What did Sandeesh do wrong?

In episode 7 of BBC’s Apprentice Sandeesh Samra was well-matched against Stuart Baggs, but for completely different reasons.

Whilst Stuart’s management style was appalling from the outset of the task he led, poor Sandeesh just could not plan.

Her efforts kicked off with an unforgiveable hour’s delay in starting. In a bizarre switch, the team members trained on the DVD making were moved to sales. It cost her the task, together with the cost overruns.

One of the hardest things in business if you don’t work for yourself, is working for someone you think is weak.

To manage “upwards” well, means giving your best, enduring frustration when your opinions are ignored, like Stella with Stuart or resisting the temptation to take over.

Like Jamie with Sandeesh.

Whilst Stella showed in her body language how unimpressed she was by Stuart’s desperately arrogant style, but kept tight-lipped, Jamie piled into Sandeesh’s territory.

Jamie had a “vision” of how the task should go. Sandeesh didn’t. He became annoying and interfering. As Chris remarked, it added nothing to the task.

But it wasn’t a sack-able offence.  However Sandeesh could have picked up the clues from the Board to bring back Jamie for the firing process, but hadn’t really thought it through.

Instead, as Carol Vorderman pointed out on the follow-up show, she brought back the two strongest candidates, Chris and Liz. It was no contest. There was never any real doubt that Sandeesh would be fired.

To her credit she wanted to maintain her integrity, be honest and not play games. But she did not have the leadership skills to see how to plan and execute the task.

Neither could she adapt quickly to setbacks as they arose, hence the mistake on pricing.

Some people are born with the requisite skills, but most of us have had to learn the hard way, by trial and error.

Sandeesh has a way to go. She just needs more experience, and please don’t copy Stuart!

Are the apprentice girls growing up?

Laura learns her lesson

Was Sandeesh right?

So what exactly is Lord Sugar looking for?

Was Paloma too smooth?

Other articles on The Apprentice

What happens when the leader isn’t leading?

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About drstevelewis

Good leadership is essential for any project to succeed. I specialise in the most difficult leadership challenges; those involving the way we relate to other people or the way they relate to us. With a background of many years in business and an earlier training in medicine I combine the two in a unique consultancy.
This entry was posted in Leadership, Leadership problems, managing upwards, The Apprentice, TV reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What did Sandeesh do wrong?

  1. Tim says:

    For me, one of the biggest reasons Sandeesh lost was an inability to take brave decisions on her own. She seemed to want to do everything by committee – note her constant use of “we” in the boardroom, never “I” – and took the easy (and incorrect) route down on pricing.

    Stuart, for all his faults – and they are legion! – ultimately took the harder route and went up on price when he realised that demand was likely to outstrip their meagre supply of DVDs. This one move, more than any other, rescued the win for Synergy.

    I got the impression that Sandeesh was never likely to rise above steady mediocrity, whereas Stuart is capable of flashes of inspiration mixed with poor decision-making and poor interpersonal skills. Neither is what Sugar wants, but Stuart’s occasional greatness made him worthy of lasting longer in the process than Sandeesh.

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