Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Apprentice Pre Season 1

Why do you want to be "the" apprentice?
Here is the evolution of this answer as I've become more business savvy.
5 years ago, I would have thought, "Wow, 6 figure salary ($250k) a year, for one year guaranteed. That sounds like an awesome paying job. And I'm sure if you did your job well, they would keep you at that salary.
1 year ago, I was thinking, "Why woud you ever want to work for someone else if you had good leadership and business skills? The fact that you want to work for someone else as an apprentice tells me that these people are followers. You are immediately saying, "I want to work for someone else." A real leader would never apply for this position.
Today, I realize now that the real prize is working closely with the top business executives and Donald Trump. By working with them, you learn how they do business, how they manage and lead people, and that is the true prize. The $250k is just icing on the cake. The reason that the job is only a year long is that after a year, a true leader would always want to be the president and ceo of his company. It is of no benefit to either party to make the job any longer than 1 year.

Should you step up as the project leader of the first task?
Hell no. Its ballsy, reckless, and risky. If you win, you make a good impression on DT, but the risks are too high. I would not come all this way to flip a coin. And it immediately tells me that you have no idea of leadership. One of the principals of leadership is you first gotta touch people's hearts, before you ask for a hand. Before the beginning of the first task, it is not enough time to even scratch the surface with everyone. Imagine the last time you tried to give orders to people who did not buy into you or your vision. I bet it was awkward and ineffective. It is naive to assume that these A type personalities will all say "OK, he's the project manager, I'm going to fully trust in his vision wholeheartedly, and execute my role at the best of my ability so we can win this project as a team." The people you haven't connected with might be thinking "I'm going to get this loser fired by screwing him up because I don't like his face." Who knows what type of interesting personalities are lying in wake. These interesting personalities will root themselves out of the game, or if you had more time, you can get them on your side, and there will be less to worry about this stuff. The more time you have to connect with your time before you can step up the better. But step up before people starts thinking you're just flying under the radar.

The gameplan for your first day on the show. First, come with a team name in mind. Think of a good one, have a solid definition on what the name means, and sell it to the group. The name I would chose is "Evil Empire Solutions". You got that right. All of this Magna, Synergy, Arrow, Hydra, Protege, all start sounding the same after 7 seasons. You need a name that stands out. The working name will be "Double E Solutions" that will be given to the businesses we interact with, but for DT and the rest of the contestants, we will be the Evil Empire Solutions. If people buy it, great. I love the name. If they don't, no big deal. We'll decide on a name, and move on.

The second gameplan for your first day and the rest of the stay on the show is to bond and build rapport with the other contestants. Get to know people on your team first, then people in the other team. Because you will eventually have to team up with the members of the other team. The better they know and trust in you, the better. Definitely for the first day is to get to know as many contestants as much as possible. Do not even waste a second.

Lastly, I would drink at most one beer or one glass of wine per night, finishing it will be unnecessary. You don't want to be the weirdo toasting with a glass of milk or OJ, at the end of the night, but you don't want it to affect your performance. Always be ready to go any minute. Always keep in the back of your mind that DT can call you to the boardroom at 3am when everyone else's hangover is just setting in.

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