The Apprentice 4 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 12by Brian Towers -- 12/13/2005
This series of articles primarily focuses on the business actions of each player on The Apprentice. Toward that end, Iíll be giving a capsulated performance review of each applicant.
This was the first week of the two-part finale. I noted that neither player took any notes during Trumpís lengthy explanation of the tasks to be performed. (Iím sure they were given the details separately).
One thing I did miss, how will they be judged? What are the exact criteria? ďThe overall success of their events,Ē is that subjective? Is it based on the money raised? What if the title sponsor loves it and the charity does not? Does that beat two ďPretty goodĒ ratings?
Randal got off to a good start this week. He negotiated a pretty strong team who clearly respected him. This respect even extended to James and Chris, who are on the other team.
However, there was much less respect from CEO Alison of Autism Speaks. She informed Excel that ďlead with the factsĒ drives their fundraising, and felt that although Josh heard her message, Randal was more focused on event details. However, itís Randalís attention to those pesky details that will bring this task home Ė if it can be done at all.
Alison has perceived that Randal is not the leader, Josh is. Minimally, it does indicate Randalís empathy skills need to be ramped up. Next week weíll see if Autism facts are presented to Alisonís satisfaction. This threatens to be a big issue.
Ben, the Outback executive, wasnít taken with Randalís laid back approach either. Heís obviously a hands-on kind of guy, and when the project didnít seem to be running like he thought it should, he took it upon himself to intervene. Ben is a difficult customer.
The rest of Excel had their own tasks, and I have no problem with Mark setting up the field all afternoon. Marshawn was preparing 150 gift baskets, Josh was fundraising and Randal was, I dunno, playing Minesweeper? OK, even if heís doing something valid, he didnít sense that Ben is one of those guys you need to be spending time with, and that Ben would want to know where he was.
Is this editing misdirection? They had always planned on staying late and it seems like the field got set up just fine.
Letís go back a bit. Of course it was ridiculous to have four people buying cheapie megaphones and other knick-knacks, and became even more so when Mark had to miss his already-rescheduled meeting with their announcer.
Iím not sure which meteorological services they availed themselves, because as the show ends, itís apparent they are in trouble with the weather. They might be able to hold part of their event, but they appear to be in deep do-do and Randal is discouraged.
Capital Edge (Rebecca ):
Rebecca was off to a real good start on her task. She chose her team well, identifying Chris as an untapped talent and recognizing that Toral, having time to reflect, will go through a wall for her.
Hiring the event-planning firm was a real smart idea because they had the expertise to shoot down some untenable solutions.
In the planning meetings, we saw Rebecca more decisive than ever before. Decisive yes, but not inflexible, as she was able to accommodate changes from the Yahoo execs. Good!
This is a totally different customer, new to this kind of event and they didnít always articulate their ideas well. I donít know if Rebecca recognized that they needed to ask very direct questions, because the responses were born of inexperience.
It was good Toral asked again about how to approach donations, because the initial answer was not responsive and left the matter unresolved. If Capital Edge had executed a hard sell, they would have surely received fatally bad ratings from Yahoo and lost the task.
During the task, Rebecca earned the respect of male teammates James and Chris. Theyíre right, Randal has a fight on his hands.
At the end of the episode, Rebecca learned that Joe Piscopo may not be available. I see three possible answers to this problem. One, dispatch one of the lads to the union office and try to clear this up. Two, can Jake Glaser step in? Heís familiar with the general plans and has assumed a role as a Foundation spokesperson, so he ought to have the skills required. Thirdly, one of them must step up and volunteer. I donít think it should be Rebecca, who needs to be available as a trouble-shooter, but one of the others. Weíll see what they do!
Both contestants receive NO RATING this week, the task is incomplete.
Well, both teams seem to be on the hot seat, though Randalís position seems worse. Iíll be back next week with my performance reviews for the conclusion of these tasks.
In the mail last week, there were several who felt that Alla did deserve to be fired. Iím still not so sure, every person who has an off week doesnít get fired. I think her stock had dropped a lot over the last two weeks, though. And no one sent me any puns!
What do you think? Who will win? Let me know at the eAddress below!
Brian lives in Toronto, where he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machine to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. Heíd like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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