The Apprentice: Los Angeles Ė Why Tim Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/06/2007
Tim seemed to forget what show he was on. Was it The Apprentice or The Bachelor? Was he looking for a job or a girlfriend? Well, he got the girl, but not the job. What happened? Did the two issues get too intertwined? Why did Tim lose?
In some ways, this one seems obvious. But in other ways, not so much. Letís take a look back at What ĎThe Apprentice: Los Angelesí Applicants Should Have Learned to see whether the obvious is true and what role other issues might have played.
Tim came into this task believing he had to rock the world in order to survive. While he wasnít the project manager, he immediately took the lead role in putting forth ideas and pushing them hard. Later he took over the photo shoot too.
If his ideas had been good ones, this would have been admirable behavior Ė to a point. Pushing people out of the way and taking such a huge responsibility for a task is a risky proposition on The Apprentice. If it goes right, great. But if it goes wrong, the project manager Ė and everybody else on the team Ė has somebody to point the finger at. Thatís what happened here.
Still, Tim did follow the first rule. He took on a leadership role even when he wasnít the project manager. He made his decisions and owned them. Under some circumstances, these would have been positives.
The second rule says players need to stay cool under fire. Tim had a few issues here. First, when he was under fire from his girlfriend, Nicole, he wasnít so cool. But then, who among us is under those situations? Still, this isnít real life, itís The Apprentice, and Tim should not have allowed himself to get into such a situation if he wanted to win.
On a related note, Tim had a hard time staying cool whenever the subject of Nicole was brought up. Frankly, I think he was attacked a bit unfairly, but he needed to be able to defend himself rationally, both to his own team and to Trump. He didnít do a particularly good job with either.
At least he had a backbone, in accordance with the third rule. As already discussed, he stood up, spoke his mind on his ideas, and pushed them hard. So this wasnít an issue Ė well, the backbone part wasnít, the idea part was.
The fourth rule warns players against scheming and plotting. While it might seem that such behavior actually worked here because Timís whole team turned on him and he was booted, they did not do it for strategic reasons, but because they questioned his loyalty and he led them down the completely wrong path in this task.
The loyalty issue brings us conveniently to the fifth rule. It talks about getting along with others in general, but it also has a section specifically about loyalty. One key portion quotes Trump, who told Newsweek during the very first season, ďYou must work well with others and be loyal to your team. Disloyalty is the worst of all traits.Ē
That trait is exactly what Timís team feared they saw in him. And this was not something they just dreamed up after they lost in order to get him fired. They all talked to him about it before the challenge. They were worried he would side with Nicole rather than them if for some reason it should ever come to that. Or maybe because Nicole wasnít on their team anymore, Tim didnít want to beat her.
But the fact was that when last weekís Boardroom was over, the rest of the team went to meet with James, who had of course sat at Trumpís side during it. But Tim rushed to the hedge to talk to the other team and find out if Nicole was fired. Can you really blame Timís teammates for questioning where his loyalty might lie?
The sixth rule reminds people to focus on the long-term. Maybe this is really what Tim did, seeing as recent interviews indicated he is still together with Nicole. He focused on the very long-term Ė his whole life! But thatís not really what this rule means. While Iím happy for them, here we worry about winning the game, not winning a life partner.
So with that in mind, was Tim properly focused? Simply put, no. He decided he had to win this task. As weíve mentioned, he went all-out to do it. But he focused so much on this one thing that he lost sight of the bigger picture. If he had not led his team astray, they might have won and he wouldnít have had to worry so much. If he had let others participate in the decision-making more, he could not have been so easily targeted by them. Yes, he would have still been at a disadvantage, but not such a huge one.
Part of Timís problem was that he really didnít show he understood the challenge. I mean, when I open up a newspaper ad, do I really want to see scientific jargon? No Ė and Iím a scientist and engineer! I would probably believe itís all made-up nonsense and blow right by it anyway. Plus, the whole flyer was not attention-getting. The other team truly showed a much better understanding here Ė it wasnít really even close.
And I think that has to do with the eighth rule, which deals with being creative. Kineticís ad was indeed creative. Timís? Not so much. He had bad ideas and implemented them poorly.
Iím not really sure what to say about the ninth rule, though. It tells candidates not to be one-dimensional. I do think Tim showed many different facets of himself over the course of the job interview process. However, he also became something of a one-dimensional dartboard because of the Nicole situation. Specifically, much of his past success was forgotten due to his relationship with Nicole and his poor performance here.
The last rule tells players to use common sense. Common sense should have told Tim that getting romantically involved in a game like The Apprentice would inevitably end up in a loss. Maybe he didnít care Ė he almost certainly doesnít now that heís still dating her! But if he wanted to win, he should have avoided such romantic entanglements.
At the beginning of this article, I said there were some obvious and some not-so-obvious reasons for Timís loss. The obvious ones were discussed on the show Ė alleged disloyalty and poor performance in the task. The not-so-obvious ones involved how he related to the rest of his team. Sometimes it seems the idea guy gets blamed, sometimes itís the project manager. This case illustrates a situation where I believe it was indeed correct to blame the idea guy.
Tim didnít just say something off the top of his head. He formed the whole idea, led the task and made James into little more than a figurehead, pushed the team to do everything exactly his way Ė and in the end, they lost because of all of this. Was he disloyal to them? I donít think so. Did he make them think he might be? Absolutely.
Tim would have been fired for his actions in the task even if all the Tim/Nicole stuff had never existed. However, it was that very situation that caused him to act the way he did. So itís all linked. But his poor performance in this task is really why Tim lost.
If you havenít already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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