ALTI's Apprentice Boardroom Report For 5/13/05 (Episode #17)

Practical Lessons From The Apprentice
Its Not Fair! (and what to do to get even).

The 17th episode of The Apprentice, Donald Trump's reality TV series, boils down to a head-to-head competition between the two remaining candidates, Kendra Todd, 26 and Tana Goertz, 37, where each is to run an event as in passed seasons.

Allan's 2
Management Style Contrast
running time 4:05

Game Analysis
Strategies for Episode Eighteen
running time 4:39
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(Event Operations)

On the surface of things, it appeared that Tana was entrusted a much more prominent, prestigious and complex event over Kendra. Further, you could argue that Tana's team was far more difficult to manage. Some of these statements are true, some are not.  Learn what you can do to get the unfair advantage.

--- SIDEBAR ---
Listen to my brief audio analysis that contrasts the management styles of the two remaining candidates, and which style might be better for you. 

We have to be careful that we don't allow made-for-television "reality" and extensive editing to pollute our thinking. Its easy to conclude the teams were lopsided, the tasks were not equal in complexity and that one candidate had an unfair advantage of the other.  

This simply is not the case. Having had extensive sports event management experience, and having worked for the US Olympic Committee, what is not made clear to viewers is that Tana's event will have no bearing on whether New York will successfully secure a bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. Tana's event, while attended by local VIP's and prominent athletes, the event is essentially a glorified "pep rally" and fundraiser to build local support for the bid effort which doesn't kick into high gear for another 2 years.

Kendra's event, a video game tournament (world championships) is also much more complex than it appeared on the surface. Like Tana, Kendra had a very critical time schedule to adhere to in order to keep the event running smoothly. Kendra also had VIP celebrities and sponsors who can also be difficult and demanding. 

Kendra's sponsor situation was more complex, with EA Sports and Sony PlayStation having different roles but in many ways stepping on each others toes. Lastly, Kendra's facility was borderline inappropriate for an event of this size, scope and magnitude. Both events venues were pre-arranged, and both project managers were given a budget of $10,000 to work with.

Some will argue that Tana had the more difficult team to manage. After all, Kristen and Brian were at each others throats, and Chris is a hot-head. The truth is, the same distain existed on Kendra's team between Michael and Erin, and Danny is not only useless, but dangerous if not "contained". Both teams represented reasonable potential for infighting, loafing and ultimate disaster. 

The key reason why it appeared that Kendra had a less complex event and a team that was easier to manage is very simple; Kendra earned her teams respect, she inspired them as a "leader" and understood the subtleties of delegation.  Therefore, in practical execution, she managed her way through problems and issues professionally, effectively, with less effort and distress. This occurred not because the events were not comparable, but because of the differences in leadership style. 

1. What exactly constitutes "success" 
see my article on Measuring Success from the episode 2 newsletter.

2. Know who is your customer, and what they value
see my article on Target Marketing in the newsletter for the 6th episode.

3. Know your competition, differentiate.
Shop and test your competition. Become familiar with their processes, their strengths and their weaknesses. Choose a pricing strategy that reflects your value proposition (see the episode 15 newsletter on pricing).

4. Create cross promotions and strategic alliances
see my article on Practical Cross Promotions from the episode 7 newsletter.

5. Hire great people
see my article, How to Hire Great People in the newsletter for the 16th episode.

6. Earn respect as a leader
See my article What Makes Someone A Good Leader from the episode 11 newsletter.

7. Learn to Multi-task and Delegate
See my article on Multitasking Management from the 8th episode newsletter and also see the article on Effective Delegation in the Managers: Dictators or Mentors newsletter from the 12th episode.

Shameless Plug: 
Do you know what your competitors are up to?  Do your customers see you as clearly different? 

Consider retaining ALTI's team of specialists who can work with you to niche and differentiate you from your competition in your customers eyes. To get started give us a call or shoot us an e-mail for ONE free hour of complimentary consultation. (206) 984-9560 or 

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