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The Apprentice 4: Why Randal Wonby David Bloomberg -- 12/16/2005
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Many people picked Randal as the likely winner weeks ago. It became a bit touch and go when a rainstorm knocked out his outdoor event, but Randal still pulled through in the end. What did Randal do right along the way to get him to the end? What pushed him over the top the Apprenticeship? Why did Randal win?
Throughout the season, we’ve used What ‘Apprentice 4’ and ‘Martha Stewart Apprentice’ Applicants Should Have Learned to look at why each fired player lost. Now we’ll do the same from an opposite perspective to see what we can learn about Randal’s triumph.
The most important rule is to show leadership – and oh how Randal showed it. It seemed the words “Randal” and “great leader” became synonymous by the finale. Randal was 3-0 as project manager and almost every other applicant talked about how well he did in this area – not to mention that people kept picking him for their teams.
But it wasn’t just the other Apprentice wannabes. The woman from Autism Speaks said he had good organizational skills and he pulled his team together – both signs of a good leader. Trump called Randal an “amazing leader” who led through niceness and example. Even Rebecca said Randal was a wonderful leader! So there can be little dispute that Randal did well in the first rule.
Few would suggest anything different for the second rule, staying cool under fire. Josh said Randal was always very calm. I don’t think we ever saw Randal get really upset or appear that he had lost control of things.
In the final task, Randal’s ability to perform under pressure was definitely tested. Yes, Rebecca had to find a new emcee, but Randal had to completely replan his event! Admittedly, some of this was his own fault for not having a Plan B (we’ll get to that later), but he certainly rebounded well. Lesser people would have panicked or called off the event entirely. But Randal stayed calm and found alternatives that kept people happy and still raised money for the charity.
The third rule tells applicants to have a backbone. Throughout the “interview” process, Randal stood up for his ideas, but this was not a make-or-break issue. More specifically, he didn’t fail here, so it was not really a factor.
Nor was the fourth rule, which says scheming and plotting don’t work. But the fifth rule certainly was. It says to play well with others. Randal was extremely well-liked by everybody on the show. Nobody ever targeted Randal because they didn’t like him – but Rebecca had it happen a couple times. As mentioned earlier, Trump was impressed that he not only led well, but led while being nice.
The sixth rule says to focus on the long-term. While this was the final challenge, I do think Randal always kept his eye on the prize, and never did anything to jeopardize winning it all at the end just for the sake of a short-term victory.
Seventh is to understand the challenge. While the woman from Autism Speaks had initial doubts about whether Randal really understood how she wanted things done, he did an excellent job of not only making her feel comfortable, but then following through to the point that she was impressed at how people leaving the event would understand the problem and epidemic of autism. Randal raised both money and awareness, while still keeping the event within the guidelines established by Outback, the main sponsor.
As part of understanding the challenge, though, Randal should have known to have a Plan B for an outdoor event. He didn’t have one, but he did recover very nicely. He turned a potential disaster into a fun and worthy event.
I never felt like Randal did an exceptional job in the eighth rule, being creative. He is a solid worker and a great leader, but creativity was not his forte. We just have to look at the final tasks to see this. Rebecca turned her event into Yahoomania. But even if the weather had worked out for Randal, we saw no indication it would involve anything more than a few banners – not exactly the height of creativity.
However, Randal was certainly not one-dimensional, thus abiding by the ninth rule. He didn’t get to be 3-0 as a project manager by only looking at the little details, as Rebecca claimed. Randal showed himself to be well-rounded as a businessman.
The tenth and final rule says to use common sense. There were two things Randal did that seemed to leave common sense behind. The first has already been discussed – not having a Plan B. The second was not checking the weather as the event approached to see if such a Plan B would be necessary! It wasn’t fatal, but Randal would be well-advised to watch for details like that when working for Trump.
Randal and Rebecca were well-matched in the end. He succeeded in some areas where she failed, and she did well in other areas where he didn’t. But there is a reason that “Show Leadership” is the first rule listed – that is the characteristic that Trump values most. Randal showed great leadership throughout the series. He earned the respect and admiration of his peers. He had a perfect record as a project manager. Trump wants leaders and that is where Randal excelled. That is why Randal won.
I’d like to say a few words on Randal’s actions after he won, when he denied Rebecca a chance to be hired as well. I can’t read his mind so I don’t totally know his motives. However, I do think he could have handled it in a better fashion. I would understand if his point was that there should only be one winner. Fine. But why deny Rebecca an opportunity to be hired? While it’s easy to Monday-morning (or in this case, Friday-morning) quarterback, I do think Randal should have replied differently. He could have said, "Mr. Trump, I think Rebecca would be a great person to hire outside of this Apprentice process." Or, "I don't think she has enough experience to do the job you suggested, but she should be hired in some capacity. In fact, I'd love for her to work for me." Etc.
Randal went through the entire show as one of the most-liked contestants. He won based partly on this fact. But if my e-mail is any indication, he lost pretty much all of that goodwill in just that one moment.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Apprentice 4 Finale articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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