- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2005

Why are we not surprised? The winner had already demonstrated the ability to lead and manage with 3 wins as an Apprentice project manager. The winner had already single-handedly designed an auto brochure (albeit the shape was the idea of another) which was so off the charts that Pontiac plans to use it in their dealer showrooms. And, in the final task, the winner had motivated her team with such inspiration they worked harder for her than they ever had for themselves. So when Donald Trump screamed “You’re Hired” to Kendra…we may have felt many things but we were not surprised.

The Lessons we have Learned

No man is an island. Book smarts won to Street smarts but it could have been much closer if Tana had remembered the secret to last season’s win: be likeable. Tana’s contagious positive attitude was missing in the final task because she thought she could do it alone and separated herself from her team. Ironically, as self-involved and egocentric as The Donald comes across, he never suggests he can do it all alone. On the contrary, the entire Apprentice process is guided by his two associates, Carolyn and George or their occasional weekly replacements. He always asks their opinions and their recommendations weigh in heavily with each of his firing decisions. The Donald teaches us each week that you can’t do it alone yet Tana still tried and it cost her plenty.

If you can’t be with the ones you love - love the ones you’re with. From the first moments, Tana’s reaction to her Trump selected team was to request she switch some out. Bad karma or bad premonitions of her ultimate demise, Tana seemed to run her task on this self-fulfilling prophecy of team-failure. Not only did she show a visible disdain for each individual by shaking her hands and arms in disgust when they stepped away from her - but in her delegation style. Tana gave each a task and left them to do or die. And, unfortunately, die they did. Kristin printed the brochure but because she never benefited from Tana’s set of eyes for a final proofread - inappropriate content was printed and they could not be used. Bryan and Chris were in charge of signs to hang and flags to hand-out. The signs were displayed without much care with most crooked or curled up and there was no U.S. flag for the Governor to carry. Without proper inspiration, Tana’s team had a lackadaisical attitude. And while the actual event was a success - the little things stacked up and were used against her in the final Board Room.

Kendra, on the other hand, approached the task and her team with respect, care, and inspiration. Other than the initial bumpy beginning where she left sponsors in the fumbling hands of song and dance man Danny, Kendra moved quickly to smooth out her path to success. And, even though she wasn’t thrilled with her team of Michael, Erin and Danny but she also knew alienating them would create a worse fate. Kendra embraced her mediocre group and welcomed them. She was convincing in her “my win will be your win” approach creating an inspired and motivated group who were determined to dot the “I”s and cross the “T”s.

Come clean quickly and move on. In the only real twist - both the audience and Trump learned that the successful Solstice brochure believed to be single-handled designed by Kendra while Tana and Craig slept - was not so single-handed. Tana announced that it was her idea to make it circular and it was that shape that thrilled the Pontiac executives. Kendra acknowledged that this was correct. When Trump asked Kendra why she did not share that with the judges or him - her answer fell right into the lap of our lessons. Kendra said a team effort is exactly that and the final product should be presented with the continuity of the team performance without any one person being singled out. But when Tana was asked about her negative and insulting attitude toward her team members, she did not fess up. Instead, she denied first and then blamed others for not understanding her sense of humor. Trumpologists know that accepting responsibility is required to succeed in business.

Respect, teamwork, likeability and truthfulness are the lessons we learned this season - not just business lessons but life lessons as well. Trump-Onomics Seasons 4 and Martha-Nomics Seasons 1 will begin in the Fall. So go take a short rest. And then, tune in again.

Jay Whitehead is America’s most-read, most-watched and most-listened-to expert on workstyles and careers. Email your questions and comments to [email protected]

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