- The Washington Times - Friday, February 13, 2004

After a 4-straight loss streak for the men causing a corporate re-shuffle in episode 5, Versacorp now takes the lead, The Apprentice is now down to 11 contestants. Episode 6 is as feel-good as it gets in Trump-land; money is exchanged for a greater purpose, back stabbers finally get their share, and the One-With-An-Attitude (a.k.a. Omarosa) gets pounded down in the Board Room. A second win for Versacorp resulted in a “let your hair down” happy hour that moved from corporate back slapping to a possible office romance. Here’s what happened.

Episode Six Update

This week, the two teams were required to create auction items with celebrities to raise money for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics Aids Foundation. The fundraiser would be conducted at the legendary auction house, Sothebys. Each team was tasked to work with 5 different celebrities. Versacorp was given Regis Philben, Rocco DiSpirito, Carson Daily, Tiki Barber and Ed Bernero Co-founder and Producer of the hit TV-show, Third Watch. Protg team, assigned Omarosa as project manager and plagued by dissensions from prior losses, was assigned Russell Simmons, Kate White of Cosmopolitan, designers Nicole Miller and Isaac Mizrahi and the Five Fabs from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Success was measured by the amount raised by each team and Versacorp’s charity items raised $5,000 more than Protg. Trump was quick to emphasize that both teams did very well, and by raising a combined $75,000 no one was a loser, but since this is “real life”, the team who raised less would have to return to the Board Room for the weekly firing. Jessie got the Trump-A-Dump due to both her poor negotiating skills and her inability to defend herself when the other team members went after her.

Episode Six: Lessons Learned

Lesson One.

Remember Bowie? Remember Kristi? Now remember Jessie. Last in a long list of AWOL from self-defense duty. What The Donald hates most, is when these candidates get smeared in elephant doo-doo and continue to smile. While he has allowed offenses in attitude, questionable ethics, rudeness and lack of leadership, he has no tolerance for those who refuse to stand up for themselves. Advice: If you can’t demonstrate and claim pride in yourself, your choices and judgment, how can an employer believe you will do it effectively for the company, product and mission. It is imperative you convince others of your individual value in order to sell them on the value of who and what you represent.

Lesson Two:

It’s never a good idea to mix business with pleasure we have to act personal to succeed in business. The best auction items were created and secured by building a personal connection. Troy very successfully played up his natural country boy charm. By exaggerating his mid-west mixed with Dixie accent, Troy was disarming in his giggling with the Five Fabs team and offering himself as amusement for big city Russell Simmons. Both of these donations raised the most money for the Foundation. Advice: Learn the difference between mixing personal with business and being personable when doing business. Using your individual charm and charisma can go a long way in persuasion and negotiating especially when ego and deference is involved.

Lesson Three

Sometimes, it’s not how well you negotiate, it’s what you negotiate. Each team entered with a list of ideas to present but were consistently thrown out by the celebrities. The ideas were worthless had to fit with both the celebrity and the perception of the celebrity to command a high ticket price at auction. By knowing ahead of time who you are dealing with, reading social cues both words and body, and realizing that good negotiating requires both parties to feel fulfilled, then new ideas can be born and contributions made. Advice: Do your homework because knowledge is power. Find out about decisions, choices, deals, you’re target has made and this will lead you to better understand their motivations and hot buttons.

In the next week’s episode of The Apprentice, it’s ten, as in ten candidates, and tension. We’ll see how our candidates go from the Suite to the Street and tackle the renovation and rental of two New York City apartments. Stay tuned.

Jay Whitehead is a workforce analyst and advisor on employee and employer relations. He is publisher of HRO Today Magazine (www.hrotoday.com) and Chair of the HRO World Conference (www.hroworld.com). Please email Jay with your questions and comments at [email protected]

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