Monday, 27 February 2017

The Apprentice


I just spent 46 minutes of my life watching a reality show titled Celebrity Apprentice. The Apprentice is a reality business series which pits contestants against each other.
After 46 minutes engaging minutes I found myself pondering  over the following: 

Would I win such a contest? I contribute to a company whose net worth is estimated at $69.4 billion.
I form part of a team of 35 global managers. How would I fair if each day spent at the office was an actual episode of The Apprentice? 

Let me give you more context. 

The contestants are divided into two teams of 8. Males vs. Females after that they are briefed on the challenge for the episode. In today's episode, the contestants were required to create a Tyra Beauty experience in a 10-minute presentation. 

After which, she will view both experiences and choose who wins the first task. The contestants were advised that they will be judged on the 10-minute live presentation as well as the overall knowledge of the Tyra Beauty Brand. 

The teams are required to pick a Project Manager. In an off scene interview, when asked why she didn't volunteer to be the Project Manager one of the female contestants said "I didn't step up to be Project Manager because this is our first task, nobody wants to go home first, the Project Manager is usually the one on the line". 

A contestant from the losing team is eliminated from the series at the end of each episode. This woman placed her focus on the worst case scenario for herself and her team. Could such an outlook have an impact on the outcome?  Let's move on.

I found the team's strategies to be particularly interesting. Here's what they did: 

The women asked who would like to be the Project Manager and then started to hint towards the ideal candidate until she obliged. The men, on the other hand, broke down the skills and competencies required from the Project Manager of this task then narrowed it down to who best fits the description. 

Once the Project Manager was appointed, Tyra Banks visited each team. Let's call this an Executive Meeting. 

The women took notes as Tyra spoke about the products and the brand while the men asked Tyra for a makeup tutorial and talked through product composition.  

Post the "Executive Meeting" each team set out to work on their action plans. 

The women discussed roles and responsibilities; they decided they didn't need more research or any additional information because they are familiar with the product since they are obviously makeup consumers. 
The men brainstormed how they would approach the task seeing as they had little to no knowledge on the subject and settled on having the most athletic men apply the makeup. Their rationale was if they can do it, the consumer will be able to do it too. As a result, they spent the rest of the day learning how to apply makeup. Experiencing what the user would experience. 

The teams delivered their presentations, and the male team was the superior team for this challenge. Which meant the lady who denied the role of being Project Manager, would soon face the worst case scenario she worried about - one of the ladies will be eliminated.

So, I'd like to place myself in the show again.

In my case, I've been allocated a team, and I've been briefed on the site's key performance indicators.

My title and position at work suggest that I'd be the Project Manager in this competition. I choose to use the word suggest for a reason. I'll expand and explain why on a different day.

Before determining who would be eliminated the following questions were posed to the team members, issues that my team can face: 

1. As the Project Manager, how did you feel about the whole thing? 
2. Do you think everyone participated 100% 
3. Why were you not the Project Manager? 
4. How did you feel about her leadership?  
5. What was your responsibility? 
6. Did anyone lead with you?
7. You were the Project Manager what happened? 
8. Did you utilize everyone 100%? 
9. Did somebody in the team feel underutilized? 
10. What was your contribution? 
11. Would you be surprised if you were eliminated? 
12. Who should I fire? 
13. Who was the weakest link? 
14. If not you then who? 

These are all pertinent questions, questions that can transform how one leads, participates and engages on a daily. 

I've gone to the office 40 times this year? Am I the Apprentice?

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