Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Apprentice 5 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 11by Brian Towers -- 05/10/2006
View Printable version of this article
In this series of articles about The Apprentice I will focus on the business actions of each player and give a brief performance review for each applicant each week. Also, at the end of this article – the results of last week’s opinion survey.
Another marketing task decided by gross sales; are we in a rut? At least the sponsor didn’t have a new product to flog!
There were two aspects to this week’s task – generate some buzz and then seize the opportunity it creates to generate sales. Setting the right price point also mattered.
Synergy came up with the great idea of doing deliveries, but how they ever found their way around in that melee in the parking lot was the real skill that amazed me.
Synergy did a much better job of bonding during the reward this week. Although they take up about a quarter of the show, last week was the first time ever I felt inclined to refer to reward activity in this article. Maybe starting Allie and Tammy in separate tubs was a well-considered idea.
Truthfully, this win was the result of excellent teamwork by Synergy. Remember teamwork, the factor that separates long-term winners from long-term others in the real world? It makes it difficult to predict who will turn on whom if a loss crops up while the teams are still together.
Allie: Allie needs to get over her need to have Sean apologize to her. He had an opinion, he stood by it, so stop taking it so personally! Such childish and unprofessional behavior exhibited at the top of the show is not the way true leaders behave.
Abandoned, Allie did well when at the pep rally. There was more fine effort when she realized she might be able to push the cheerleading coach to steal half of Gold Rush’s cheerleader resources. Michael, are you watching? That’s how you act aggressively in business.
Learning the proper Rutgers cheer was a big, big factor in making sales. One tends to buy from those we think are “one of us.”
Allie may have fallen into her best ideas of the week when she stumbled across the baseball team. Not only did she make a large sale, but also the idea of offering a delivery service so people didn’t have to wait in long lines fell out of it. To her credit, she saw the opportunities and didn’t let them slip away. And I bet that delivery is a prominent feature at every tailgate party this upcoming season!
For showing initiative and resourcefulness that’s too rare this season, Allie is assigned a VERY GOOD rating. If it weren’t for her concerning acts of the first five minutes, it would have been higher.
Roxanne: Roxanne’s stock has fallen in the last two weeks. Oh, perhaps not in Trump’s eyes, but in mine. She had a primary role in the moronic “Sean bashing” session. Further, she needs to work on using her “inside/at night” voice when talking in the suite. Like I said above – it’s childish and unprofessional, just let go of it.
Roxanne is one lucky PM. First time around, she beat a self-destructing Lenny, this time another’s bright idea made up for a series of Roxanne’s own near-fatal mistakes in the early going.
Just like last time, allocation of resources was a big problem. When Allie discovered there was a pep rally at 4:45, the team did not see that as either a deadline or an opportunity. In fact, Synergy was a step behind all the way.
In the early going, Roxanne split the team into two groups. That seemed like a good plan until we learned it took two of them to go to Kinkos. They go there every week – surely Tammy could have handled that menial task on her own? As it was, they missed the bulk of the pep rally, reducing the value of the flyers tremendously.
I was amused by the chow-down at a local Outback. I can accept that you need to eat anyway, but it’s basic stuff, steak and onions for the beer-sotted masses, is this so hard to grasp? Trust me, after the first eight beers, food without mud on it is good food! I could tell you more, but it’s a little fuzzy…
Calling it “unfair” that you didn’t get to steal cheerleaders from the other team? You know, in another show I write about, we call that, “Outplay.”
Her early focus on “Girl Power” was briefly precious, but that’s not what this is about – this was about selling Outback food. No, “Girl Power” is NOT about tarting it up.
I have more, but I’ll stop here and assign Roxanne a NEEDS IMPROVEMENT rating. Devolving into a sorority girl, Roxanne is losing focus on the big picture and she seems destined to fall short at the end.
Tammy: Tammy had yet another low-profile week. Or was it Joan Jett? And if you don’t get that joke, shame on you for not taking my poll last week! Since Roxanne gave her props, Tammy earns a SATISFACTORY rating.
Had I been at that game, I’d have been found where all the action and the low-priced food were to be found. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the target this week.
I must say, watching guys disgustingly cram food into their mouths like it’s pig slop does NOT entice me to purchase that same product. Can we call it my only character flaw?
Sean: The show opened with Sean still getting flak from the ladies over his support of Andrea two episodes ago. I applaud his taking the high road and not repeating an argument he cannot win.
Sean had a little camera time, but frankly, not much I can comment on. He seemed to be a positive influence for the most part and was correctly low-key in the boardroom. I assign him a SATISFACTORY rating. It’s a long, long time since Sean’s been the PM but it’s surely his turn next week.
Lee: It was not Lee’s turn to be PM, so I applaud his stepping up over a reticent Michael to try and extend his perfect 2-0 record and take a stranglehold on the game. Unfortunately, his other key stat is that by the end of the show, this was his fifth trip to a final boardroom in ten weeks. In time, that number catches up with you.
Lee directed a very good brainstorming session. It could have gotten far more macho than it did, but many good ideas were generated.
Lee put on one heck of a fun event. If the weekly barometer had been customer satisfaction instead of sales, things would have worked out very nicely for Gold Rush. Losing focus on the true objective was surely the biggest error of the week.
Indeed, Lee did several things well, such as suggesting the cash grab, splitting the team into two to be more effective, getting their flyers out in a timely manner, and securing the cheerleaders, mascot, and dance team.
At the day-before pep rally, Lee excelled. One example, getting control of the microphone… did you see Allie’s face when she knew they were being “trumped?” At that point, there seemed no way the guys could lose.
On the flip side, Lee set a price point that was too low, allowed his team to lose focus on sales, misallocated resources to event running… why wasn’t HE fired? Lee’s rating needs be UNSATISFACTORY. At least he put his politicking games aside for a week.
Michael: It was Michael’s turn to be PM this week, so what happened? Leaders need to show initiative, not shy away from it.
Michael came up with a lot of good ideas to create buzz this week – probably more than we’d ever seen before. He thought of the eating contest and using the cheerleaders exclusively. Too bad he lost the courage of his convictions when he offered to release half the cheerleaders to Synergy, which was a moronic move. I believe that showed he lacks true business sense.
There was a lot of focus on Michael running events instead of selling for such a long period. A stronger candidate would have insisted on job rotation. Why he decided to limit his sales efforts in a sales task is beyond me.
Why did he partake in “Get your picture taken with a cheerleader?” Even if they sold the pix, it didn’t count toward the final tally!
But let’s get serious – even Trump doesn’t know how weasely Michael was. When the cheerleader coach asked Michael if he would give up half the cheerleaders, he did NOT defend his position well and let them talk him into a “one or two” compromise. No matter what he said in the boardroom, I will always believe that Michael thought this was reasonable.
Michael’s rating is WANKER… umm, I mean UNACCEPTABLE. No, I mean WANKER.
I LOVE Clam Chowder – this exercise made me hungry!
As we get closer to the end, it seems more mistakes are being made every week and I have had few opportunities to dole out the EXCELLENT rating. Maybe someone can step up in the home stretch. It’s so close at this point, I think a couple of good weeks could produce a winner.
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at at Uncle_bto@rogers.com. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding unsuccessfully 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.
View Printable version of this article