Business Parallels and Reflections

There are times in life when you see many parallels to yourself in all the things around you.

Maybe you’re going through a rough spot or made some decisions that you regret, but whatever it is, wherever you go, you see that reflected in other people’s situations and actions. I found that to be true watching Thursday’s episode of the apprentice. Every few minutes, I could see something and think “Yeah, I did that.”

Sometimes its easier to see the faults in others before you see your own. But when you can see the faults in others and reflect that upon yourself and realize that you’ve done the same thing, that’s when true growth begins. So when you see reflections of you in other people in other places, let that serve as a reinforcement. Learn the lessons and move on. That being said, let’s go ahead and move on to some Celebrity Apprentice business lessons:

Business Lesson 1: There is no room for childish behavior in business

I love goofing off and having fun just as much as the next guy. But there are times when acting like a child is appropriate and times when it’s not. Go ahead and be goofy when everybody is doing the same. But when it comes to working with others in tense situations, keep your professionalism.

In this episode more than any other, Omarosa showed just how childish she can be. First by pouring the champagne on Piers’ head, which showed a complete lack of professionalism or seriousness. Of course she compounds that by never really knowing when to shut her mouth. She always has to get her digs in. She has to throw her opinion out there when it’s not asked for, and rarely does she have anything positive to say.

Having fun together is essential, I believe, to any work environment. But there are times to keep your cool and quit the stupid antics.

Business Lesson 2: Think things through & thoroughly before moving forward

Sometimes we have to make snap decisions, and good leaders need to be able to do that and be right. But aside from those situations, it’s essential to think through your options and explore each as thoroughly as possible before making a decision.

Stephen Baldwin got himself in a situation where his character was questioned. For some people, our character is all we really have, everything else is secondary, so when our moral integrity is questioned, it can make a person just want to be removed from the situation entirely. Unfortunately, that’s usually the wrong course of action.

Once questioned, Baldwin felt that he needed to resign from the show. Why? He should have thought it through; how else to gain his credibility back then by getting back in there and proving himself. So people think he’s a hypocrite! Get back in there and prove them wrong.

Decisions made out of emotion, whether you have good intentions or not, can often lead to disastrous results. When in those situations the best thing to do is to let things settle and think through your decisions. And without being pessimistic, think through the worst possible outcome, not just the idea of what you think will happen.

Business Lesson 3: Leading is about making decisions, not passing those decisions off to the team

There is no one else who is equipped or qualified to make the tough decisions other than the team leader. That’s not to say someone else can’t do it if they are in the same position, but by nature of the position the team leader is the decision maker. I love leaders who seek a range of input from the team, but when it comes down to it, you can’t vote on every decision. It’s not a democracy.

Lennox Lewis is a nice guy, but perhaps too nice. He was probably the most ineffective leader we’ve seen so far. His saving grace was the idea put forward by Trace Adkins that ultimately won them the task. Had they not gotten that fantastic idea almost immediately, I think the team would have fallen apart in committees and votes and ultimately would not have gotten anything done whatsoever.

It’s not the team’s responsibility to make the important decisions. Leaders need to recognize that input from the team is important, but the decision rests with them and them alone. If the group can come to an agreement together, great, but a leader cannot rely on that. They must be prepared to say this is how it’s going to be done and move one.

Business Lesson 4: Good ideas can be unwelcome ideas at the wrong time.

It’s always great to have people that come up with great ideas or to be the person who’s always thinking “outside the box”. But “now” is not always the most appropriate time for ideas to be brought out.

Stephen had a prior commitment and was not able to be with his new team on the first day of the task. But coming back, he jumps in and starts throwing out ideas. The problem is that the team had already decided on a direction and started moving forward. They were beyond the point of needing ideas on what to focus on.

I understand the desire to want to feel helpful and that you’re contributing something, but when you missed that opportunity, the best thing you can do is just get in and start doing the work that needs to be done. Find other ways to be helpful.

Celebrity Apprentice Nely is Fired

Business Lesson 4: A leader shouldn’t try to hide behind the team.

A leader needs to stand up, stand out, and be willing to make the tough decisions and take responsibility. It’s always easy to try and lessen the impact by putting everyone on the hot seat, but that’s not leading, that’s sharing the blame.

Omarosa, knowing that she could not bring Stephen into the boardroom due to Trump’s urging, wanted to just stay there “united as a team”. She was hoping that through that method the girls would find agreement that Stephen needed to be fired. Ultimately, she was trying to lesson her vulnerability through a “united” front.

Unfortunately for her, Trump forced her back into a leadership position, something she relishes until she’s in the hot seat. Luckily for her, though, Trump let past tasks dictate who got fired from this task. Nely has been a poor performer previously, but on this task, the failure was really Omarosa’s.

But as a leader, Omarosa showed her true colors–she’s in it for herself and herself alone. Of course that is the one place where The Apprentice diverges from real life. It’s still a game, and there will be a winner. But it most definitely will not be Omarosa. She’s not a team player and will sacrifice anybody but herself when it comes down to it.

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About Stoney deGeyter
Stoney deGeyter leads a spectacular team of seasoned marketing experts at Pole Position Marketing and has built a wildly successful website marketing company that succeeds through both personal and professional integrity. You can read Stoney's blog posts at the E-Marketing Performance blog and more of his work on several well-known SEO and marketing news sources including Search Engine Guide and WebProNews. Stoney has authored two website marketing books: E-Marketing Performance: Effective strategies for building, optimizing, and marketing your website online and Keyword Research and Selection: The definitive guide to gathering, sorting and organizing your keywords into a high-performance SEO campaign.

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