The Apprentice 5 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 14by Brian Towers -- 06/01/2006
In this series of articles about The Apprentice I will focus on the business actions of the players and give a brief performance review” for each applicant each week.
Successful candidates need to plan as carefully and completely as possible, execute that plan efficiently, yet remain flexible for the inevitable last-minute problems. Forgoing sleep is also a plus.
Both tasks involve running a charity event with a corporate sponsor. The criteria is the nebulous, “whoever does a better job at running the event.” In other words, it’s all up to Trump!
No less a factor is the ability to assemble the correct team. For this reason I like it better that in the last couple of seasons, Trump has the two remaining applicants select their own teams instead of sandbagging them with the likes of an Omarosa or a Brent.
Lee: Lee first showed his immaturity before the credits rolled this week. There was no reason to brown nose Trump as they left the boardroom by saying, “I’m up for the challenge, Mr. Trump.” First off, that should be obvious and secondly, it got him criticized for being “a frickin’ politician” again. Remember last week when at the reward dinner, Trump’s kids said he hates to hear people talk without saying anything? This was a prime example of such useless, effort-consuming blather.
Lee let Lenny have far too much input on the makeup of his team. Lee said in an aside that he thought Lenny had no agenda, but Lenny convinced Lee the other Gold Rush originals were “his enemies.” To Lee’s credit, he did insist on taking Roxanne after Lenny said she was “not strong enough.”
I am unclear why Lee nervously deferred the announcement of the team picks to Sean. To show this deference at this stage of the game is a weakness.
Lee is not off to a good start with his client. His ideas left her singularly unimpressed, and their phone conversation near the end of the episode compounded it. In that call, it was clear to her that he had no real plans and was making up answers as he spoke.
There may be some merit to Lee recognizing that he needs to learn from his first meeting with Liz (the client) but we haven’t yet seen the results of that learning.
If Lee thinks she is a tough customer, BOY are there rude awakenings ahead! Having done the job for five years, her concerns and her expectations are valid. Lee getting upset with her demands again shows his immaturity.
In dealing with the Pontiac folks Lee wrangled a second car out of them, but may have missed out on an even more lucrative source of income, the donation matching.
Lee seems loath to micro-manage his team, but has he SEEN this show before? His approval is needed every step of the way or something could go awry. Further, admitting to Carolyn that the task was more complex than he expected was a bad move. Does he remember her role at Trump International?
Lee needs to come up with a home-run idea to regain the confidence of client Liz and pull this off. And you know what? He just might do it!
In the task that saw him leave the show, Lenny had one of the worst performances ever. He dogmatically pursued his plan and refused to see alternatives, seemed incapable of allocating time and human resources, was abusively opinionated and alienated many of his teammates. Which of those traits was Lee hoping to capitalize on? Lenny’s approach is too black-and-white and he’s not in the finals as a contestant for very valid reasons.
I know Lee feels Lenny is the one who best has his back, but Lee will have to keep an eye on Lenny. The jury (that’s me) is still out on Lenny.
Along with Brent, Allie, Michael, Summer, and possibly Stacy and Charmaine, he is one of the weaker options and should not have received serious consideration. As alternatives, I suggest that both Bryce and Lee’s fellow synagogue attendee Dan exhibited high degrees of loyalty and work ethic.
As if to confirm these fears, we never saw Pepi speak a single word in the meeting with Liz, the disgruntled foundation representative. This is partly editing I suspect, but if he’d actually voiced a great idea, we’d have surely seen it. Further, in the meeting with Pontiac he did contribute the idea of fund matching, but fatally, didn’t follow through with it.
On the positive side, Pepi’s been made responsible for the printed program, so we know he has contributed. But I have to question this selection, too.
I note Roxanne was also shown as near-mute when meeting with both of the clients.
I have my doubts that Roxanne is a good pick. I suggest that Leslie or, if he must take an early dismissal, Theresa. They showed as much effort, and they don’t come with as much potential baggage.
Sean: The first thing to talk about regarding Sean was his classy toast of his worthy opponent back in the suite with all the other contestants present. Nice touch.
More significant, though, was the picking of the teams. He quickly moved to successfully get what he felt was the strongest team.
I think Sean’s idea to have the entire team tour the facility together was a great step in the areas of team building and communication.
Sean felt he had to accompany Tammy to select menu items for the pre-event party. Instead, he ought to have been in the more important meeting with the sponsor execs.
When Sean showed the most empathy for Andrea’s medical problem, his stock went way up in my book. The others showed interest, but much less concern.
Will Sean be able to stay focused on the task and not Tammy? Will Andrea be able to return, or will the others be able to step up and complete her tasks? The answers to these questions could be key to Sean’s success.
During the season we saw Tammy to be somewhat competent as a team member but hardly outstanding, and not a strong leader. The jury is still out on the value of team member Tammy, but my initial leanings are not positive.
When the teams arrived at the casino Andrea and Sean immediately broke into a planning session. It’s good that she’s taking a key role.
Andrea was also successful wrangling a second car out of their Pontiac rep. Also, she and Tarek uncovered the key point about the special hardback roof. I have a feeling that may be important in next week’s show.
Whatever her faults, on a single event where she is committed to success, her attention to detail, tireless work ethic, and desire to see tasks through to completion is invaluable. I hope Andrea’s medical issues are temporary and do not prevent her from proving her effectiveness once again.
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If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
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 unsuccessfully 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.