Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Apprentice: Final Tasks

For the final task, you pick your old teammates to be your aids in your final task.

Here is a mistake that is made by the best of them.

People make the mistake of picking people solely based on people that have performed well during previous tasks. Or they'll pick them because they worked well with them as a team in the past.

Now, you might be thinking...isn't that a good thing?

No. What people fail to understand is that the people you'll be picking have already lost. What fuels them, the charge under their ass, has run out of gas. They have nothing to gain. Even top performers don't really have much incentive to pull an all nighter, and focus like they used to. Even the best and brightest that you have to choose from will get easily distracted and will need a lot of motivation.

If you really have good leadership skills, by the end of the task you should have made some close friends who believe it in their hearts that you should be the apprentice. The people who have the mentality, "I'm going to give it my best so I can see my friend win" should be the first choice. They'll have real drive and will stay motivated. If it is possible, your goal from the first day should be to make 7 close friends. That way, if you get 3 aids at the finale, you'll have a team with one common goal.

If you couldn't make 7 close friends, your second choice should be perfectionists. Everything they do, they do because everything they do is done to their standards. If they have a job to do, they get it done, and they get it done right. Because it is a part of their character. These people will do tasks better than people who have the ability to do it better but only perform at their best when they are motivated to do so.

Your last selection should be the people you've worked well in teams with and people who did well on previous tasks.

The motivational/pep talk. Here's how I would motivate my team. First, I would say that I picked them because you consider them close friends and you respect their capabilities as professionals. I would state that you understand that they don't have anything to gain and that they'll be challenged for the next few days to stay focused. Then as passionately as possible, I would tell them why I want to win, why I deserve it. Really sell them that on the idea that they are doing the right thing to help me win. Then, I would challenge them by telling them that I need more than help but also need their dedication to be able to win. And that's what I'm asking for. And if they don't want to do it, they should let you know right now. Otherwise, I would address them ask them one by one by name, if they are with me. And if they don't say "absolutely", then:

A) You need better leadership skills
B) You need to work on how to sell your vision

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