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The Apprentice 4: Why Jennifer W. Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/07/2005
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Donald Trump made it clear that he thought Toral should have been fired after the women’s failure in the techno expo (or, as Jennifer W.’s cake called it, the “Tethno Expo”). But Rebecca wanted no part of that. Unlike Martha Stewart, Trump stuck with one of Rebecca’s choices – and Rebecca managed to get out of the Boardroom in one piece. How did Jennifer W. end up taking the blame? Why did Jennifer W. lose?
As always, we will look at these questions and others in the light of What ‘Apprentice 4’ and ‘Martha Stewart Apprentice’ Applicants Should Have Learned. The explanation is in there, I assure you, so let’s find it.
The first rule says applicants need to show leadership. Jennifer W. did not live up to this role – in fact, I’m not sure I even remember her being on the show over the first two episodes! She had three opportunities to volunteer to be Project Manager, and we didn’t see her even attempt it in any of them.
But it’s possible to show leadership in other ways. As the rule notes, “Trump… will still want to see leadership. You should volunteer for a significant role, step up, take a stand.” Jennifer did end up with a very significant role as the event planner, but she screwed it up – she failed to “step up.” The event was laid out poorly, did not draw people in, had bad food, and even has a misspelling on the cake that nobody noticed until Carolyn. Yikes.
She didn’t do much better in the second rule, staying cool under fire. When Rebecca was asked by Trump after the challenge who the weakest link was, Rebecca didn’t hesitate to name Jennifer W. Jennifer pretty much went into hysterics when she returned to the suite, whining and crying. She’s just lucky she wasn’t on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, because Martha said women in business don’t cry – Jennifer would have been fired for sure. Oh. Wait. Never mind.
Anyway, Jennifer simply couldn’t believe that Rebecca had done that to her. Frankly, it was a ridiculous little tantrum. While we didn’t see her behave that way in the Boardroom, I do think some of it carried over – the look on her face was one that seemed likely to break out in tears at any moment.
Third is to have a backbone. After recovering from her woe-is-me fit, Jennifer did attempt to fight back in the Boardroom. However, her biggest push was to say that seven smart women couldn’t be wrong. Well, Jennifer, I have something to tell you: Yes they can.
Let me go into a little tangent here. I absolutely HATE when people say they must be right because they are with the majority. For one thing, if you are right, then prove it – don’t just rely on other people who share your opinion. For another, history is filled with examples of the vast majority of people “knowing” something and being wrong. Everybody used to “know” that the sun revolved around the Earth. Could all those people have been wrong? Well, yes. A vast majority of people used to “know” that people with darker skin were subhuman. Could all those people have been wrong? Absolutely.
In a more business-related sense, I was in a meeting not too long ago in which I was making a point to my boss’ boss and several other people. I was the only one in the room who was getting it, and faced argument from all five other people in the room, including a lawyer who I was specifically saying was wrong. One of the men in the room told me that if everybody in the room disagrees with me, I must be wrong. From my tangent so far, you can imagine how well I took that comment. To make a long story short, I was right, and by the end of the meeting everybody else came away agreeing with me (if somewhat begrudgingly in a couple cases).
And just looking back at last week’s episode of The Apprentice, it appears Jennifer learned nothing from Chris’ loss. Almost everybody on the men’s team blamed Markus last week and said he should go. But Trump disagreed. So were all those intelligent men wrong? Or was Jennifer?
Getting back on point, Jennifer took a stand, but it was the wrong one. She should not have harped on what everybody else thought, but rather on the fact that one of the comments read to them was that they needed more people helping who knew what they were doing. That wasn’t Jennifer’s job, that was Toral’s, and she blew it. Since Toral wasn’t in the Boardroom, Jennifer should have made the case that the only logical choice for Trump to fire would be Rebecca.
Moving to the fourth rule, we need to look back a couple paragraphs. This rule says that scheming and plotting usually doesn’t work. The majority of the women, however, thought that it would, and joined together to target Toral. So much for that. Eventually, people should get it through their heads that this is not Survivor. Alliances can be useful (just ask Toral!), but they should not be relied upon as the sole defense mechanism.1 2 Next-->
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