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BBC The Apprentice – Lording it in the boardroom – Episode 9

12 May

The Apprentice this week was all about one thing. It was about wanting something badly enough to make sure you get it. Laura lost her drive or found that she didn’t want the prize enough or she just gave up. It all boils down to the same thing.

She didn’t sell enough; she knew she wasn’t selling enough even although her normal day-to-day selling activities should have helped her to perform well. Mind you the team ethos was pretty sadly lacking. In the boardroom her erstwhile teammates cited her lack of sales as being the reason they lost. They would say that because they pick up on anything, which deflects their own deficiencies being recognised.

The real failure on this task was of course down to Tom the team leader. He failed to communicate a coherent plan to his team. He failed to recognise the need to evaluate all the artists’ work and then put them in an order of preference. Once he lost his favourite artist to the other team they had to make a snap decision, which caused them even more problems.

They chose an artist who painted at the large end of the score. Big canvases need big walls and big rooms. Not a lot of people have those and certainly those that do are either well off or they work with businesses or galleries etc.

Tom said that he’d gone for that artist because his work sold for £10,000 or so. That made it a risk but if they sold just one they would most likely win the task. Lord Sugar thought this wasn’t a bad thing to do. Now why did he say that? Successful entrepreneurs are normally successful because they take risks, however when they take risks they make sure that they are manageable. There was no safety net for Tom on this task after he made the decision to sell the large canvasses.

Tom also made an even greater error. Artists generally have a bit if an ego at least. It is therefore important to keep them onside and to praise their work and hang on their every utterance. Tom trying to impress them with his knowledge of street art turned the artists off. They aren’t interested in other artists per se they are interested in their own art and how they can sell enough work to continue to live as artists rather than heading down the 9.00 to 5.00 route. Tom failed to recognise this.

In Toms defense he’s young. He’s not old enough to have made his current business really work, he’s still learning and he will continue to learn for years to come. At the moment he will probably be enjoying painful and costly business lessons on a daily basis. He hasn’t got experience to fall back on yet. If he has a degree it won’t support him in the day-to-day cut and thrust that trying to maintain a business, as a profitable entity requires.

Laura had to go. Stephen will go soon and Stephen will go sooner still. Adam however, may be in with a real chance. Pretty boy Nick won’t get employed for being pretty, Gabrielle is worth watching, Jade lacks organisational planning, Jenna may make it to the final or to the interviews and Ricky is hiding.

There is nowhere to hide however.

Other episodes –

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 3

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 4

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 5

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 6

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 7

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 9

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 10

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 11

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 12

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