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The Apprentice 4 Weekly Performance Review, The Finaleby Brian Towers -- 12/16/2005
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This is the last of a series of articles that primarily focus on the business actions of each player on The Apprentice. Toward that end, I’ll be giving a capsulated performance review of both applicants.
On a separate note, the finale this year was much better viewing than in the past. I’m glad to see they finally hit on a workable formula. It was also good to see that both players did great in their final tasks. One common thread over these last two episodes was that both Project Managers were greatly respected by their teams. And they greatly respected each other, at least until 9:57!
Capital Edge (Rebecca): Rebecca recovered well from the problem they had with Joe Piscopo by getting another professional talent to step in, Pete Dominic. I don’t understand why the same union limitations didn’t apply to Pete, but let’s move on.
Rebecca tells us she assigned herself the task of working on the “goody bags.” After spending perhaps two minutes to be happy with how it’s being done, that’s a time-consuming task that a PM must assign to another.
Rebecca’s team seemed to feel Yahoo and not The Pediatric AIDS Foundation was the client. Yahoo was a key partner in presenting the event, but they were not the true client. The signage was inappropriately balanced toward Yahoo. However, I will admit that “Glaser-tini” just doesn’t have the same ring to it!
It was certainly not up to Yahoo to decide that the charity was not to be allowed to solicit donations – that’s kind of what charities do, isn’t it? I would be pleased but surprised if as many of those forms got filled in and returned as they might have earned from a more aggressive approach.
In previous finales we’ve seen Trump visibly upset when he arrives at an event and the PM is nowhere to be found, so I’m really surprised Rebecca repeated that mistake. However, their personal touches as the crowd exited was well done.
When Rebecca started out her show, she took the mike and introduced Trump… but never introduced herself as the event organizer.
At the end, Rebecca said she had “no regrets” and I don’t think she should have any. Rebecca did a fine job on this task and earns a rating of YOU’RE HIRED.
Excel (Randal): Randal made the best he could out of his weather-savaged event, moving it indoors and trimming the scope. His failures to check the weather forecast better and not to have a “Plan B” ready to go were well-documented in the show, so I won’t rehash that in detail. However, that they were able to develop and implement a very acceptable “Plan B” with minimum fuss and delay, and that saved the day for Randal.
I will say there’s a big difference between “30% chance of rain” and “total downpour until noon.” Then, the call was for “rain straight through,” and it stopped! So, I rate the weatherman’s prognostication skills as “NOT ACCEPTABLE.”
In some respects, it may have been an advantage that the softball game was called off. The game itself is a coordination nightmare that consumes resources but only indirectly contributes to the real objective. Cancellation allowed them to focus their limited resources on the key moneymaker, the auction. It seemed like the room was pretty full, so they probably raised about the same amount of money from the live auction as they would have on a sunny day.
When I saw the attendees milling about beforehand, I thought there might have been value in holding a scaled-down (due to space limitations) version of the silent auction. However, they were pretty busy getting “Plan B” set up, and it just may not have been possible.
Initially Randal’s abilities were greatly doubted by CEO Alison of Autism Speaks, and that continued into this week’s episode. However, he finally convinced her he had heard her message and was intent on delivering it. Indeed, his impassioned opening speech completely changed her mind and at the end, she was singing Randal’s praises.
As I said last week, Randal associated himself with a good team, and their ability to work well independently to complete tasks was a key to his success. Witness poor Bethenny on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart to see how bad it gets when your team is not behind you.
The team never lost focus that this was a charity event, and while acknowledging Outback, Randal knew the event client was really Autism Speaks. Randal also knew that in a room of VIPs, The Donald was the biggest and made sure he welcomed him personally to the event.
I think Randal’s stunt in the live boardroom of having the other candidates stand to show they believed he should be “the sole and single Apprentice here tonight” was smart. Too bad WE couldn’t see, but Trump’s response indicated the response was substantial.
In the end, there was just no denying Randal and his fine education, excellent track record and superior professional experience were factors Rebecca could not overcome. I’m also giving Randal the YOU’RE HIRED rating, but I would have pulled out my Thesaurus for something superior if he had let Trump hire Rebecca as well.
But Trump gets an unspecified negative rating for putting an obviously emotional Randal on the spot like that. It’s like proposing to your girlfriend at Shea Stadium, it’s almost impossible to say “No.” I also noted that several of the other candidates were on screen as Randal spoke, and many of them indicated by their reactions they thought he made a right decision – so I must defer to those who were living the show every day.
In Conclusion: Another classic season is in the books, and Randal is certainly a deserving winner. I can hardly wait for The Apprentice 5!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Apprentice 4 Finale articles:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at email@example.com. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machine to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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