The Apprentice 3: Why Stephanie Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/01/2005
Considering the way Chris has been behaving, it seemed like a lock for him to get fired in this episode. However, Stephanie managed to find a way to look even worse than he did. How did she manage this? Or did she manage anything at all? Why did Stephanie lose?
As usual, there was more than one factor at play in Stephanieís loss. Therefore, the best way to sort everything out is to look back at What ĎApprentice 3í Applicants Should Have Learned to see where she went wrong.
The first rule, of course, is to show leadership. Considering the number of times that Trump asked Stephanie if she had the leadership ability to handle guys like Chris and the number of times he stated that she didnít have leadership ability, I think we can safely say that Stephanie failed here. Although Alex pointed out that she had failed at pretty much everything previously, we really donít have to look beyond this task for some good examples.
Good leaders donít leave in the middle of a task to do menial labor. The team hired people to promote the product, and a number of them were just standing around. She should have sent the grunts to bring pizzas to the construction workers in Brooklyn (and just think of how happy they would have been to have a couple models bring them pizza!). Instead, she took an hour and a half and left the group she was supposed to be managing.
Good leaders make sure the people they hire are doing the work. Carolyn walked up and saw the models just standing around. Where was Stephanie? Why wasnít she making sure they were doing the job she was paying them to do?
Furthermore, as far as we could tell, Stephanie didnít really lead in the task. Trump essentially picked the meatball topping, Alex came up with the name. So what, exactly, did Stephanie do? Hire the models and send them to dorms? (By the way, I have to disagree with George about nobody being there at noon Ė I think a fair number of college kids would be in the dorms at lunchtime.) If that was her work, she failed to send them elsewhere, so it wasnít exactly a roaring success.
The second rule says to stay cool under fire. Stephanie certainly stayed cooler than Chris, and I have a feeling Iíll be writing about him in the very near future, but Stephanie was not really able to handle the stress. She complained about Angie yelling at her, Chris yelling at her, etc. OK, get over it! If youíre the Project Manager, tell Ďem to shut up, donít just complain about it.
This leads directly to the third rule, about having a backbone. How poorly was Stephanie standing up for herself in the Boardroom? So poorly that Trump had to tell her, while she was leaving for the short break between the initial and final Boardroom, that she needed to defend herself better. Thatís not a good sign. And it pretty much tells the tale. All sorts of bad things were said about Stephanie Ė by every one of her teammates. She barely did anything to deflect the attacks or to explain her side of things. She just kept coming back to Chris being difficult to manage. OK, we get it. But that doesnít really say anything about Stephanie herself.
Stephanie also failed in the fourth rule, because she thought she could scheme and plot her way out of this situation. She told Alex that she was planning to take him to the Boardroom, in hopes that he would side with her against Chris. Alex wisely saw that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and knew that if he went in there was no guarantee that he would be going back to the suite. Whatís funny is that Alex even told her that he would not just go after Chris, and she still took him in. Alexís summary of her poor performance in previous tasks definitely cemented Trumpís low opinion of her.
The fifth rule says to play well with others, but stay professional. Stephanie didnít have the problems dealing with others that, say, Chris has. However, she did constantly have issues. In the mid-season recap, one of the scenes we hadnít seen previously was Chris trying to give Stephanie back to Magna after Magna had just given her to Net Worth. Neither team wanted her. Part of that was their perception of her abilities, but part of it was her personality as well.
Sixth is to focus on the long-term. Honestly, Iím not sure what Stephanie was focusing on. Maybe she could only focus on small details, like getting pizza to Brooklyn. She didnít seem like a big-picture kind of person, and she certainly didnít appear to understand how to impress Trump & Co. Complaining that one of your coworkers is difficult to manage only works if you have an explanation of how you handled the problem. Otherwise, it just comes off as whining and leaves the question in Trumpís mind of whether you can do the job. Indeed, thatís exactly what happened here.
The seventh rule says to think outside the box (yes, I know, recapper Betsy doesnít like the term Ė but hey, itís a rule, so Iíve got to keep using it). Stephanieís team had a good idea in hiring people to do grunt work for them. They were smart to send them to one place that might house hungry folks. However, they missed other opportunities. Her opponents, however, were much more creative. Rather than just waiting for people to stumble by the pizza stand, they actively sought out nearby businesses for major orders. That was smart thinking, and itís what won them the challenge.
Eighth is to not be one-dimensional. Considering that Alex said Stephanie always did poorly, Iím not sure we can even cite a single dimension for her. However, we can definitely say she is not multitalented enough for this competition!
Finally, we have the rule that says to use common sense. Weíve pretty much addressed the issues that relate to common sense already, but letís just repeat one very important one: If you are the manager, you should not leave your employees to do menial work in the middle of an important task. You donít need a whole lot of business savvy to know that, you simply need common sense. Stephanie showed a complete lack of both in that instance.
Stephanie did so many things wrong that itís difficult to pinpoint the specific ones that led to her firing. However, in the end, it really comes down to her utter lack of leadership skills, or even any knowledge of how to lead. Some people know how to lead but just canít put it into practice. Some people are natural leaders but canít explain the theory behind it. Stephanie could do neither. She showed no understanding of how to lead people, and she showed that she couldnít do it when it was necessary. She added to her problems by trying to scheme her way out of the Boardroom, but that also backfired.
It was down to Chris or Stephanie. Chris has problems of his own, but the scale tipped Stephanieís way. She simply had shown no ability to lead, nor any other ability that Trump would value in his organization. That is why Stephanie lost.
If you havenít already, be sure to check out our Apprentice 3 Episode 10 recap:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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