Episode Three – Lead from the front

Episode three of the 2011 Apprentice is the task that I know would not be my forte on this show.  The pricing task when you need to shop for a list of items and get them at the best price.  The shopping part as a great shopper I am sure I would be good at but the pricing part of this which is crucial would let me down big style.  I am a very decisive person I see a product and want to buy it.  My decisive skills generally are a strength but on shopping for pricy items when it makes sense to shop around it’s a weakness.  I know though that it is a weakness so at home delegate this task to my husband who is a great negotiator and also researcher of where to get the best deal.  At work I leave it to a colleague who like my husband is skilled in negotiation skills.

So I do empathise with the candidates who find this task hard.  But failed to sympathise with Gavin the losing candidate who said on the BBC 2 after show that he was dreading this task.  So why put yourself forward as leader then I wondered?  I would have kept quiet carried out my allocated task to the best of my ability but not steped up as leader.

To lead on the Apprentice you need to be very sure that you have the skills to carry out the task and the support of the team around you.  Equally though you need to have the confidence to lead and tell people what to do.  Not easy in the competitive Apprentice.  Although there was only £8 between the two teams and a pricing issue in the winning team I would have given Susan the win for her leading style.  She led from the front, allocated everybody tasks whilst making it clear that she was in charge.  Gavin  meanwhile kept asking everyone in his team were they happy with the decision whilst wasting valuable time at the beginning of the task which resulted in his team only getting 6 out of the 10 items.  Gavin has his own business but you would not have known that from the way he acted as leader last night.  He seemed to me far more of a team player than a leader.

The pricing issue for Susan was an issue and her very expensive tea could have cost the team dearly if they hadn’t managed to reduce it as they did.  In their defence they were shopping for the Savoy so perhaps they were shopping with the Savoy customer in mind.  The task though was to do so as cheaply as possible and shopping in the most exclusive areas and shops of central London was not the way to get the best deal.  Though I hand it to Jim who managed yet again with the gift of the gab to do some great deals especially on filet steak and all with a smile too, no lying just sheer charm and people skills.

So I was glad Susan’s team won.  Yes they made pricing mistakes but in the end they got all 10 items, worked as a team and did keep the Savoy customer in mind.  Though I am sure if they lost the task they would never have looked at tea in the same way again!

Gavin to go or Vincent who is a girl’s worst nightmare in not just the business world but life in general.  He thinks he is a charmer when he’s not.  Not someone you would like to be stuck in a lift with and I can’t wait to see him next week in the beauty task as he thinks he’s god’s gift to women.  Should be hilarious.  Last year I disagreed with some of Lord Sugar’s firing decisions.  But confess this year to date I have agreed with Lord Sugar.  Yes Vincent is annoying but for lack of leadership skills I thought Gavin had to go.

There is though something that is puzzling me about this years Apprentice.  The 2011 change is that the winner gets £250,000 to start a business with Lord Sugar having a 50% share and acting as mentor.  So why have none of the candidates been asked what business they would like to set up, why and how they would do it?  Lord Sugar is a wealthy man but surely that is an important aspect in winning this year.  Their business ideas and are they suitable to be self-employed.  I would have thought the BBC would have changed the format to suit the new prize as to me someone who is a great employee is not necessarily the best person to set up a business.  They may be but surely Lord Sugar should be assessing this through out this series?  Or is that just me?

Anyway three boys out girls still managing to float all to play for next week when it’s the beauty task.  Another boy out?  Will the girls shine and manage another week or will one of them get fired?  Apprentice 2011 BBC1 Wednesdays at 9pm.


About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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One Response to Episode Three – Lead from the front

  1. Pingback: #BBC Apprentice 2012 – Final Verdict | Fionadranesblog's Blog

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