservative and lost. The women went bold – maybe even over the top – and won (though I have to wonder if they would have won if Stewart had been in charge of that one).
An even better example was Troy in the Trump Ice challenge. He had the idea to write long-term purchase orders and court distributors rather than just trying to sell a case or two at a time. It was a big idea, and it won. Similarly, in the rickshaw competition, Versacorp didn’t limit their thinking to how they could get more riders – they focused on how they could make money in other ways, in this case by getting ads. It was a brilliant idea and easily beat Protégé.
In the second series, Ivana’s team succeeded in the Levi’s challenge with their Fit Wheel idea; Kelly took his team to victory in the Pepsi challenge with the well-designed Edge bottle featuring a hole in the middle.
Sometimes, you can go too far, though. Sam’s idea of selling lemonade for $1000 was crazy. But he didn’t get fired that week. Trump thought Sam could have some potential – he liked the creative thinking. Eventually, Sam showed he wasn’t just creative but insane, and was fired. But he was an extreme case. If you try something big once and it doesn’t work, Trump will likely still appreciate the effort. Just don’t overdo it, and don’t do it too near the end of the show, when there aren’t many people left to go. On the flipside of the Pepsi challenge, Andy led his team to dismal failure in that same challenge with the geography idea. Sorry, but like it or not, geography is not cool and edgy. That was not creative, just dull.
9) You Can’t Be One-Dimensional
As we look back on the rules we’ve gone over so far, we need to remind ourselves that Trump is not looking for just a salesperson. He isn’t looking for just an idea person. He isn’t looking for just a new ad exec. He is looking for a leader who can provide creative thoughts. You might be the best salesperson/real estate agent/lawyer/whatever in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll win The Apprentice because, well, that’s not what he is looking for.
Look at who won the first series. Bill was a man who had already built his own business from the ground up. He showed leadership, he showed an ability to sell products, he came up with smart ideas. He had many different aspects of business acumen down pat. And who won the second series? Kelly practically exuded leadership, had some great ideas over the course of the “interview,” and was able to do many different tasks – even designing a woman’s outfit in one challenge! When Kendra finally stepped up, she showed that she could do many things – design, be creative, sell, and lead. All three were multitalented and the best choices Trump could make.
Indeed, at one point George told Erin that the point of the 16-week job interview was so the candidates could show their versatility.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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