The years apprentice lesson #10 – play nicely children
What a great task on tonights episode of The Apprentice, it’s good to see them mixing things up this year with some new ideas, presumably designed to assess for a different skills set, given the winner will walk away with a £250k investment in a business idea, and not just a job in middle management. Lord Sugar was visibly excited when he introduced the task, and tweeted that it had really got his entrepeneurial juices flowing, since it reminded him of how and where he started to build his fortune all those years ago.
I realise this programme’s wheels are oiled by a production crew of many, but it still goes to show that if you’re prepared to back yourself, get up early, “smell” what’s successful and work hard, there’s plenty of opportunities to make some money. And in fairness they did. But not all of them really understood what the task was all about, which meant that recruitment consultant Natasha (who annoys the heck out of me) became obsessed with cash and failed to reinvest, and (in my opinion) one trick pony Helen, tried to convince Mr Poundland to buy a £25 watch as part of some bizarrely conceived strategy to target retailers!
But this episode wasn’t so much about which team won and which team lost. It wasn’t even about individual performances and who’s the strongest contenders (though my money’s on Tom and Susan) it was a lesson in basic manners, and this lot have got a lot to learn. Successful business people don’t shout across one another, flagrantly ignore advice from colleagues, blatantly undermine one another or make those around them feel inadequate. It’s the biggest myth in business that these behaviours are what put you ahead. Great business people are effective communicators. They make sure their team feel like winners by supporting them and surreptitiously compensating for any weaknesses. They care about winning, but they answer one critical question “at what cost?”.
How you go about winning and succeeding is a matter of individual choice. But when the going gets tough and you’re looking for some favours to call in, most people hope there’s a few options to go at, that they’ve built up some good will, that people will remember them because they were good, they had style, they had morals. So come on kids, play nicely, the whole country is watching.