Are the Apprentice girls growing up?

Last night’s episode had a really good task: to buy at best price, ten obscure items.

Problem was, no-one knew how to find out. Remember the Yellow Pages before the days of the internet?

Well, it’s fair to say both teams struggled: a) to figure out what items were, for example “The Blue Book” (Cabbie’s knowledge) and a “Tikka” (which turned out to be a sort of pendant thing) and b) to locate suppliers.

Somehow the boys won.

And how delinquent were they? Chris just made up stories to support his negotiation for a lower price. Karren Brady looked and sounded uncomfortable.

The trouble with someone lying for you, and miraculously winning the task by the way, is that they could also lie to you. How would you know?

For the first time in the Boardroom, it felt more like real life. The girls, on the face of it were behaving in a more mature way rather than the cat-fighting of the early episodes.

Hands were held up in honest admission of mistakes. The biggest mistake was Liz’s. She had no plan for negotiating low prices. So although her girls found all ten items, they paid way over the odds.

It was a one-dimensional performance.

Liz and Stella fought it out in the Boardroom. Lord Sugar and the editor teased us for a moment with the theatrical almost-firing of Stella, but we all knew Laura had to go. She’d had a miserable series.

But we were left with bitter words between Liz and Stella. Sometimes the more “mature” squabbles can be the most deadly. Perhaps the next few episodes will see a more overt campaign waged between two, rather than between the mere ruffians, Chris and Stuart in the boys team?

Laura learns her lesson

More Apprentice posts

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.
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2 Responses to Are the Apprentice girls growing up?

  1. Howard says:

    There was a simple formula for them to follow, buying anything at more than £50 (the fine) over list price was a sure fire loser, both of the girls had all the info they needed. It was lunacy for Laura to pluck £200 out of thin air, she clearly didn’t understand the game, though neither did the other two. You can’t blame Liz just because she was team leader, they all should have been able to realise that. The strategy should have been concentrate on buying the items where you could secure the biggest discounts.

    You have wonder how much impact the cameras had to play, possibly the boys cheek embarrassed the sellers to their advantage.

    I agree Laura has been flying under the radar for a while, I reckon Liz is playing a shrewd tactical game with Stella, she knows she’s serious competition.

    Chris should be the next to go.

  2. Tim says:

    The boys were awful. Having picked up three fines for unpurchased items, there is no way they should have been anywhere near the girls, let alone win. But with the exception of Joanna, all the girls negotiated extremely poorly and although Truffle-gate became the main focus, in reality they lost this task everywhere, not just in Knightsbridge.

    It was time for Laura to go. She had been lucky that she had escaped the boardroom ever since her disastrous stint as PM in week two. Her tactic in recent weeks of cosying up to the PM and avoiding any major decisions which could be pinned on her no doubt extended her survival, but also meant Sugar had no reason to keep her when in the boardroom against two of the strongest candidates overall. Too many candidates seem to forget this – strong performances early on can equate to a “get out of jail free” card later on, and that is exactly what (rightly) saved Stella last night.

    A very good episode with some genuine business lessons as well. Not quite the Michael Sophocles “kosher chicken” spectacular, but excellent nonetheless.

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