The Apprentice 2 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 7: Dogging Itby Mike DeGeorge -- 10/25/2004
I don't consider this week's challenge to be indicative of anything, except perhaps a willingness to do unpleasant tasks. Thus, who won was really not even an issue in my mind.
As for the team selection, I was surprised that Wes got rid of Kevin. By keeping Andy and Kelly together, he has two team members that just do not get along - or at least a situation where Kelly does not like Andy. One would think Wes would know this, but maybe he just chose on performance, in which case he picked well. Jennifer, well, there is really no one on Apex that was worth keeping, so pulling names out of a hat would have been as productive.
Raj: You may have been the savior of the team by convincing Jennifer to create a second location. However, you're getting a reputation as a hound, and you seem to enjoy it. In this day and age, do you really think that Trump wants a potential sexual harassment risk heading one of his companies? You've got a lot working against you right now, my friend, and you're only digging the hole deeper.
Chris: I officially don't like you. The only reason that you're still around is that you don't stick your neck out enough to make an impact. You do what you're told without argument, but you usually have a wiseass remark or eye roll to go with it. The first time you go into the boardroom, Trump will realize that he has no idea who you are. And in the meantime, I'm sure your smart mouth will get you into trouble with George or Carolyn.
Kevin: After weeks of not being a factor, you're quickly becoming a go-to guy. Sure, you messed up on the pricing last week, but it looks like that was more Wes' fault. This week, you did whatever was asked, you had some ideas, and you stepped up because you are good with animals. And you were. Your teammates are going to find out that they can rely on you to do what you say you will, and that's an invaluable asset. Will it make you the Apprentice? Well, I won't go that far.
Elizabeth: Ever since the restaurant challenge, you've been something close to useless. As I've said before, you have to shake that off and prove your worth, or you'll be gone sooner than later.
Ivana: Um. Yeah. Hey, Ivana. How's it going? Good. So, umm… enjoying your experience? Yeah. OK, you can go, I guess.
Jennifer: I was impressed with your leadership. Good job changing your mind and accepting Raj's second request to create an alternate location. But what I'm not impressed with is your mouth. At dinner, all you did was talk about how well YOU did. Good leaders give credit, to others as well as themselves. I'm still not convinced that you're a good leader.
Sandy: You've made yourself useful for the first time this week! You picked a good time, because you would have been a prime candidate to take into the boardroom otherwise, but Wes couldn't have justified it with your hard work.
Maria: Let's see, you've either been useless to your team or you've been a detriment. Luckily, you had an exemption or it would have been you and Stacey fighting it out in the boardroom. Remember what I said way back early on about the exemption allowing the person to half-ass it on the following week and not facing any consequences? Thanks for illustrating my point so well.
Kelly: Once again, you've proven yourself to be the de facto leader of Mosaic, taking command when the PM doesn't. You're impressing the hell out of me, but I still don't understand your almost irrational dislike of Andy. Prove to me that you're right, and I'll be in your corner without reservation.
Andy: Ah, the old double-edged sword I mentioned last week. Trump saw you in the boardroom for the third time, so he naturally figured you were a disaster. I defy Trump, or anyone, to name one large mistake you've made other than losing the phone - which I didn't consider to be that big of a deal. I don't buy that the team couldn't have split up without the phone, it's just the mentality of "I don't know how I survived without it!" Gee, how did anyone get business done before cell phones? And why could they not have radioed the taxi and asked him to come back with the phone? Offer him ten bucks and I'm sure the driver would have been happy to.
In any case, you're getting a raw deal, and I am really, really thrilled that you will be taking the reins as Project Manager and proving to these people you can run the ship.
Wes: Well, you didn't do very well as Project Manager. For the second straight week, you made a possibly-fatal error, this time missing the "rush" hour for dog walking. But for the second straight week, you took responsibility for it. I can't stress enough how huge this is. Well, maybe I can. You took the blame for failure, apologized, and pledged that you wouldn't make the same mistake again. Stacey blames everyone else, refuses to accept any responsibility, and… was fired.
Stacey: Should you have gone home this week? Actually, Wes or Maria would have been equally deserving. But I agree whole-heartedly that you should be fired, if not for this week than for, oh, let's say EVERY OTHER WEEK. What did you do wrong? Let's go back to my column two weeks ago:
But there's one thing in business that many people NEVER learn, which is there comes a time when you have to just SHUT UP and do what you're told, no matter how much you disagree. I'm not saying to do this all the time, in fact, the hard part is knowing when to argue and when to shut up. Continually doing one or the other is a fast track to becoming a troublemaker and eventually NO ONE will listen to you because it will become, "What does Stacey not like about the plan THIS TIME?" Pick your spots. I know you had to be frustrated - I would have been, too. But screaming about it and arguing won't help.
Yes, I know you were fired for not selling your idea, but stay with me here. Sandy and Maria discounted your idea because they've been on a team with you since the start. Wes knew it already, but he would have figured it out quickly because you wouldn't shut up on the first night. Basically, everyone discounted your idea because they've heard it all before. Had you not been running your mouth non-stop for the past six weeks, people might have been more receptive to your idea.
In addition, you were also fired for not taking responsibility. I've never really had that problem with you on this, because you never really had any responsibility. This is another direct result of never shutting up. Basically, if you have a million ideas and none of them are adopted, your bosses are going to look at you as someone who can't get anything done - which is the case with you here. You could never get your ideas through, and so you threw up your hands and absolved yourself of any guilt.
It's a vicious cycle, and one that you can't win. Managers say that they want feedback, but they don't want constant, argumentative feedback. Managers also want someone that will do what they're told, but they also want someone who will do more than the bare minimum. And above all, managers want someone who will take responsibility for an area - whether it was their idea or not - and make sure it gets done. You screwed up in each and every one of these departments.
Maybe if you would have just shut up and done your job, and not have been a constant negative influence, you wouldn't have been taken into the boardroom in the first place.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. He is also Associate Editor of RNO. Email Mike at email@example.com.
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