Baggs, I vote for Stuart?

The Apprentice Episode 10 Lord Sugar stretches our credulity to the limit by firing the incredible Liz.

What was he thinking of?

Worse still, Stuart Baggs (The Brand) somehow escapes through the flames of the Boardroom firing process. How can this be?

This is a process. A process of elimination.

 “When you have eliminated the obvious, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth”, so Sherlock Holmes tells us.

Liz was the obvious candidate, a strikingly presented, record-breaking saleswoman. She was the most likely candidate to win in most people’s eyes.

So why was she eliminated? And why was Stuart reprieved? Those of us who saw this episode will have seen another display, at times repelling, at times highly entertaining.

For example, Stuart, in the task to sell bus tickets to tourists, decides to steal the other team’s sales leads. He literally crashes in on their pitch with each hapless foreigner in Trafalgar Square.

It’s terrible. It’s clumsy! Stuart compounds it later by repeating his cringe worthy comments to Lord Sugar.

But hang on a second. Isn’t this what happens in real life? Albeit a little more subtly, but businesses attempt to wade into each other’s waters everyday. Right or wrong, it’s the way of the world.

How many of us wrote Stuart off because of his mouth? And yet his gift of the annoying gab, delivers him when he faces Lord Sugar.

What appears to be happening week after week is a steady accumulation of data. It’s what the boss does with the data that counts.

So if and when the candidate proves unexceptional, they’re gone. Fired. Liz was not exceptional beyond sales. Well presented she may be, but her final “speech” sank into oblivion.

I still don’t know what Stuart has got. But he is exceptional. To be 21 and to have set up and grown a business to £3m turnover from scratch, with no more than £10 capital from Mum and Dad is very exceptional.

If it’s true.

He’s behaved exceptionally badly at times. This episode was no exception. However there’s a growing belief that, after all, his hideous approach is only youthful brash. In other words, if you could knock that out of him, and maybe Lord Sugar thinks he can, you will have the makings of a star.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if Stuart’s constant bragging about only being 21 ends up saving him for the final? It’s only his inexperience?

Stuart is now beginning to grow on his friends too. Chris refuses to diss his behaviour, out of “respect”. The hugs and smiles appear genuine, if a little disbelieving.

Maybe, just maybe Stuart is not as bad as all that?

All we need now is a genuine performance outside the Boardroom and an audit of his CV.

English proud of Stella

Stuart gets the sack

Other Apprentice comments

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 Baggs, I vote for Stuart?

  1. mark tomlinson says:

    Baggs the brand is a good outsider but I think he’s had his time in the limelight! I think he should rename himself as blags the brand! He’s definitely got theatrical qualities but not sure he’s much of a salesman or someone who can manage a team.
    Oh btw why is someone with a £3m business wanting to work as a cog in Lord Sugar’s empire – have I missed something – i wonder what his £3m business really looks like?

    My guess is Lord Sugar will go to type by appointing either Jamie or the only woman left -cant rembember her name and its not the other one -Stella

  2. Tim says:

    I know Liz was most people’s tip to win, but I’ve never agreed with that view myself. I’ve been saying for several weeks that she was not as strong a contender as most people seemed to think. She sold well, yes, but her record success with the Baby Glow was in large part down to it being the perfect product for the perfect retailer (Kiddicare). Her PM skills were okay but not great and, ironically, she was even more ‘corporate’ (whatever that is!) than Stella, confessing in the boardroom she is a structured rather than creative person.

    I also wonder if Sugar already knew that Liz in the outside world is a football WAG – he had previously made comments about Bond Street and her knowing the price of Versace – and didn’t want the embarrassment of having a winner who promptly quit to front yet another WAG-related reality show.

    All in all, it was a magical episode for candidate soundbites. I’ve captured the best of them and more in my episode recap at http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2010/12/09/tourists-taken-for-a-ride-as-the-apprentice-does-on-the-buses/

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