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What did we learn from this year’s season of ‘The Apprentice’ that has just finished? That ten week (well maybe it doesn’t take  that long) recruitment interview.

Well I thought the candidates were rather better than some we have met but the overall message of the tasks is: doesn’t matter how good the ideas are, it’s the results that count and in SerAlan’s eyes that would be the profit. Time and again the ‘best team’ don’t win because someone else makes more money. (And we saw a similar scenario played out as Chelsea took the Champions League) That’s life and the need to focus on outcomes was never greater, however if you don’t control the inputs and process you can’t deliver the product.

Be clear about the remit, again on several occasions the candidates just did not get the task. As
Sun Tzu said time spent in reconnaissance  is rarely wasted.  Getting a really good understanding of what output or result is required and keeping a close focus on that goal is absolutely essential. Adam was the worst offender, finding it impossible to understand the concept of creating luxury products and that some people will buy something when it costs more.  The issue is that people get caught up in the process and forget where they are trying to get to. They literally ‘lose the plot’

Stand up and asset yourself when you think people are going in the wrong direction. Everyone liked Nick but in the end his idea and business plan fell at the final huddle (men, what do they know? I want the ingredients for a Jme recipe I’ve just seen him cook) but I thought he had not been assertive enough throughout the process, constantly spotting where his team were going wrong he failed to influence others. Never in the boardroom, always popular he lost out because he did not stand up for his ideas.

The Apprentice is not real life, and according to candidates it is not even the real competition as the finalists get a chance to work with SerAlan for six months before he actually decides who he employs (format may have changed) but there are some lessons and  ones worth learning  for your career success.

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