Another week of fighting and arguing was witnessed this week on the apprentice. The task set by Lord Sugar was to create an online video channel to stream on You Tube. The task, once again, was simple: produce videos that people want to watch. The team with the most views wins.
Ella-Jade was the project manager for Tenacity and Solomon headed up team Summit. This is a task that should have been tailor made for Ella-Jade, as it follows the route of her business idea that was pitched to Lord Sugar. It was clear she was feeling the heat from the start, when in the taxi, she stated that her mind was going crazy thinking of doing “something professional and classy; something entertaining”. However, the first bombshell was dropped on her admission that she had no experience of You Tube, coupled with the apparent lack of idea generation.
During the brainstorming sessions, the two teams could not have been any more different. Ella Jade was seen to be overpowered by her team’s suggestions (especially by Pam), whilst Solomon was very directive in how he dealt with his team, telling them what was going to happen and assigning roles. On balance, given the fact that neither of these two teams is fully functioning at the moment, Solomon’s direct ‘tell’ approach was probably the right one to take.
Both teams set about producing what were essentially poor quality videos that did not connect with the target markets. Tenacity even went so far as to over egg the derogatory term ‘fat’ with their Fat Daddy character. This was obviously an awkward moment, as even Daniel picked up on the lack of emotional intelligence shown in this approach. Not something that has been on display for Daniel so far this series. For the subject of emotional intelligence, once again, Sarah managed to show that this is not a natural quality in us all. We do know that it is developable and forms an essential part of the a&dc LIVED Leadership model and development programme, but Sarah seemed to be unaware again that she was being prickly with the others, particularly by elevating her opinion of her capabilities.
In fact, this was an overriding theme for this week’s episode. We managed to see very high levels of Self Belief; one of the aspects measured in the a&dc resilience questionnaire. Self belief is clearly important in having a healthy balance of resilience, but in overdrive this can be as damaging as not having enough. From the world of Cognitive Behavioural Interventions, people are often helped to perform better through the exploration of their faulty thought patterns and beliefs. It works on the basis of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Thoughts drive feelings, which in turn manifest themselves in behaviours. There were six prominent examples of this in the programme:
- Solomon stated that he had done everything he could to get ‘hits’ – Everything?
- Sarah said that she was a good project manager, because she won her task – By default
- Stephen said he had learnt from the advice Lord Sugar had given him in previous weeks – disputed by Lord Sugar
- Sarah stating (after being fired) that Lord Sugar was not the right business partner for her – although this could also be a touch of self esteem maintenance too.
- Team summit telling themselves that their video was ‘funny’ even though the experts told them it was not.
- Stephen, in a piece to camera on the you’re fired show, suggested that he is perfect in every way – I doubt he actually is.
These stories we tell ourselves can help shape how we think and feel about ourselves and therefore act. Often in cognitive behavioural therapy, one works on faulty thinking that is preventing performance. However, there is a case last night for attenuating thoughts and beliefs, as they appear to be a little high for some, which is leading to a visible level of delusion about true capability. This is showing itself in behaviour of most, through the arguments, bickering, finger pointing and back covering activities we see week in, week out. Never before has it been highlighted more than this week through the unprecedented firing of three candidates in one week, Sarah, Ella-Jade and Stephen. Seems that the veneer did not fool Lord Sugar as he appeared to be tired of the talk without the action to back it up.
Author: Lance Mortimer