I confess I’ve been watching the new series of Dallas and worse than that I’ve actually really enjoyed it. As soon as the music starts it takes me back to my childhood Wednesday nights the three of us (we never quite persuaded my dad of its merits) around the television glued to the dastardly deeds of JR Ewing. I’ve always had a soft spot for Larry Hagman and was sad when he died. It felt like the end of an era so I had to watch to see how JR was written out and before I knew it I was totally drawn in. The story was a wonderful tribute to JR who is shot (again!) or so it seems and at the end of the series Bobby having carried out JR’s last will and testament frames Cliff Barnes for his murder with Bobby and the younger Ewings now in control of Cliff’s billion dollar business. Fitting perhaps for JR. But was it fitting for nice brother Bobby who always shows that good is best over wrong? I wasn’t sure although I laughed at JR still pulling the strings behind the grave and I never ever liked Cliff Barnes.
It came to me though why I didn’t like it when I watched the first five minutes of this years BBC Apprentice. The ending of Dallas implies you need to be cunning, back stabbing and a liar to win. Something that each candidate that I saw in the opening five minutes of the Apprentice also thought they needed to do with comments such as “I will trample and walk over anyone who stands in my way.” At this point I switched channel I had been considering trying to watch this years series to write blog articles but five minutes in found it was not for me. Why?
I don’t believe that is how to win at business you win at any cost. I believe that people buy from people that they like and work with people that they like. You will find when you look at most businesses that they attract business from people who like them, feel comfortable in their company and believe that they have something to offer them. As someone who set up a marketing business at the start of the current recession I know how tough it is to start out on your own. But I know I have only done it through lots and lots of hard work, keeping an eye on the bottom line always, making as much as I can of my networks and making sure that I always give 100% to my clients. For me that is the key to business success.
So Dallas? It’s drama it takes me to another place and often takes me back to another time of life and I will probably watch series three. BBC Apprentice? More reality TV that is not actually reality? Just a chance for TV productions companies to make the most of people’s flaws and manipulate them. Not for me I am afraid. BBC Apprentice you are fired for 2013 and BBC a novel idea but perhaps a business series that is actually based on the foundations of how business is actually done might work? Do we really want to live in a country where business ethics are based apprentice style?