- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2005

Before the pizza party could begin, with 5 Magna players facing 3 NetWorth teammates, Trump evened the squads at 4 apiece with Alex moving to NetWorth. Then the battle for pizza primacy could begin. Pizza, according to Professor Trump, is a $32 billion business, and he wanted to know which team could sell the most. So he had the two squads each invent a new Domino’s pizza topping and hawk it hard from mobile restaurant units parked around Manhattan at lunch hour. And when the lunch rush finally ended, the Magna team, led by Bren the prosecutor, beat NetWorth project manager Stephanie’s team by $130.

After Trump dropped his preferred flavor of meatballs - both teams created a unique topping with Italian ground beef. Meatballs may make the meal, but marketing makes the money. NetWorth parked its mobile unit near heavily-traffic Union Square and the NYU dormitories, and hired promotional models to pass out flyers. But when the lunch hour arrived, Stephanie and Angie took a precious hour delivering pizzas via subway to construction workers she met in Brooklyn during pizza training. Their leader AWOL, the directionless models, failed to flyer the huge lunch crowd in Union Square. Magna, by contrast, focused on selling piles of pizzas to offices around 5th Avenue and 37th Street in Midtown. Magna’s Kendra and Tana scored several bulk buys in the hungry neighborhood, which easily catapulted Magna past the under-managed NetWorthers.

A funny thing happened to NetWorth on the way to losing. They squabbled. Chris, who seems to be suffering from nicotine fit from quitting his tobacco chewing habit cold-turkey, raised his voice in a threatening tone to Alex during the pressure-packed lunch crunch. In the Board Room following their loss, Alex forgave Chris’ outburst, saying he has strong potential. Worse than Chris’ wild words, Alex said, were Stephanie’s weak management skills. Stephanie’s absence while on her ill-fated subway pizza delivery run to Brooklyn caused her team to fight, flail and fail. That is all The Donald needed to know. He sent Stephanie packing with the worst two words an Apprentice can hear: “You’re fired!”

Episode Update

Stephanie’s selection of the Union Square location for her pizza lunch wagon seemed an inspired choice, given the site’s adjacency to several large NYU dormitories. And her employment of promo models to grab customers seemed masterful. But even with all of the parts in place she was incapable of making it all run. Even in the Board Room, she miscalculated by picking Chris and Alex to join her, rather than the more vulnerable Angie. Alex and Chris, while hostile to each other in the pizza trailer, both attacked Stephanie’s soggy management style. Stephanie could not handle the heat, so Trump kicked her out of the kitchen.

Magna’s victory was sealed with shoe leather. Tana and Kendra beat the streets, or rather the office corridors, selling pies a dozen at a pop to local cubicle dwellers. When Magna won, $653.12 to $523.90, The Donald awarded the winners with food more luxurious than pizza. They got a private breakfast with Trump in his palatial tower apartment.

Lessons Learned

Lesson 1. Stephanie’s decision to honor the order placed the day before was touching but destructive. Her goal wasn’t to demonstrate integrity but rather make a profit selling pizzas in an afternoon. While thousands were hitting the Square at lunch time, Stephanie and Angie were stuck on a subway and pizza sales were lost. Trump reminder her that they were charged with winnjing a task not building a reputation and she lost the whole point of why she was there.

Lesson 2. Fighting hard is part of leadership. After all, The Donald has often had to resort to hardball tactics himself. Before she returned to the Board Room for the last time, Trump warned Stephanie that she would have to fight hard to win. She failed to heed his warning, and took the trip from the suite to the street.

Lesson 3. Handling confrontation well is one of the true tests of a leader. While Alex and Chris nearly came to blows and got criticized by Trump’s Ice Queen Carolyn for their bad behavior, Trump faulted Stephanie’s inability to handle the confrontation more than the confrontation itself.

Next week, watch for Chris’ volatile temper and nicotine fits to cause him all sorts of trouble. Stay tuned.

Jay Whitehead is America’s most-read, most-watched and most-listened-to expert on workstyles and careers. Email your questions and comments to trumponomics@aol.com.

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