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The Apprentice: Los Angeles – Why Martin Lostby David Bloomberg -- 01/12/2007
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It’s a new season, a new location, new twists, and new players for The Apprentice. But one thing doesn’t change – each week, at least one person is fired. And that means each week, I’m right here telling you why it happened. The format, as always, is derived by making our way through What ‘The Apprentice: Los Angeles’ Applicants Should Have Learned in order to make some sense out of what The Donald did.
With that in mind, let’s begin with Martin. I have to admit, I thought Frank was toast. Indeed, I think Frank should have been toast, based on his behavior in this specific task. But we’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s look at why Martin lost.
The first rule, as always when it comes to The Apprentice is to show leadership. Martin apparently thought this meant beginning the competition by standing on a rock and taking “a supervisory role.” Uh huh. Let me tell you, if my employees saw me just standing around watching them while they worked, they wouldn’t call it leadership, they would call it lazy and certainly wouldn’t want to work for me! For Martin, it was worse than that, as he was picked for a team dead last (technically, he wasn’t picked at all!).
Frank, meanwhile, did take on a leadership role in the tent-building – enough of one that he was recognized by the others and was one of the first project managers. Frankly (no pun intended), this is likely why he was not fired. As the first rule discusses, being the first project manager can give a player a pass because they took on the role.
But enough about Frank. Martin took on no leadership role, even within the team. He recognized that the scene was utter chaos, but he didn’t do anything about it. By contrast, Tim started organizing people in Frank’s absence and got things moving. The rule specifically notes, “You should volunteer for a significant role, step up, take a stand. Don’t just hang back and wait for the project manager to screw up.” Martin failed in this area.
The second rule tells players to stay cool under fire. Martin did seem to be able to handle this, both in the task and in the Boardroom. However, he said several stupid things and I have to wonder if they were stress-related. For example, he asked Trump if he could go to the bathroom. Then he told Ivanka that he was tired and the task had barely begun. Both were dumb things to say.
In the Boardroom, even as Frank was yelling, Martin stayed calm. He knew he would be attacked and was ready to fire back. Unfortunately, his arguments were somewhat undercut by what he was saying and how he was saying it.
Stemming directly from the second rule, we have the third – Martin did have a backbone in the Boardroom. He stood up for himself just fine, as already indicated. However, in the task itself he had all the backbone of an earthworm. He complained to the camera that the situation was bedlam, but we didn’t see him stand up and try to take charge or do anything to help out. He believed that suggesting upcharges was wrong, but he just meekly worked in sales rather than trying to work out a solution to the problem he believed existed. And speaking of that, where was his backbone in dealing with customers? Did he really think he could work for the Trump organization by simply accepting a “no” answer from a customer? Has he ever heard of Donald Trump?!
And for that matter, has he ever seen The Apprentice? Because if he had, he would know about the fourth rule – that scheming and plotting don’t usually work. Martin had almost his whole team agreeing to gang up on Frank, and where did it get him? Nowhere! I can’t say it was a bad idea to make sure people were on the same page with blaming Frank, but he should have put as much effort into doing the job right to begin with, and then he wouldn’t have had to worry about it!
The fifth rule says to play well with others.
Martin was an outcast from the get-go, as shown by his not being picked for a team and defaulting onto Frank’s. His manner of talk and way of dealing with people made him seem, as Trump said, like “a bit of a pompous ass.” Even Martin said that people don’t necessarily like him at first, and “they can be standoffish.” The way he said it made it sound like it was everybody else’s problem, not his. But he’s wrong – it’s his problem and he needed to do something to fix it.
Sixth is to focus on the long-term. I’m not sure what Martin was focused on, but Ivanka certainly was already going along with this rule. In the Boardroom, she didn’t so much blame Martin for the loss, but she recognized that he would not work well within the Trump organization. Given that the whole point of the show is to get a job in the Trump organization, it makes sense that if they know a person is already not going to cut it, there is little point in keeping them around. It’s possible (unlikely, but possible) that Frank might work out okay, but just screwed up the one time. But Martin, he was out in left field from the get-go. And so he was let go.
The seventh rule says players need to understand the challenge. I’m not sure anybody on Frank’s team truly understood, but the point was obviously to make money. To do that, they needed to get cars in and sell services to them. Martin’s job was not to get the cars in, so there isn’t much to say about him in that regard. However, his job was to sell – and he did it poorly. The whole strategy for Frank’s team was to upcharge, getting people to buy the pricier services. Martin would have done better on Heidi’s team, where they were just pushing through on basic washes (though who knows if he would have actually gotten his hands dirty by joining the washing). But since his job was to sell, and he wasn’t, he failed at this rule – and might have even cost his team the victory (though the same could be said about many other factors).
Eighth is to be creative. We didn’t see anything about Martin that dealt with this issue, so we can’t really speak to it. The ninth rule says not to be one-dimensional. I don’t think we even saw one dimension of Martin in his short time on the show.
Finally, we get to the tenth rule, using common sense. Wow, did Martin blow it here. I still can’t believe that upon meeting Donald Trump, Martin asked to go to the bathroom. Common sense? No. Then, working on the first task, he didn’t dive in and help out, but rather “supervised” from a rock. Common sense? No. Later, he complained to Ivanka about being tired. Common sense? No. Finally, he worked in sales for his team but didn’t really want to sell anything to people. Common sense? Nada. None. Zilch. Zip. Zero.
Ivanka summed everything up by flat-out saying that Martin wouldn’t fit in with the company. He was all talk. But nothing we saw backed up the talk. He didn’t take on a leadership role and he didn’t work hard at the job he did have. Instead, he worked on pointing the finger at Frank. Don’t get me wrong, Frank deserves plenty of blame. But there is a chance he might do something right. Martin showed that there is no chance for him to step up and be the leader the Trumps are looking for. That is why Martin 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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