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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Weekly Performance Review, Episode 4Page 2
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Angela: When Heidi discussed with her team whom she might bring back into the Boardroom, Angela was not there. She needs to make sure these kinds of discussions don’t take place without her. In fact, she’s been pretty much invisible all series. However, it’s NO RATING for Angela one last time.
Derek: Both Derek and Marisa were charged with developing the marketing materials. Both diverted effort to come up with different names for the product, and it was Derek who put forth Marisa’s favorite, “Bravado Bowl.” Derek even built slogans for these new names. At least twice, Derek was present and supportive when Marisa called Heidi with her suggestions.
So my question is: How the heck did Derek skate by so cleanly when everyone was dumping on Marisa?
Derek told us later on that during the task, Marisa was focusing on points of lesser significance and that she didn’t know how abrasive she was coming across. True, and he even tried to rein her in before the third phone call, but Marisa was having none of it.
Derek’s rating must be NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. Although his skills in avoiding the blame were nearly flawless, error avoidance is a better plan.
Jenn: Lucky Jenn, she was one of three cashiers yet avoided the final Boardroom somehow. In the first Boardroom she did a nice job of deflecting attention from shortcomings at point-of-sale to marketing miscues, an area the corporate execs had already identified to Trump as the reason for the loss. But with the so-so results at point-of-sale, NEEDS IMPROVEMENT is as high as I can go.
Kristine: Kristine came up with the recipe that the team decided to sell. All of Kinetic said they liked it, although Trump and, apparently, a goodly portion of the L.A. public did not. But for making the effort, I applaud her. It was one of the few examples of someone on Kinetic showing initiative this week.
Kristine also escaped the wrath that befell her fellow cashier Aimee. Lucky her, for coupled with the negative recipe (in Trump’s mind) noted above, she was a better Boardroom target than Aimee. Her rating has to be NEEDS IMPROVEMENT, essentially for the same reason as Jenn.
Muna: Muna has a problem. In the Boardroom, when Marisa claimed a conspiracy was afoot, Muna was alone in insisting it was not so. This was because Muna was not around for the earlier discussions. It’s a NEEDS IMPROVEMENT for Muna, she needs to stay in contact with the core group on her team because three weeks out of four, it’s the “outsiders” going home early this season..
Heidi: I liked it that Heidi was the first one who volunteered to change teams. Perhaps she knew a loss was inevitable and it was time to shed the PM role before things blew up in her face. If so, that was quick thinking. Unfortunately, that’s about where the good times ended.
I can appreciate the name of the product isn’t all that important, and that Marisa’s phone calls were getting annoying. I ask, if the name is so insignificant and the marketing team thought they could do better work with a different name, why didn’t Heidi let Marisa have her way on this one?
Heidi presented an arrogant demeanor in the Boardroom with all those self-satisfied smiles and deliberate eye-rolls. The Boardroom is a serious place and must be treated accordingly.
Heidi got away with another one in this episode. When asked if Aimee was in charge of sales, she admitted no one was… yet she didn’t catch any flak for it! I’d not have let that gem pass by; it showed her resource delegation was improper.
Heidi’s decision to pull Aimee into the final Boardroom instead of Kristine makes no sense. Kristine had taken some hits from Trump already, but the only person attacking Aimee was Marisa.
Heidi got some recognition from Trump for having won in her previous two efforts, but I think reality caught up with her tonight. The team was under-prepared and responded with insufficient effort. As I cannot recall anything that went right for Kinetic, I’m going to rate her as UNACCEPTABLE. Now that she’s a worker bee, we’ll see what she’s made of. If you have her in the Yahoo pool, I’d be worried.
Marisa: Marisa’s first fixation was on the name of the product. At least three times she called Heidi to distract her with the same idea. That was bad enough.
Then, Marisa had the idea of having two people in chicken suits promoting the new product. She felt it had merit, because the chain has a chicken as a mascot. Initially appealing, I now doubt it would help unless you could get costumes that creditably matched the mascot. Otherwise, it could be confusing for potential customers. Given the short timeframe for the whole project, it might not have been possible to go and hunt for a proper costume in time.
Watching Marisa rant on and on about either the product name or her chicken costume idea reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill: “A fanatic is someone who won't change his mind and can't change the subject.” Alas, too true. Marisa is a fanatic!
In the Boardroom, Marisa took a real beating from her teammates. Anyone asked to comment added to the laundry list of her shortcomings. The problem for Marisa was, all of them were true!
Probably Marisa’s biggest problem was the oral communication skills she exhibited in the Boardroom. She repeated the same point several times. She didn’t get out certain key information (such as ideas of hers not involving a chicken costume, if any). And, she talked over Trump and Sean. Those were all fatal mistakes.
Earlier this season, Marisa resented that Heidi was getting all the kudos for the team. I suspect she likes to be the leader, rather than a follower. For that, her inability to get past the small stuff, and her poor Boardroom performance, Marisa’s rating has to be UNACCEPTABLE. Hopefully when she sees this show she can see what others were trying to tell her and change her style for the better.
Did Trump make the right decision? Well, Marisa did poorly, but so did Heidi. Tough call, but I cannot disagree with how things turned out.
That’s all for this episode. Please feel free to let me know what your thoughts are at the address below. My question of the week for you is, now that you’ve seen everyone in action (sort of), who do you think The Donald will pick as his Apprentice?
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at email@example.com. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machine in generally unsuccessful attempts to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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