The Apprentice – Week One


The Apprentice can no longer be regarded as a “Business Programme” as it now attracts a large number of “media wanabees” who are looking for their 15 minutes of fame.

This review is therefore not meant to be taken too seriously but as an overview of what Managers can learn from the series.

The first few episodes are always dominated by the candidates making extreme and ludicrous claims about how wonderful they are and last night was no exception.  One of the many laughable quotes was: “A country is not enough, a continent is not enough. I’m after the world!”

Most of the candidates would not last 5 minutes in Companies with colleagues quickly queuing up to throttle them!  However, that aside, Task 1 was a selling task and spotting the gems in a lock-up full of tat.

As with most tasks, the candidates rushed in, ignoring Lord Sugar’s warning of taking their time and “The Girls” sold to the first buyer regardless of the offer.  Anyone who has ever been to a boot sale will know that the dealers flock round any new vehicle and try to buy the bargains before they are off-loaded.  The Girls seemed unaware of this and took any offer for some of the gems without realising or considering the value of their products.

They also spent a long time negotiating a sale with a trader who had no authority to purchase, missing one of the key requirements of selling, make sure you are speaking to the Decision Maker who has the ability to proceed.

Accepting the programme is heavily edited to portray whatever story the production company want to put across, there was the usual arguments and mutterings about the PM making the wrong choice and some candidates already lining themselves up to survive the Boardroom should they lose the task.

The boys did better and one candidate had the confidence to refuse early offers for some of their goods that did not meet their early valuations.  This ultimately paid dividends and the boys won easily.

As long as you don’t take the programme too seriously and are not expecting to learn too many valuable business lessons, this is an enjoyable way to spend a Thursday night.  Hopefully, the candidates will settle down and start making fewer outrageous claims in the next few weeks.

If you are new to Managers, don’t try and learn from this, instead, sign up for our Getting to Grips with Management Programme which is next running in November.  Contact us for further details.


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