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What ‘Apprentice 5’ Applicants Should Have LearnedPage 4
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5) Play Well With Others, But Stay Professional
Playing well with others has two sides to it – positive and negative. First, let’s go over the negative.
Yes, this is a competition. Yes, there can only be one winner. But don’t come in with the “I’m not here to make friends” attitude. We’ve seen it before – it’s the battle cry of the reality show villain, no matter which show it happens to be. And even if you aren’t quite that bad, you cannot allow yourself to be controlled by anger. This is not to say you cannot ever show anger. Certainly, if you are accused of something you didn’t do, you need to show some anger and be appalled that anybody would ever say such a thing about you. But you need to do it in a calculating manner, as we’ve already discussed.
You need to control your anger; you can’t allow your anger to control you. If you take either the villain attitude or you can’t control your anger, your fellow contestants might not be the ones who will vote you off, but they can certainly make life miserable for you. And if it continues, as it did with third season’s Chris, your fellow players will repeatedly point it out to Trump as a reason you should go. Eventually, the drumbeat of criticism can certainly get you fired.
Take Omarosa (really, take her – please!). She was so obnoxious that people didn’t want to be teamed up with her. She let her opinion of the other players get in the way, when she'd have been better served by keeping her mouth shut a little more often. She let her emotions control her and she had the bad “villain” attitude as well – it was a double-whammy. In response, blame was cast on her whenever possible (that’s not to say she didn’t deserve it, because she certainly did). Eventually, it was the end for her.
Similarly, Maria on the second series behaved miserably several times, with the worst being during the Levi’s challenge. She screamed at project manager Wes, then she bit off another teammate’s head. It was so bad that Trump fired both Wes and her that week.
Trump doesn’t need somebody who will cause tension and problems in the ranks. As we’ve discussed, this is not just a competition for a prize, but a job application. “Winning” means being able to do the job, and if you can’t get along with people, that’s a big strike against you.
If, however, you at least appear to be nice to people, they are less likely to blame you for things, less likely to single you out for bad tasks, and less likely to call you into the Boardroom. However, you can’t be so nice that you appear to be a kindergarten teacher. Jessie from the first season was too nice, and people didn’t respect her. There is a fine line.
Applicants should also remember that while everybody has their quirks, the middle of a competition like this is not the best place to show them. In the second season, Stacie’s team ganged up on her because of her odd behavior in the first challenge. Remember that people are just looking for reasons to target you, so especially in the beginning, try to appear, well, normal.
The other side of playing well with others deals with the most positive emotions, like friendship. Yes, you will likely make friends (unless, as we’ve discussed, you’re Omarosa). But you need to understand that only one person can win. Troy and Kwame knew this, and they agreed that if one of them needed to bring the other into the Boardroom, so be it – may the best man win! Katrina and Ereka didn’t know it – Ereka let Katrina escape the Boardroom because of their friendship, and Trump knew it. Remember his “Your girlfriend Ereka just gave you a break” comment. Ereka ended up going home.
Similarly, Chris in the fourth season refused to bring any of his pals into the Boardroom as a result of the failed Lamborghini challenge, even after Trump & Co. had indicated that was exactly what he should do. Instead, he brought Markus. Carolyn knew the decision was personal, Trump said it was emotional – Markus stayed, Chris was fired.
Then, of course, there is the issue of loyalty. As we discussed earlier, The Apprentice puts people into a weird situation (for business, though not for reality TV). You compete as a team, with a specific team leader, but then if you lose you compete as individuals to avoid being fired. Being loyal helps you in several ways.
First, of course, if you are loyal to your project manager, there is less chance that person will pick you to face Trump in the Boardroom.
Second, Trump told Newsweek: “You must work well with others and be loyal to your team. Disloyalty is the worst of all traits.” Simply put, he doesn’t want to see you turn on your cohorts just to try to win. Yes, it’s a game for individuals when it comes right down to it, but those individuals still have to work together. If we need a case in point, we only have to look at Tammy from the first series. “I think we were duped.” Yeah, well, maybe your project manager was duped. But you were fired. Who got the better deal?
There is a corollary to this rule as well. The flip-side of being loyal is that when you have the opportunity, you should surround yourself with the best people. This means people who will be loyal in return, but it also means capable people. Before the casino challenge in the first season, Troy and Kwame had Bill join their team even though they had disagreed about the way to work in the past. But they knew Bill was valuable and loyal, and indeed his idea of courting VIP gamblers ended up winning the challenge for them. Then, in the final challenge, Bill picked Amy, Nick, and Katrina, with whom he’d had good success. Kwame ended up with Omarosa. ‘Nuff said.
6) Focus on the Long-Term
Short-term thinking may win you individual challenges. But winning the challenges may not mean you win the job with Trump – just ask Amy from the first series. The challenges are short-term, the job is long-term. Always keep that in mind.
So, what does that mean? Well, for one thing, sex sells, but it also could mean you’ve sold out. Trump is not looking for the Shooters Girls, nor is he looking for a woman who would strip off her skirt in the middle of the street just to get twenty bucks. Do you see Carolyn walking around in a too-tight t-shirt and a mini-skirt? The lesson here is not to compromise yourself for short-term gain.
Of course, selling out is not the only way to fail at this rule. Jeff from Stewart’s version of the show was so focused on winning his particular task that he took all the responsibility on himself and behaved like a dictator. He needed to step back and realize that winning one challenge is not the goal – winning the apprenticeship is.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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