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"You Are Hired!” - Success Lessons
From The Final Episode of Apprentice

For the past few Thursday evenings millions of Americans were glued to their TV tubes watching Donald Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” and speculating who will be fired next.

Regardless of your overall thoughts of the show, you can’t argue the fact that at times it delivered great insights into human behavior, business success principles and marketing savvy!

Watching the final episode I couldn’t help but notice a critical element that, in my opinion, largely contributed to Kelly Perdew’s final victory – building and leading a successful team.

I zeroed in on this since it’s a skill that eludes many business owners and something I personally have yet to master.

Charged with their final tasks Kelly Perdew and Jennifer Massey took a different approach to delegating and leading their teams.

Kelly delegated the details and focused on monitoring the overall progress. Jennifer let her team manage the more critical parts of her project and chose to take care of details she thought others would overlook.

While we can debate which approach is more effective, one lesson was clear for me: as entrepreneurs we often are doers and choose to get involved with too many details of our own businesses. It often causes us to loose sight of the bigger picture, become less effective, and in the most extreme cases, brings on the demise of the business.

Interestingly, it also seemed that the decisions which tasks to delegate might were partially influenced by the players’ personality instead of what made more business sense.

Kelly appeared to be more comfortable with managing the process (the guy couldn’t part with his laptop), so he assigned his team to the critical task of interacting with the highly influential audience – a mistake that almost cost him the winning spot!

Jennifer made an even worse mistake. Because of her preference to “operate behind the scene” she delegated the highly visible role of interacting with the VIP guests to a member of her team!

Another interesting twist that hit me like a ton of bricks was that both Kelly and Jennifer worked with disgruntled (previously fired) and unmotivated (they had nothing to gain or lose) team members and yet they still were able to get the job done.

To someone like me - who’s got a lot of hang-ups about perfection - this was a complete paradigm shift - a crappy team is better than no team!

If you own a business with employees you certainly can appreciate this dilemma of effective delegating, team-building and leadership. But if your company consists of just one person – YOU – you may be asking: “why on earth do I need a team?”

Look, unless you’ve got some super-powers, chances are you are great at certain things and really bad at others. You likely enjoy performing a few tasks in your business a whole lot more than dealing with all the minutiae of running your company.

Finally, when you are busy perfecting your website or brochure, or cleaning up your database and shuffling files from one end of the desk to another – you are not busy making m0ney! Is that reason enough for building a team?

So if you would like to give your inc0me a significant boost and hear the words “YOU ARE HIRED” more often, consider taking to heart those three success tips from Donald Trump’s Apprentice:

1. Focus on developing and maximizing the use of your “unique ability” and outsource/delegate everything else!

2. Just get things going and up-level your team as you go; even a crappy team to start with beats not heaving any support at all.

3. Carefully evaluate which of your tasks to outsource; maintain the visibility and control over the critical income-producing activities (and yes – that includes your marketing and sales!)

(c) 2004 Adam M. Urbanski


Adam Urbanski, the Marketing Mentor, helps Independent Service Professionals and Small Business Owners attract more clients. For more promotional tips and a FREE 32-page marketing guide go to

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