ALTI's Apprentice Boardroom Report For 4/15/05 (Episode #13)

Practical Lessons From The Apprentice
Manufacturing Your Own Success

The 13th episode of The Apprentice, Donald Trump's reality TV "job interview" was one of the best episodes of the season. Mr. Trump asked his remaining six candidates to design a brochure for Pontiac's new, sexy, two-seat roadster called "solstice". 

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Why Chris Failed
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Net Worth Corporation had suffered six straight losses to Magna, (including a corporate restructure in episode eight and the drafting of Alex in episode 11), and with just two remaining candidates was instructed by Trump to make another draft selection. Chris, the sole survivor of Team Net Worth, and Alex chose Bren to join them for this task.

I had favored the team that boasted three males due to the stereotypical notion that the male gender embraces things mechanical, sporty and fast. Of course, we all probably know by now, that the guys missed the goal of the exercise, and were handily beat by the Magna team lead by the creative, hard working Kendra Todd, 26.

How does a cute "girl" from Boynton Beach, Florida nearly single-handedly beat three egocentric, testosterone pumping, red-blooded American men who closely resemble the target market for Pontiac's classic roadster? My practical business lesson, (that you can apply to your business), will answer this burning question.

--- SIDEBAR ---
Could Chris have saved himself from being fired? My brief audio analysis explores some possibilities and offers a few more practical tips that just might keep you out of the boardroom. 

Whether Kendra is project manager, or part of a team, I have seen her contribute solid fundamentals and execute with precision. Not only was Kendra qualified for the project (tip: know what you are good at) but she also attempted to delegate to her teams strengths (tip: know what your team is good at). 

When delegating a task, Kendra will shepherd the first steps to have the confidence the task will be completed as expected (tip: ease into delegating responsibility), and asks to be included in decisions or as progress is made. (tip: know your teams priorities and know their progress so you can adjust if necessary). 

Kendra, regardless of the assignment, often finds a way to understand her target market and learns what they value in the product (tip: know your market - and don't include yourself). She then deliberately integrates her findings into the deliverable of the assignment in clear obvious ways, presenting her analysis as the foundation to her presentation, (tip: let your client know you made the effort and integrated your findings).

The real reason why Kendra led her team to victory may be for the reasons I've listed above, however, it is her work ethic that makes success a possibility. When Kendra advised her team that to win this task it would require an extra-ordinary effort and working all through the night her team abandoned her. This fortified her resolve as she would not allow her team to drag her into the boardroom for poor performance. She decided to execute the remainder of the project herself. 

Kendra "manufactured" her success - she put forth the required effort, making the necessary sacrifices to complete the task - regardless of anyone else. Kendra did not micro manage, she did not throw people off the task, they abandoned her. Wanting to avoid the boardroom, and ensure herself a seat in the final four, she had to perform, and drag her lame team with her. Success meant that much to her, what does it mean to you?    

Your Turn... Have you taken away any valuable lessons from watching The Apprentice?  
I'd like to hear your feedback. Just call the Apprentice Feedback voice mail line (800) 598-1338 ext. 9915 or email
If you make a good point you could be featured in this newsletter. 

 

How To Manufacture Your Own Success.

In my 16 years of entrepreneurial experience, starting over seven businesses, helping many other to start companies of their own, and achieving the success I've been fortunate to have, I realize that for me it all started when I decided I was going to manufacture my own success. Here are my practical common sense tips that are critical to manufacturing success, from scratch.

 

1. Passion - you must have a passion for what you do, things that you could do for hours on end. I suggest starting with listing your top 10 passions.

 

2. Talent - it helps if you have some talent doing your chosen field. I suggest making a list of your top 15 talents.

 

3. Annoyances - try to avoid things your not good at, or that deeply annoy you.  Make a list of annoyances and things your not good at doing (and are not willing to change), limit the list to the top 10 items.

 

4. Suitable Options - using the three lists from above, combine at least one item from each list to create a fourth list of potential suitable vocations (try to keep this list between 4 to 8 options).

 

5. Market Analysis - it's important that you serve an identifiable market of potential customers. Research the market potential of each of the potential suitable vocations.

 

6. Profit Potential - can you make a profit selling a product or service in each of your potential suitable vocations to a small portion of the identified market. Research competitors market offering, pricing, marketing, and distribution channels.

 

7. Prioritize - prioritize your list of potential suitable vocations based on profit potential.  Finally, re-examine your final list to identify vocations that are linear derivatives of each other, or offer unique cross promotional synergy where the customer of one is also the same customer of another. You should see a grand prioritized plan emerge as a result of this process.

 

8. Narrow Your Focus - look at the top item from your now prioritized list of potential suitable vocations and attempt to break it into small steps and tasks that will put you into your marketplace as quickly as possible.

 

9. Start Selling - The goal is to identify a reasonable, actionable and immediate opportunity for you to experience some success in your chosen vocation. If it is a business, then this must be the procurement of sales; customers who have purchased whatever it is that you sell.

 

10. Credibility and Expertise - success is typically much easier to achieve in a chosen vocation if, as part of your execution strategy, you include activities that will develop your expertise and build your credibility among your targeted customers.


Shameless Plug: 
Thinking of starting a business? Want to improve your odds for success? 

Consider manufacturing your own success. ALTI's team of specialists and success mentors can work with you to find your passions, unique talents and suitable potential business opportunities. To get started give us a call or shoot us an e-mail for ONE free hour of complimentary consultation. (206) 984-9560 or

Feedback From Last Week

Bill Novus - Chicago, ILL. writes:
I've been an entrepreneur for about 8 years. Your article, "Managers: Are you a Dictator or a Mentor", really struck a chord with me. Just thought you'd like to know, I've printed out the 7 levels of delegation and the 12 steps to effective delegation and distributed them to my management team. With your permission, I'd also like to incorporate them into our management hand book.  Thanks for all the practical tips.

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