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What ‘The Apprentice: Los Angeles’ Applicants Should Have LearnedPage 3
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A good example of this is the NYPD ad in The Apprentice 2. Raj was firmly in favor of the military theme. Elizabeth was firmly in favor of, well, nothing. She was against the military theme but couldn’t stand up to opposing viewpoints. In the end, the ad they got was the worst of all worlds. Raj told Trump in the Boardroom that he believed in the military idea. Elizabeth said she didn’t. Elizabeth was fired. There is a lesson there.
Another example can be found with Felisha in the fourth season. In the “wrapping” task, she knew it was a bad idea to spend so much of their money wrapping carriages with their ads, but she didn’t put up a fight. In the very next challenge, she needed to stand up to Alla in the Microsoft challenge, but didn’t. More importantly, she needed to push back on Alla in the Boardroom rather than allowing Alla to steamroll her.
Also, if you think you are the best at doing something, you should try to do it. In the first series, Trump wondered why Katrina had not done the apartment negotiations in one task – after all, she was the one who had experience in real estate. I wondered the same thing! She should have said it was her area of expertise and just done it, leaving other tasks to other people.
However, there comes a point when you have stood up for yourself and your ideas, and you still lose the debate. At that time, you have to let the project manager make his or her decision. For example, Clay in the fourth season was working on a song for the satellite radio task. His project manager didn’t like it and made it clear they were going to take a different direction. Clay’s response was to complain that h had already written the chorus. There comes a point on the job when the boss has said, “This is the way it will be done.” Employees need to recognize when this point has come and accept it.
4) Scheming and Plotting Usually Doesn’t Work, But Don’t Show Your Hand
When I was putting the first version of this article together, I originally planned on putting something in about plotting and scheming because I figured people could plan on who they should focus on – as the women’s team did with Stacie, for example. However, upon further deliberations and discussions at the highest levels of RealityNewsOnline, I decided it shouldn’t be in there. Further seasons have proven that decision correct. After all, as we already discussed earlier, unlike Survivor or Big Brother, The Apprentice does not have fellow contestants vote people off. The decisions are made solely by Trump, so all the plotting and scheming in the world might not help you.
The more we saw of the second season, the more this truth was hammered home. Yes, plotting and scheming did work about Stacie. But many more times we saw it backfire. We saw project managers bring people to the final Boardroom who should not have been there based on that particular challenge. Trump did not respond kindly, often specifically noting that he couldn’t figure out why that person was there this time, or why another person had been saved when they had done something wrong.
The most recent examples of why this rule remains true can be found in both Pepi and Stacy from the fifth season. Pepi led his team’s discussion about how horrible, mentally unstable, etc. Brent was. But as he learned, just because everybody agrees that somebody is nutty doesn’t mean Trump is going to fire them. Then Stacy did almost the same thing, laying all the blame at Brent’s feet and encouraging the rest of the troops to do likewise. Brent outlasted both of them.
Another perfect example of this was in the second season when Jen C. took Elizabeth and (a different) Stacy to the final Boardroom, even though Sandy had clearly done the worst job during that task. Jen only did it because she didn’t like the other two – Carolyn knew it, Bill (sitting in for George) knew it, and Trump knew it. So Jen went home.
And looking at this from a slightly different angle, another good example of a bad way to behave was Amanda deciding to do nothing in Stewart’s version of the show in order to make Marcela look bad as the project manager. She neglected to think about how bad it would make herself look. No boss wants to hire somebody who is going to screw them over and make them look bad just to make themselves look good!
But what about Allie and Roxanne in the fifth season? They appeared to plot and scheme their way to the final four, after all. True – but that’s as far as they got! There is no prize for making the final four, only for the winner. Trump & Co. knew the two of them were schemers and were ganging up on people, and didn’t let them make it to the end.
With all this having been said, playing things close to the vest can still help. Before Boardroom sessions, it can’t hurt to feel out where people are leaning, without giving away too much of your own thought process. If you find that most people are gunning for the same person, by all means join in! If you find that people are trying to avoid you, then you’d better be prepared to have all the guns turn on you.
There are other aspects of this as well. If you are the project manager, you should never let people know you’re planning to take them to the Boardroom. Doing so only gives them a chance to get their stories straight and figure out ways to attack you. For example, in the first series, Ereka told Nick and Bill that she would be taking them. Guess who was sent packing? Hint: It wasn’t a guy.
Meanwhile, Omarosa did not tell Jessie or Heidi that she planned to take them to the Boardroom, and both of them kissed up to her during the initial phase, apparently in hopes they wouldn’t be chosen. Surprise! They were, and Heidi ended up suddenly changing her tune about Omarosa, which only made the way she had kissed up earlier look worse. Of course, if Omarosa had warned them that she was taking them, she might have gotten hit right from the start.
Furthermore, if you let people know who you will be taking, it also gives those who won’t be going the freedom to say whatever they want. When Ereka told Bill and Nick they would be going, what if Katrina had said something that made Ereka want to change her mind? It would not have looked good and Katrina could have accused her of stabbing her in the back.
There can be a small role for some alliance-building if it’s backed up by other skills, but there is an even greater danger of plotting and scheming too much. Jim from Stewart’s version of the series was somewhat similar to Roxanne and Allie from Season 5 – he also managed to stick around perhaps longer than he should have because he treated the show like it was Survivor or Big Brother instead of a job interview. Early on, it helped him. He messed with some people’s minds, he deflected blame, he might even have scared a few people from going after him. As the series progressed, though, that became less important. Eventually, he became so bold – or so egotistical – that he even admitted to the president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia that he was playing this as a game! This came back to haunt him when that same person was one of the interviewers taking the final three down to a final two. She already knew how he was handling himself, and it was simply not acceptable. It got him through most of the show, but it also helped ensure he would never win.
However, one place where plotting will help you is in plotting out your own defense. Sometimes, you will be targeted for reasons beyond your control. For example, how many times did we hear that Andy was too young? What Andy needed to do was plot out how to rebut these charges – it isn’t scheming with somebody else, but plotting a course and knowing how you can respond ahead of time.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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