The Apprentice 7: Good Teams Prop up Bad Leaders

Week 7’s task called for skills of creativity planning costing and selling. After a trip to Pinewood the Hollywood of Britain which Sandeesh thought was a "furniture place", Lord Sugar set them up to sell "blue screen" entertainment. Basically a live action backdrop is filmed and people do something in front of it. They then hopefully buy a video of their experience.

Luckily for Stuart Baggs "the boor" his team members Joanne and Stella got him there regardless of his abysmal management style. Think of a maladjusted child denied a chance to play with a train set, jumping up and down while another child has a go. What does he does when it’s his turn?, He hogs it and puts his arm around the track so no one else can see it. Stuart approached his turn at project management in exactly that manner. Like a child on the loose he went off to "Stuart "Brands Hatch and played with some BMW’s whilst the gutless Laura simpered in the background. She may have been steaming with fury but who would know? Whilst he toyed around the racetrack with the BMW, loudly letting viewers know that he had one of his own (twice), Stella and Joanne made the decision to buy a toy car. This decision won the task and was based on their insights as parents and knowledge of business.

If the other lot had got their act together then Baggs would have been sacked sooner. Jamie didn’t cover himself in glory by disowning any responsibility for failure. Jamie also wittered on about giving people feedback without being very "specific" as though that  is the acme of magnificent management. A bit less "aff" and some more "able" needed here. Liz who up till now has been pretty fireproof,, was burned by her make and buy decision on DVD’s. She made about 50 sellable DVD’s and bought 50 empty cases destroying margin by tying up cash in useless inventory. Sandeesh’s decision to switch the technical roles of burning and packaging DVD’s with the selling roles, meant extra training at the last minute. That cost the team an hour of trading, and and as an L&TD specialist I was annoyed that she wasn’t focused on productivity, she is after all the token HR person as a recruitment consultant. That and panicked discounting which destroyed even more margin meant she got fired. This allowed Baggs the Balloon to puff up into the the most disturbing celebration ever seen. It was like watching a warthog do an impersonation of Bernard Manning, whilst suffering acute bowel discomfort. I mistakenly said after episode 3 that Stuart had restrained his ego. I was dead wrong. He isn’t going back to what should surely be "re-branded" the Isle of Stuart" yet he will be soon. Stella’s death glare and the tumbleweed silence of his team colleagues to Lord Sugar’s question about his performance as team leader is a portent. My money is still on her. Whose your tenner on?


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