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The Apprentice: Los Angeles – Why Angela Lostby David Bloomberg -- 03/30/2007
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Frankly, we never really got to see a lot of Angela over the course of this season of The Apprentice. And then, when she finally stepped into the spotlight and became project manager, she was sent packing. No gold medal for her this time! Why was her first time getting attention also her last? Why did Angela lose?
Gold medal or not, Angela is treated the same way as all the other Apprentice firees – we will look back at What ‘The Apprentice: Los Angeles’ Applicants Should Have Learned and use it to figure out what happened to her.
Part of that answer comes to use very quickly in the form of the first rule. It says to show leadership. Angela did step up to become project manager – not that there was really much of a choice, other than allowing newcomer Nicole to do it. However, it seems that her leadership pretty much ended there.
We did not see Angela really taking a lead role in the planning or execution of the task. We did not see her showing her strengths or making the big decisions. She listened to Nicole and did what Nicole said without apparently giving it much thought.
I think it is telling that in Angela’s bio on the official NBC website, there is much said about her participating on the USA’s women’s hockey team. Participating. She is apparently a very good player. She is apparently a very hard worker. But nowhere does it say anything about her being a leader. She is not listed as the captain of the team or the heart of their unit or whatever. Maybe she is and it just wasn’t listed, but I doubt it. She works hard, but Angela is simply not a leader.
She did, however, follow the second rule quite well by staying cool under fire. I mean, come on, she plays in world championships and the Olympics! Worrying about selling tickets? Nothing. Sitting across the table from Donald Trump? Didn’t even faze her. So both at the challenge and in the Boardroom, Angela did fine. She had the story she was telling Trump, and she was sticking to it.
In that regard, she also followed the third rule and showed backbone. But in the challenge, she really didn’t. First of all, she went along with Nicole’s idea. OK, so Angela didn’t appear to have an idea of her own to fight for, but come on. And then, when Arrow started stealing their customers, the best Angela and company could do was whine about it. She needed to stand up for herself and her team and figure out a way to beat Arrow. But she didn’t.
The fourth rule deals with how scheming and plotting doesn’t work. Let’s see here… Angela told her fellow Kinetics that she was aiming at Nicole. Nicole stayed and Angela left. I guess that pretty much proves my point.
Angela did well in terms of the fifth rule, playing well with others. Indeed, if anything she played a little too well, since even when she was suggesting Trump should fire Nicole, she wasn’t exactly burning with fire about it. Ivanka even had to tell her to stand up for herself! I think Angela is a bit too used to the team environment. If you lose a hockey game, you don’t go back to the locker room and single somebody out to take the blame. It would be a pretty poor team environment if you did. But that’s exactly what is done on this show.
The sixth rule tells players to focus on the long-term, but it didn’t come into play here. The seventh, however, did. It says to understand the challenge. The women of Kinetic understood only too late that people were more likely to hand over their credit cards to people who looked like they belonged there rather than people just rolling around on skates. While Arrow quickly figured out how to counter the rollergirls, Kinetic did not have a countermove.
Eighth is something that, if the official NBC website pre-show interview is to be believed, Angela understood. It says to be creative. Indeed, the roller skate idea was pretty creative, but it wasn’t Angela’s idea. Besides, the rule also admonishes contestants not to be insane. Rolling around without any permanent presence does push the limits of credibility, I’m afraid. And even though Angela didn’t think of the idea, she should have thought of some of the possible consequences.
The ninth rule returns us to an issue I addressed earlier. It says applicants cannot be one-dimensional. But what we saw of Angela was exactly that. As I’ve already mentioned, she is certainly a hard worker. However, she was not a manager. Teamwork is great, but she needed to show that she could be a team leader as well.
Finally, we have the dreaded rule saying people need to use common sense. It seems all of Kinetic forgot theirs somewhere on this task. While it is true that Nicole brought over valuable information about what Arrow would likely do, Kinetic – led by Angela – failed to use that information wisely. They had tunnel vision and project manager Angela never even attempted to pull them out of it.
Sometimes, Trump targets the person who came up with an idea. In general, I think this is wrong and Trump actually crushes potentially good but risky ideas by doing this. It is the project manager’s responsibility to separate the wheat from the chaff. Angela simply went along with Nicole’s idea, with no apparent thought about the possible outcomes.
Then, when her team – and Angela herself – was asked about her leadership, they talked about teamwork and not micromanaging. It’s true that micromanaging can be a problem, but we didn’t even see Angela macromanaging – that is, managing at all. It was all, as they said, teamwork.
But a team needs a leader. They needed somebody to step up and say, “Here are some problems we need to overcome.” During the task itself, they needed somebody to reorganize them into a fighting force once again, not just complain about how Arrow was acting. Angela showed great teamwork, but not team leadership. That is why Angela 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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