Business and Leadership Lessons From The Apprentice Week 11

So we reached the semi-final stage of The Apprentice last night.

With just five battling it out for a place in the final it was always going to be tough.

The task itself was pretty tough too.  Set up a brand new fast food restaurant.  With a bigger team this would have been hard but with teams of 2 and 3 it was even tougher.

In the end Tom and Helen romped to victory.   So let’s look at the key learning points.

  1. You have to take care of the basics.  Jim’s team of three had overlooked one of the most basic things of business, working out costs and margins.  You cannot just guess.
  2. When you get team members who are unwilling to work together you have big issues.  Susan and Natasha had their differences in the past and unfortunately allowed these past events get in the way of results on this task.
  3. You have to trust others.  Helen clearly had her doubts about Tom taking responsibility for branding and concept but she trusted him.  This turned out to be a really smart call as Tom’s creative thinking resulted in a really great brand.
  4. Process might not be the most exciting part of any work but it is vital nonetheless.  By definition people want food in a fast food place quickly.  Despite this Jim’s team were lacking in any process to get the food prepared and out quickly.
  5. We all make choices to step up to the plate or not.  Natasha clearly had some past expertise that she could have brought to this task but chose not to.  It is easy to forget that the results we get are a direct consequence of the choices we make.

Personally I was delighted to see both Tom and Helen in the final through winning the task.  Both have been consistent throughout.  Helen recorded a record number of wins and Tom’s attention to detail and creativity were lost on many people earlier in the process.   With Jim and Susan also through it should be an interesting finale when their individual business plans are put under scrutiny.

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people to become highly effective leaders and managers.  He invites you to sign up for his free audio e-course Leadership Success

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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