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Apprentice : tactic for the PM in boardroom

Been watching the Apprentice. It's very very interesting.

One annoying trend in the Boardroom is all of the sniping and personal attacks. Instead of focusing on "what did we do wrong, what can we do differently" they focus on who they dish blame on.

How about this?
What if the PM were to plan ahead and a list of 3 or 4 things they could have done differently. Ideally, they could talk to team members, but probably shouldn't actually TELL anyone what thier 4 "improvements" would be.

Then, if the sniping starts "you could have done a better job..."  simply ask: OK, I want ONE suggestion from each person: what would you have MATERIALLY done differently? (Not "I would have sold better." something quantifiable like "I would have learned to prounounce the name of the sales prospect, orI would have identified the prospect's #1 objection/concern"

Then it's put up or shut up time. Nice an objective and rational.


The real Entrepreneur
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

And boring TV.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

I watched the first half of the first episode and that's it, so I'm not really familiar with it.

However, what you notice is true in many many people.  It is much easier to identify problems than to come up with solutions.  I had a friend once that I challenged by telling him how good he was at finding problems and it was time to start solving them.  He actually did try for a while.  It was good to see, but it went so against his grain that he burned out on it after a few months and went back to his old style of bitching about everything.

I am guilty of the same thing - I should listen to my own advice.

Specific ideas on how to improve are indeed the key to concrete improvements.  Identifying problems is only the first step.

Aaron F Stanton
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

The PM's objective isn't good/exciting T.V.  His/her goal is to run a company.

SPOILER  - Trump Ice episode

I think it would actually be GREAT T.V. I would have loved it if, when Nick complained about  ?? getting emotional "in front of the troops" and how that's a reason to fire her, she should have calmly said "We're here in the board room b/c we failed. How did my "outburst" even remotely affect our success."

(I do think she deserved being fired for that reason, but it's still a good comeback. And, if she'd been prepared as above, she'd have been calm enough to do this objectively and might have saved her butt.)

The real Entrepreneur
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

I'm racking my brain, but can't recall who I recently heard this from:

"Don't come to me with a problem unless you have a solution"

Interestingly, this is basically the business formulation of the Serenity Prayer. ;-)

So, for the Boardroom, it's silly to just say "he didn't do his job" or "she's an idiot." For example, if Omarosa had been there, the PM could have simply said "she needs to set her sights higher." For Bill last week it would've been "don't counterbid with a 5% increase" etc.

The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of this - if the PM went in with solid reasons as to why they failed, why those two particular individuals were in there, and constructive criticism about how they could have avoided being in there, the PM would walk out of the boardroom still on the show. Every time.


Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Yep, that was my point.

By acting like an adult and focusing on the PROJECT, the PM is demonstraing a very important set of traits :

1. Don't take is personally.
2. Check your ego at the door.
3. Focus on the success of the business you're managing.

And Beauty is that the team wold be stronger and on the next task they'd focused on what they can do well instead of worrying about CYA.

And if you're a really good PM, then your people start ...egads!  ... thinking of improvements on_thier_own.

Had a boss like this once. He was so good at the socratic method that I eventually never had to ask him for advice. (Of course, I then quit to start my own company because all the *other* managers were a pain to deal with. See my comments below :-)

Sooo many people I've worked with drag thier ego around with them.  So, instead of having a discussion about the PROBLEM, it becomes about meeting thier ego needs.

The real Entrepreneur
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Oh, and don't get me started on Omarosa.

She's a walking (ok, lying down and resting) counter point to affirmative action.

I don't KNOW if she's gotten this far via affirmative action. But I can see no other explanation for someone who constantly whines about "I'm a good shopper. I shopped at the thrify store because we were in the projects".

And that thing with the "head injury" followed by whimping out on the painting, followed by insisting a meeting (the refuge of al of those afraid of actually working) and then playing basketball.

If she'd been a white male complaining about her poor upbringing, living in a trailor park, I'd say the same thing: this person must have been advanced for some reason othe than merit.  But that's never happened to me (yes, I grew up in a trailor park in south Louisana.) And I don't know anyone that's ever been promoted because they were a white male.

As someone said... Omarosa will be very lucky to ever work again.

The real Entrepreneur
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

"The real Entrpreneur": what in god's name does this have to do with affirmative action??

She's an ass ... Sam was an ass ... asses come in all shapes and colors ... so do bigots.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

My point was that Omarosa has achieved quite a bit of success (outside the show), at least according to her and her bio. 

Based on her performance on the show, this success was not due to merit.  She probably advance for other reasons.

  Let's look at some facts:

Omarosa has been succesul in her career (politics) starting with a political apointment by President Clinton.

She has demonstrated no skills that would merit such an apointment.  Therefore, she must have gotten the apointment (and subsequent jobs) through other means.

Her continued references to how hard she had to struggle must have helped perviously, otherwise she wouldn't have continued to use that as leverage.  That suggests her past difficulties might have been what got her the appointment and subsequent jobs.

The people most likely to care about how hard she had it, vs. how well she can actually perform NOW would be people who favor affirmative action.

But lets look at your counterpoint : Sam.

I'd say the same thing about Sam: he succeded (outside of the Apprentice) for some reason other than merit.  Might be discrimination, but it certainly isn't quotas or affirmative action.

The real Entrepreneur
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

"Omarosa has been succesul in her career (politics) starting with a political apointment by President Clinton.

She has demonstrated no skills that would merit such an apointment.  Therefore, she must have gotten the apointment (and subsequent jobs) through other means."

Maybe she's good at giving head?

Hell Yeah!
Monday, March 15, 2004

yep. I agree  it's why I don't understand why they didn't choose all of you. but indeed thank god only one person stay. but who know if it wouldn't be an ass..

if we don't compare on by on each people on the earth we'll never know.

in this case the colors isn't the criteria.

so, me too i'm a ass to answer to all of us. sorry

i should go and thinking again before write

Monday, March 22, 2004

don't take it personal...just business

Monday, March 22, 2004

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