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The Apprentice Season 5 Analysis

Essay by   •  April 18, 2011  •  Case Study  •  9,715 Words (39 Pages)  •  1,504 Views

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Episode 1

Mr Trump selected Tarek and Allie as projects managers. Both of them selected their own team members and named themselves Synergy and Gold Rush respectively.

Task: Each team had to sign up new members for Sam's Club or get current members to upgrade their memberships to a higher level. Each team was given a Goodyear blimp to attract visitors to the store. The team that sold the largest number of new or upgraded memberships would win.

Result: Synergy, which offered massages and manicures at booths inside the store entrance, sold 43 memberships. Gold Rush, which distributed free tote bags, attracted only 40. Synergy won.

Why did Synergy win?

Synergy won as they were more aggressive than the other team, even though there were conflicts between Brent, one of the members, and the team.

1. Their plan was to give free manicures and massages outside the store as a means to sell people upgraded Sam's Club memberships. Allie, as a project manager, managed to get everyone to agree with the plan and she rejected Brent's idea to set up karaoke machine in a respectful manner.

2. Allie then ordered Stacy and Brent to coordinate the blimp while the rest of them worked at Sam's Club to get people to upgrade their memberships. Allie made the right decision by separating Brent from the team as he might bring more troubles to them.

3. Although their idea wasn't perfect, they were able to work on it aggressively. Allie, who didn't consider herself superior to the others, worked as hard as the other members. Consequently, they won.

Why did Gold Rush lose?

Gold Rush lost due to Tarek's failure to define a strong promotional idea for his team members to execute, as well as Summer's failure to execute the task given to her.

1. The team's idea was to offer free tote bags to customers who signed up for memberships. Lee, a team member who's a business analyst, didn't feel that giving out bags was a good idea and he felt that they needed to rely on their sales acumen. However, Tarek as a project manager didn't consider Lee's idea and they went on with giving out gift bags.

2. Caroline approached them and she was surprised to find out that those gift bags were empty. Tarek admitted it but he did nothing to change the idea.

3. Before that, Tarek had Summer call restaurant owners to invite them to visit Sam's Club for the promotion, but after making only one call, she gave up on the assignment. Tarek, as a project manager, didn't confront Summer with the issue and they both left this problem unsolved.

4. Tarek then felt that Summer wouldn't contribute anything at Sam's Club so he ordered her to go on the blimp with Lenny. Tarek's decision showed that he was bias and discriminative.

How could the loss be avoided?

1. First of all, the whole plan should be changed. Tarek should have listened to Lee and discussed his idea of using acumen with the other members before deciding on the plan. Had he given his members more choices of promotional ideas, they would have come out with a better plan.

2. Tarek should also consider modifying the empty gift bags after being confronted by Caroline. Since their outcome wasn't good at the moment, he should come out with Plan B to avoid the situation from getting worse. He could simply purchase and insert some items into the bags.

3. On the other hand, Summer could have prevented their loss and her elimination by telling Tarek that the task he had given her wasn't working. Instead of just sitting there, she should have come up with a better task and done it.

4. Upon noticing Summer's problem, Tarek should help her by doing the task together or giving her another task to do. Tarek should motivate her to contribute more to the team, instead of ignoring her and setting her away from the team.

Episode 2

Task: Each team had to design a promotional campaign for Gillette's new Fusion razor. The team that got the most cell phone users on the streets of New York to send a text message to Gillette would win.

Result: Gold Rush had generated 683 text messages whereas Synergy had gotten only 458. Gold Rush won.

Why did Gold Rush win?

Gold Rush won mainly because of them having the right location.

1. Lee, as the project manager, faced a problem when Lenny left his planning session to start a promotion on his own. However, he managed the situation by following Lenny's order to get the team together at Times Square. Lee listened to his subordinate and he could resolve team conflict well.

2. Lee was not offended by Lenny's action at all although Lenny didn't respect him as a leader. Lee did not let his personal feelings come in the way of the project.

3. Lee was able to get his team motivated regardless of Lenny's demeanor. He didn't get into any conflict with Lenny and he made everybody felt confident with the project.

4. Even though Lee had not decided on the right location, he got the whole team up and on the street on the promotion day, before Synergy was even awake. They finally got a brilliant location next to the TKTS booth. Lee made a right decision here by finding the location as a team. They eventually won.

Why did Synergy lose?

Synergy lost due to several reasons: Pepi's dismal performance as project manager, Stacy's wrong choice of location and Michael's bad idea of wearing bathrobes.

1. In the meeting room, Stacy interrupted Brent and argued with him. As Stacy tried to shut Brent down, the team lost valuable time that they needed to create a strong promotion.

2. Pepi tried to resolve the conflict by talking it over with Stacy but she wouldn't listen to him. Pepi then told Brent that the team had decided to send him home, but regardless of that, Brent was back in the meeting room. Pepi's conflict management approach was a complete waste of time.

3. In the lift, Michael had an idea of wearing bathrobes to attract attention. Since they hadn't come to any decision, they all agreed with Michael's idea, which was then criticized by Trump as terrible.

4. Stacy said that she was familiar with New York area but she picked a bad location for the team, after merely looking at the map on the internet.

5. When the team had a hard

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