This was the best series of The Apprentice I have seen. It has been supremely entertaining (apologies to Stuart Baggs!) on the one hand, but eye-opening on the other.
There has been so much to learn in watching this programme, but it is almost always uncomfortable viewing!
Three things stand out for the learner:
- How to succeed at a job interview;
- How to learn to be an entrepreneur;
- How to work as a team.
Those three areas are well covered in a 12 week process headed up by the inimitable Lord Sugar. But “how not to…” would be more apt at times except for the truly exceptional Stella.
She was the perfect interviewee. She came with a convincing track record of determined progress from 15 to 30.
Winning this was never just about presentation, as the others found to their cost. But Stella was excellently presented. She had a winning way with people from the shop floor to the Boardroom.
It was an easy task for Lord Sugar, I should imagine, to find somewhere for Stella to “fit in to his organisation”.
Stella’s not an entrepreneur. Yet. That’s not the task here, although the challenges set were typical to the entrepreneurial life. Stella rose to each one.
She certainly has the knack of an entrepreneur though, with her last-minute inspiration of the “Urbon” brand name.
Being a team player is very important for success in business. It enables you to lever more from less. It’s also much more enjoyable.
Stella gets this. She can both lead and be led too, which is handy, because when you go for a job, you are not going to be the boss.
She is both a manager and a leader. What’s the difference? Some would say a manager does things right; a leader does the right things.
I guess what I am saying is Stella is an all-rounder. No wonder she won.
She faced some very good competition too. Chris Bates was high quality. I especially admired the tone of his work delivery: strong, imaginative, consistent, logical.
So is the world of business like “The Apprentice?
It’s raw at times, brings out the best and worst in people, there’s no place to hide, but it can be extremely satisfying when you get it right.
It’s not about luck, but the smarter you work, the luckier you get.
It’s far more about people than it is about product.
It’s not just about money, but if you lose it, you get fired.
And for some of us, The Apprentice illustrates a captivating process, making business an end in itself.
Roll on next year’s “Apprentice” and thanks indeed to all those illustrious contestants who allowed us to be a fly on the wall!