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The Apprentice 5 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 5by Brian Towers -- 03/29/2006
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This series of articles about The Apprentice will focus on the business actions of each player. Toward that end, I’ll be giving a capsulated “Performance Review” on each applicant each week. Warning, a few comments on game play just might sneak in there, too!
This week, the teams had to design an advertisement for a new concept from Norwegian Cruise Lines (henceforth referred to as “NCL”) called free-style cruising. The winner was the one deemed “most original.” With only three hours to shoot video, the key to this task is speed – get a good idea fast and split up the work to implement it quickly.
I like that the tasks are starting to get a little tougher. Also, this was an interesting episode with the focus on relatively few contestants.
One interesting sidebar – the cruise industry was promoted by Trump as a ten billion dollar industry. Do you know how much ten billion is? Ten billion seconds ago, it was the year 1690! Think of that one the next time you hear about government spending.
I didn’t think the judging executives really understood that the black and white film was supposed to be a representation of another cruise line, but it was clear to me... it was that darn voiceover.
This week we have NO RATING for Michael the invisible man, silent Sean, and torpid Tammy.
Allie: Allie came up with the team’s basic concept of contrasting NCL with a less desirable cruise line. We didn’t see much of her after that, but I’ll give absent Allie a SATISFACTORY rating for that one act.
Andrea: Wow, Andrea. OK – everyone who comes on this show thinks that they, more than any of the others, have exactly what it takes to win this game and become Trump’s apprentice. However, one cannot make her belief of her superiority so overtly obvious to the others who must give you some assistance if you are to gain that prize.
We saw again this week how she visibly reacted to Roxanne’s opinion that Tammy was a better PM, and even continued the conversation back into the suite. I will give her credit for keeping the conversation civil in tone and volume, but it should not have happened. It was particularly interesting that she doesn’t think people need to be “coddled,” but she needs to hear that she is the best. The conversation ended with a thinly veiled threat, and I cannot support that.
It is indeed a thin, thin line between the naked ambition necessary to succeed at the top, and outright arrogance. It’s probably even thinner for a woman. But clearly, Andrea doesn’t realize how others perceive her.
Andrea criticized Roxanne for not developing a timeline. However, with only three hours to get and implement an idea, I would not have spent a significant amount of effort formalizing a detailed plan.
Andrea tried to take over the task on more than one occasion by representing herself as the person in charge. Although it IS necessary to step up at appropriate times, changing the concept of a shot the second Roxanne got a phone call was not one of them.
I thought Andrea seemed to deliberately not understand the idea of the short black and white shot. I suspect she was trying to establish the basis for a boardroom discussion point. That may be good game play, but so is winning the task.
No, this was not a good week for Andrea and her rating is NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.
Roxanne: On the whole Roxanne did well on several fronts tonight. She stood up to Andrea’s inquisition, however at the end she apologized where she clearly didn’t feel she was in the wrong. Andrea told us that Roxanne, “couldn’t handle someone being direct with her,” but I think for the most part she did.
It was a somewhat risky move on Roxanne’s part to step up to be the PM in a week where the time crunch guaranteed some degree of failure. Indeed, she didn’t do the greatest job, but there really wasn’t time to exhibit normal PM skills.
Although she may not be the best source of unbiased opinion, I think Andrea was correct in saying that Roxanne was lacking in her utilization of time and resources. We know this from the reactions of the video crew, who told Roxanne they needed to be hearing “one voice” of direction, plus they didn’t get all the shots they wanted. Tammy also indicated that the team members did not know their roles. Fortunately, a win covers over a lot of faults.
It was very correct when Roxanne called on the team to show her more respect. It seemed like they were anticipating a loss and trying to distance themselves from the project. I like it that Roxanne can say what needs to be said without unduly antagonizing most people. However, it may turn out that Roxanne (and not Andrea) is the new outsider on this team.
Roxanne did reasonable as a public speaker. She seemed nervous but got the job done. Only 26 years old but an attorney, I’m sure this is more lack of experience doing business presentations. Overall, I give Roxanne a GOOD rating.
Neither the NCL executives nor Trump understood Gold Rush’s concept. In my opinion, their ad was weak, but not for the reasons Trump dwelled on.
The first part of the video was very amateurish and I did not believe I was seeing a sea rescue. And when they took away the guy’s watch, I later figured they were trying to indicate that activities were not time dependant, but at the time I just thought, “Why did they steal his watch? Is it to pay for an expensive holiday?”
Finally, the other ad just seemed a little classier. NCL is a classy outfit.
This team is in some trouble now. Lee and Lenny are fighting with Tarek, and the ladies have little use for him either. And Trump has both Tarek and Lenny in his sights!1 2 Next-->
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