Celebrity Apprentice (Episode 1)
|January 7, 2008||Posted by Roshawn Watson under Uncategorized||
Indulge me this one guilty pleasure: I am an Apprentice fan. Celebrity Apprentice (like other installments of the franchise) is a gold mine for personal finance and business wisdom.
The Strategies: Stephen Baldwin served as the first project manager for team Hydra. Their strategy was to bank on their celebrity to charge a lot for their hot dogs. They even sent people back who did not have enough money for their overpriced dogs. They had poor signage and appeared to have no plan outside of relying on Gene Simmons. Gene Simmons literally had his personal contacts fly in with $5,000-$10,000 checks for single hot dog. Networking is extremely powerful. As Gene correctly pointed out, “some doors open because of who is knocking.”
Omarosa led team Empressario. She admonished everyone to rely on pure sales skills. She delegated tasks, was aggressive, and ultimately appeared to tone down the use of celebrity (perhaps she was a little threatened). She even had everyone dress in drab uniforms. Marilu Henner ultimately decided to call a few friends at the end and had two of her personal friends shell out an impressive $5,000 each for two bottled waters and $1,000 for a hot dog. Marilu realized that she could be much more of an asset by setting up a “VIP lounge,” rather than selling $100 hot dogs. Others eventually followed suit. Perhaps one of the heaviest hitters was deliberately neglected: Tiffany Fallon’s contact (more on this later).
The Results: The men raised $52,286, and the women raised $17,038.79. That’s right the women were slaughtered even though the men ran a lackluster task (and likely would have lost without Gene Simmon’s contacts). As usual, the show gets more interesting in the boardroom. Omarosa, the only Apprentice alum in the bunch, has a knack for being especially dominating in the board room, so I was interested in seeing how she would fair this time.
No matter, who tried to take Omarosa to task, she was prepared, poised, and reasonable with her responses. For the most part, she did not hit below the belt in my opinion, but she was definitely a fighter. Surprisingly, she also publicly praised Marilu and Nely. Ultimately, Tiffany was fired for not really being engaged in the task enough (i.e. not selling enough) and not calling a good friend of hers (Hugh Hefner). Also, she did not defend herself adequately when questioned about her performance.
Lessons From Episode One
- Be prepared to defend yourself. Everything may not go according to plan. As a leader, think through your mistakes, and have an honest discussion about why you think you didn’t succeed. Also, do not let someone throw you under the bus (as in the case with Tiffany).
- Work your network. The major cash was made by just a few people. Developing and keeping your networks strong and being willing to use your network is critical to success. Gene and Marilu proved this.
- Work your brand. Tiffany refused to use her brand whereas the guys reveled in theirs. Lenox Lewis boxed his way to sales. Gene Simmons did his trademarked tongue wagging.
More to come later this week…
Copyright 2012, Roshawn Watson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.