The Apprentice: Why Troy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/08/04
Well, color me shocked at the outcome of last week’s episode of The Apprentice. I fully expected Troy to be in the final round. In fact, I was taking notes from the boardroom as if I were going to be writing “Why Kwame Lost.” Whoops!
It’s taken me a while to understand quite what Trump was thinking when he fired Troy instead of Kwame (I mean, Kwame deserved to lose just for believing in astrology), but I believe I’ve begun to comprehend it. So let’s take a look at why Troy lost.
First, let’s begin with whether Troy was correct in bringing Kwame to the boardroom instead of Bill. The answer, quite simply, is yes. Troy said on The Tonight Show that Bill had won more challenges, and he figured Trump would easily pick Bill over him – I believe he is correct. Plus, Bill had opened the door for Troy by pointing out to Trump that Kwame had a lot of book learning but needed more seasoning. Unfortunately, Trump thought that Troy was the one who needed a bit more time before taking over the reins of a mega-corporation.
But why is that? Well, to begin with, I think it’s clear that Trump did believe in Troy’s natural-born abilities as a leader. However, he also believes in a good education. But I don’t think that was even close to all of it.
Instead, I think Trump looked at some of the other things that Troy has done over the time he’s been on the show. Yes, he has been a good leader. Yes, he can inspire people. But he can also be a bit freewheeling – or, as Trump called him, a “loose cannon.” I think that may have been overstating it a bit, but let’s remember some of the history here. Troy did the “Kwame Jackson” autographs (obviously, so did Kwame). Troy tricked Katrina in the apartment renovation challenge, using a maneuver that some thought was unethical. Troy used high-pressure tactics that you’d expect out of a used car dealer in trying to rent the suite in his final challenge, and indeed the second customer in the bidding war indicated that he felt like he was being hustled.
I believe that all of these things added up in Trump’s mind and he got a picture of Troy that was not the type of person he wanted running one of his organizations – at least not yet. Don’t get me wrong – I think Troy is great. I’d love to meet him and hang out with him. I think he could inspire people. But playing a bit fast and loose in challenges is one thing – doing so as the president of a corporation is quite another.
Part of the problem goes back to a point I have hammered on a few times now – most recently in my article last week, Short-Term Gains and Long-Term Employment. That is, the challenges don’t really test what I believe Trump is looking for. Troy did what he thought was necessary to win the challenges. I just don’t think that winning the challenges necessarily equates to winning the show (which is something that Apprentice 2 contestants should seriously think about). Just look at this last one – it was 100% luck. Both teams did the same thing, it just depended on which event planner brought in the right person. Pure luck.
So there was really nobody at fault for losing this one – although Troy was the project manager and the team did set the price so low that even if they had gotten their maximum, they still would have lost. Still, Trump had to look back. In doing so, he saw that while Troy is great at sales and motivation, it’s another thing to be working with lots of somebody else’s money. We have to remember that as much as we might like a specific person, just because they are good at one aspect does not mean Trump will want that person as the president of one of his companies. Being a good salesperson does not guarantee being a good leader. Being a good leader does not guarantee being a good president.
Troy was a great salesman and an awesome leader. However, in Trump’s mind at least, he was too much of a risk when it came to being president. That is why Troy lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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