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!