Friday, October 29, 2004

The Apprentice 3

I decided to start naming my Apprentice posts in synch with the episode number.

Last night, I think Trump may have made a mistake. Unfortunately, I missed episode one, so lack some crucial knowledge about events referred to. (Moral of this story - never miss an episode of The Apprentice). There was one woman on the all-female team, Stacy J, who has been socially outcast by the group, who was voted off. The cattiness of the all-female team is quite surprising, especially given the very strong performance of the female team last season. The past few episodes have been cautionary tales on group dynamics if nothing else.

Stacy J was far from the worst performer of the night, which The Donald didn't hesitate to point out. However, she was dragged into the boardroom for judgement by the project leader as a scapegoat, hoping to shift blame. So what went wrong? Was Trump bamboozled by the collective dislike of Ms J? What led to her rejection by the larger group? Is the groups repeated poor showing the result of incompetence, or of hopeless team management? What lessons in life can we learn about the dynamics of groups of people, our animal instincts, leadership and achieving social acceptance? Questions such as these are brought to the fore in the high-pressure environment of this most fascinating of reality TV programs.

Big D called the entire team in to act as jury, and they voted for execution. "She's crazy" was the allegation - people were claiming to be frightened and nervous of Stacy on the basis of some behaviour exhibited in that crucial first episode, and they pulled it off.

To what extent does the good of the team come above that of an individual? Assuming Stacy was no less unbalanced than any other member of the team, does she have a right to expect better? Did the D trip up, failing to meet his social obligations as Dictator? Certainly, something had to change, and next week we will be able to taste the results of removing this catalyst from the team. To me, I think it was poor judgement by The Donald, as I don't believe Stacy J was the true source of team discontent. Mediocre leadership, possibly brought about through too many people refusing to play Indian in a team full of chiefs, is where I lay the blame. The boys have consistently rallied behind their leader, and formed a genuine camaraderie which is the Philosopher's Stone of company performance. Synergy and group effort will bring any group success, while an inability to work as a team brings failure more surely than the cost of any individual failing to perform.

Once again it is shown that strategy and dynamics are the true drivers of group success, not finger-pointing borne out of feelings of fear. However, might the firing of the possibly innocent Stacy J nonetheless be the starting point for a new synergy on the female team? May it in fact be the best option to remove the tallest poppy, such that the others may grow?


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10/09/2005 02:02:00 PM  

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