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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart – Why Dawn Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/14/2005
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It’s interesting – last week, Martha Stewart felt so strongly that Shawn lost the task for Matchstick that she ignored Project Manager David’s picks and tossed Shawn instead. This week, she ignored the two people who arguably caused the loss and got rid of somebody who really had nothing to do with it – Dawn. What caused this apparent flip-flop? Why didn’t one of the others get sent home? Why did Dawn lose?
Although this may seem like an odd choice for Martha to have made at first glance, looking through What ‘Apprentice 4’ and ‘Martha Stewart Apprentice’ Applicants Should Have Learned will give us some good insight into what she was thinking, what Dawn did wrong, and what others did right.
The first rule is to show leadership. To begin with, the only thing Dawn led in was excuses. In the first couple episodes, Dawn seemed to get picked on a lot. For instance, when Jeff refused to allow her some quiet space in which to work during the first task, it looked like he was being an ass. But as time wore on, it seemed Dawn always had a reason she couldn’t do something. She couldn’t work in noise, she couldn’t wake up because she’s a sound sleeper, she couldn’t paint because… well… she didn’t want to.
That is not the type of leader Martha Stewart wants. On the flipside, though, Leslie was showing leadership. She alone from Primarius volunteered to lead the losing Matchstick team.
Frankly, I was quite surprised that nobody else stepped up to volunteer. Within this first rule, it talks about the wisdom of requesting a leadership position. The most obvious comparison is with Pamela from the second Trump series, when she volunteered to leave the women and lead the men – and was given another chance because of it. Sound familiar?
So even though I would argue that leadership was the main problem on Matchstick during this task, Leslie got a free pass because she took on that role herself. Dawn, however, never sought such a role.
The second rule says to stay cool under fire. Did Dawn? Hmmm, not so much. In fact, Dawn seemed to pretty much crumble whenever the pressure was on. It’s not that she completely fell apart, it’s just that, as noted above, she always had excuses. The team wanted her to read the book – but she had to eat a banana. On the surface, it sounded like a reasonable request at the time; but after several episodes of seeing the same type of behavior, we now have a better understanding of just why her teammates – who were with her 24/7 – quickly became so sick of her.
This behavior happened in the Conference Room as well. Whenever Martha or her cohorts would bring something up, Dawn had an excuse. Plus, she just seemed to get whiny as time went on, which is definitely not staying cool under fire.
Third is to have a backbone. Dawn did stand up for herself – she just picked the wrong times and ways to do it. In the flower challenge, she disagreed with Jim about needing Brasso. OK, fine. But why make a stand on such a stupid issue? Why make such a big deal out of it?
Similarly – but more importantly to her firing – was that she refused to paint. Why? Well, we never really got a good answer. But if I had to guess from what we saw, I’d say that she did it because it was her way of standing up for what she thought was right. She thought it was ridiculous to debate what they were going to do for six hours – which is what led to the contractor leaving and them having to paint. She showed her disapproval by standing up and saying she was not going to paint. It was good to stand up for herself, but she once again picked a bad way of doing it.
The fourth rule says scheming and plotting don’t work. Dawn really never had anybody to scheme and plot against, but she sure was a frequent target. It’s ironic that she finally wasn’t Jim’s target – Jim indicated that Leslie was the most responsible – and that was when she went home.
Was scheming and plotting against Dawn a reason she left? Not really. Leslie tried to plan an attack against Dawn by bringing in Bethenny to join in the Dawn-targeting. But Bethenny didn’t like that plan – no doubt because previous attempts to target Dawn resulted in other people going home. Bethenny was absolutely right, and Leslie was lucky she had the leadership card to play, or else I suspect she’d have been saying goodbye.1 2 Next-->
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