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The Apprentice 5: Why Tammy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/22/2006
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Heading into the Boardroom for Episode 12, I was certain Allie or Roxanne – or hopefully both – would be going home. Alas, ‘twas not to be. Instead, it was project manager Tammy, who could count on exactly no help, but quite a bit of eye-rolling, from her “teammates.” What caused Trump to throw her out instead of the gruesome twosome? Does this mean that scheming and plotting can work on The Apprentice? Why did Tammy lose?
I’ve already hinted ahead at one of the rules from What ‘Apprentice 5’ Applicants Should Have Learned with the comment about scheming and plotting. So what do we have to say about that one and the nine others? Let’s take a look.
The first rule is to show leadership. By now, you’d think the contestants would get that. And I suppose Tammy did try in her own way to be a leader. She wanted to be project manager to earn respect from Trump. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get that respect from her own teammates, let alone the big guy.
Tammy did follow portions of this rule. For example: “When you are the project manager, by all means be the manager. Don’t let other strong personalities overwhelm you.” Tammy was definitely the manager here, as she pointed out that the vision and the layout were all her ideas. Unfortunately, nobody else on her team spoke out to point out the bad parts of her ideas. We’ll get to that a bit more later.
What about the second rule, staying cool under fire? Well, if Roxanne is to be believed (and at this point, I wouldn’t believe her if she told me the sky was blue), Tammy is a stress case and won’t listen unless you agree with her. I didn’t see that at all, though we certainly saw Tammy getting upset with her alleged teammates. She did get frustrated enough to walk away after trying to get through to Allie and Roxanne, but other than throwing an Xbox at them, I’m not sure what else she should have done there.
The third rule tells players to have a backbone. Obviously, Tammy did fine there during the task, she stood up for herself and got exactly what she wanted. She also did well in standing up in the Boardroom, even though she went in knowing full well she would be getting it from both sides.
Ah, now we arrive at the fourth rule, which says scheming and plotting usually don’t work. Note the “usually” part. In this case, Allie and Roxanne were obviously plotting against Tammy. I don’t think they purposely blew the task, though they certainly were of no real help in it. However, they went into the Boardroom with guns aimed at Tammy. Indeed, Bill Rancic saw the same thing when Trump asked Allie whether Roxanne or Tammy was better – he knew exactly how she would answer! But even though Trump & Co. knew Allie and Roxanne had double-teamed Tammy, Trump still fired her.
The fifth rule says to play well with others. Tammy really had no problem here. Allie and Roxanne, on the other hand, did. But they’ve had those problems for weeks now and have managed to sneak by repeatedly. There was really nothing Tammy could have done to get into their clique once all the other enemies were gone.
Sixth is to focus on the long-term. Tammy was trying to do this by volunteering to be project manager. She hopes to impress Trump just as we’re getting to the serious part of this competition. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it went.
One reason was that Tammy didn’t really understand the challenge, thus failing at the seventh rule. Wal-Mart and Microsoft wanted a display, yes. But they wanted a display to help them sell product! Wal-Mart is not in the business of giving a comfy place for weary hubbies to rest their tootsies while wifey shops. They are in the business of selling.
Tammy’s area might have been inviting and comfy, but I don’t think it really did much to get people’s money out of their own pockets and into Wal-Mart’s and Microsoft’s. Gold Rush, on the other hand, had an unfinished rather crappy-looking display, and they still won. Why? Because they knew the goal was to sell, and they focused on that point. You know Tammy really had to miss the mark to lose to an unfinished job.
While Tammy was creative, in line with the eighth rule, she forgot that creativity needs to be focused on the task at hand. Gold Rush was creative too, with the floor, the ceiling, and the wrap (which I’m sure would have all looked very nice if it had actually been received on time). But as already discussed, Gold Rush’s creativity encircled a display geared towards getting people to buy. Synergy’s creativity was more artistic, but much less sales-oriented.
The ninth rule tells players they can’t be one-dimensional. Tammy was doing fairly well up to this point, and I do believe she belonged in the top five, or higher. But she needed to show that she understood the many facets of doing business. In that area, she failed.
Finally, we arrive at the rule telling applicants to use common sense. The obvious missed point of common sense here was that stores should make it as easy as possible for consumers to buy from them. That means putting prices on items. That means grouping items together when they would appeal to similar interests. That means… doing what Gold Rush did, not what Synergy did.
We usually talk about how showing leadership is the most important factor in determining who Trump hires. But it’s not the only one. In this case, Tammy showed leadership in taking the bull by the horns (and putting up with a lot of bull**** from her teammates, as well!). Unfortunately, she led that bull down the wrong path. We can say that Allie and Roxanne plotted against Tammy, but that is not why she was fired. Trump saw through that nonsense and would have likely put a stop to it if there wasn’t a good reason to get rid of Tammy. Alas, there was. Tammy really missed the point of this challenge. That is why Tammy lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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