Did you happen to watch the first episode of this season's Apprentice? How would you like to make the choice of firing either the loud-mouthed, abrasive project manager or the inept, philosophising lawyer? Tough choice.
If you're in business or a part of one, you should watch the show just to learn a few things about human nature. I'm sure some of the personalities on the show are chosen just to make good drama for TV. On the other hand, if you read some of the bios of the candidates, these are no run-of-the-mill college students looking for their first jobs.
The margin between the successful team and the losers was small. The winning team was only about 5% better than their counterparts. There was a huge difference in the rewards the teams recieved. Live in the mansion or the tent. Dinner at a world renown restaurant or grill burgers in the dark.
The clear difference between the project managers in last night's episode was Heidi's ability to gain trust from her team by focusing on the relationship with them. She asked questions, let people take creative control of their assignments, offered suggestions and let people know what thier priorities were. Frank's tactic was to bark orders, micromanage and be inattentive to the idiosyncrasies of what was going on with his team. Frank won't be a finalist on this show, mark my words. But I'm sure they'll keep him around for a while just to add some elecrticity and controversy!
How long would you work for Frank? I'd hire Heidi right now if I needed a leader who could build team spirit, get the best from her team and produce the best long term results. I'll be watching next week to see who shines and who doesn't.