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The Apprentice 4 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 6Page 2
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Brian: Brian was exempt this week, yet he worked hard anyway and was identified as one of the three best sellers. He “was nervous” that the batting cage was drawing away from the sales, something I’m not sure the other guys ever figured out. Brian gets a GOOD rating.
Rebecca: Rebecca’s idea of the sport to promote was… soccer? It may be growing, but it’s still small potatoes in North America. Since they weren’t likely to sell any team uniforms in that one day, all that’s left is the admittedly lucrative shoe market, some balls and maybe a few whistles. This was not a good suggestion.
However, Rebecca was the sales leader of her team this week, and for that I will increase her rating to GOOD.
Marshawn: Marshawn was identified as the second best seller, so she also gets a GOOD rating.
I note that Marshawn seems good at identifying problems every week, but I never see her fixing anything. If she’s making suggestions, the others aren’t listening. Her turn at PM is coming up again soon, so she’ll soon have a chance to be more evident and influential.
Mark: Mark got sandbagged this week, I don’t think he deserved to be fired at all. Although he didn’t make sales, he was working on the task the PM assigned him to. Should he have spoken up? Perhaps. We didn’t actually see a lot of Mark, so the only rating I can give is SATISFACTORY.
James: James finally stepped up and got visible – and not in a good way. He has to be largely (though not completely) responsible for the task getting so far off track so quickly. He was having fun… but that’s not why they’re there.
James touted himself as a salesman almost as much as Jennifer did. Yet despite promising to float from station to station to help close sales, this did not happen.
The biggest problem with the batting cage was its size and location, dominating their square footage and limiting foot traffic. For me, this was his biggest failure and it DID impact sales.
Where he also failed was that he needed to get those people through the line much faster, even if it meant skipping most of the batting clinic. Customers standing there for fifteen minutes and not buying, that is not productive. When he said “Ho-ly cow” as one kid swatted a hit, I was unsure if this was to evoke images of “Harry Carey,” or “hari kari…”
He definitely deserved to get called back into the boardroom and be dressed down, but fired? Not by me, though I would say James definitely NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.
Josh: Wow, where to start? After seeming to be in a good position in the game, Josh fell apart this week. Let’s start with the rating – UNSATISFACTORY. It would have been worse if he hadn’t been so strong in earlier weeks.
Somehow Josh lost focus on what the task at hand was. In case he forgot, Bill Rancic said it best, it’s “converting customers into sales.”
The batting cage took over the floor and forced major changes to the layout at a late stage. Because he mismanaged the space allocation, sales became more difficult because the merchandise was no longer the focal point of the event. The cage also consumed a lot of effort that was essentially unproductive to the task at hand.
His allocation of his people was poor in that salesman James did no selling. James’ superior understanding of the equipment should have led to additional sales. It should have been planned that people rotated jobs, to alleviate boredom. Also, on the day of the event, what role did he assign to himself?
On the plus side, he did organize a fun event for the kiddies. Too bad this wasn’t the criteria this week!
Jennifer M: Jennifer’s luck ran out this week, and she sank her own ship. She deserved this trip home for actions both this week and previously.
When she boated about her sales prowess, Josh took special note of it and when she didn’t deliver, she was doomed. Jennifer, a real sales superstar can sell in any environment, not just one to your liking.
Jennifer’s ignorance of what the radar guns are used for (to measure the speed of pitches) interspaced with her bragging about being able to sell eight quickly… priceless. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!”
Her decision to introduce a food vendor into the equation (because money spent there did not count) was a bad idea. Additionally, it took time away from other, more worthy activities.
She didn’t do the best job in the boardroom, either. Josh derailed all her objections in a clinic of how it’s done. Her quick shift to shouting mode lessened her credibility as well. When he said to her, “You’re lying,” and she had no comeback, we knew she was done.
It was a sales event. She didn’t sell. Jennifer’s rating must also be the dreaded UNACCEPTABLE.
In an unrelated note – how funny is it that the other players are waiting for the Excel people to return from the boardroom… yet no one’s coming back? I bet they sat up for hours and hours! Ha!
Well, those are the performance reviews for this week, one of the best ones of the series. I’ll be back next week with a fresh review of our remaining candidates’ activities.
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 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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