- The Washington Times - Friday, March 19, 2004

In this week’s episode of The Apprentice, we were treated to a look back of each episode. The Donald is looking for clear indicators that his final choice will be able to successful reach and/or exceed the goals he has set for them. Bottom line, The Donald is looking for the best leader of the pack. Below we revisit our TrumpOnomics “leadership” lessons learned so far on each show.

Lesson One. In Trump Town, more academic degrees suggests you are overly afraid of risk, which quickly led to the first Trump-A-Dump. Any true Trumpologist knows that Donald Trump holds an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania but has been caught with a barely-hidden contempt for overly academic characters. David, an MD with an MBA, the most academic degrees of any contestant, got the axe. Advice: If you have a lot of letters after your name, good for you. But true Trumpologists never forget the street.

Lesson Two: Trump is famous for tooting his own horn because if we don’t believe in us, who will? Kristi got the axe when she became the picture of self-defeatism, self-doubt left her leadership role purposeless. Advice: Managing by consensus may sound great in theory, but leading requires focus and confidence. One of the many keys to success is making a decision and confidently executing, rather than polling the group.

Lesson Three: In Trump Tower, there should be signs saying “mind your mood swings.” Ereka got the Trump-A-Dump because she let her emotions get the best of her. She violated one of Trump’s rules, “never let them see you sweat”—the reason that you will never see Trump take off his suit jacket. Advice: Cool it. Stay focused on the task and manage the hysteria because the noise it creates will keep you from hearing your customers and team.

Lesson Four: In the creative episode that required The Apprentice teams to design an ad campaign, Jason, got fired because he refused to meet Marquis Jet’s boss. The women did exactly the opposite. The first call they made was to set up a meeting to hear exactly what the client wanted. He wasn’t listening to Donald’s dictum to never negotiate with underlings. Advice: Jason died for this sin and so could you. Don’t just reach for the top, go there. Never be afraid to deal with the Boss.

Lesson Five: As any true Trump-Ologist knows, Donald Trump has made most of his money by managing to over-achieve at times of greatest upheaval. So this week’s first lesson came right up-front, when he stirred the pot by completely re-aligning the two teams. Like Donald, great leaders will succeed during times of confusion better than those who are addicted to the status quo. Advice: When outside change hits, change inside and recreate yourself in the image of those who have done well. The secret to upheaval is to erase your past mistakes and walk the path of the winners who have come before you.

Lesson Six: We learned that winning means not being afraid of losing. Nick said he had been to the board room so many times that he was no longer afraid of losing. Trump’s own career has been a long series of stare-downs with scary situations. Advice: There is nothing quite as deadly for a leader as showing you are scared. There is a reason that Donald Trump wrote that the reason he never sheds his suit jacket is so nobody ever has the chance to see him sweat.

Lesson Seven: When The Donald asked Troy why he should not be fired as the leader of the losing team. Troy said he was a “born leader” and had it confirmed when asked to lead three times. And when Trump asked Troy whether it was appropriate for him to call himself a leader, Troy said, “heck, yes.” Advice: Leaders own, claim and embrace their status — are proud of being out front — and never mind telling others about it. Clarity about yourself and purpose is critical and as Trump himself has demonstrated — self-promotion is a highly-valued skill.

Next week, The Apprentice teams take a roll at the dice when they go to Atlantic City for a Trump-casino task. It’s a sure bet Trump will continue to test the strength of each candidate’s leadership abilities as we move closer to the finale. Stay tuned.

Jay Whitehead is a leading workforce analyst and advisor for employees and employers. He can be reached at [email protected] Come see Jay Whitehead and the nations leading business executives speak, debate and exhibit at the HRO World Conference & Expo at the New York Hilton on April 14 -16, 2004. Register for the event at www.hroworld.com.

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