Episode Two, and it soon became apparent that the back slapping bromance of last week was no more. Possibly due to the fact the boys had now got to know one another, but more likely due to the disengagement largely created by project leader Azhar. We were reintroduced to him with the help of another animal simile – “a killer whale of the sea world”, as opposed to a killer whale of the forest world, which would of course be a bit rubbish.
Speaking of rubbish, their idea was. Principally concerned with household waste, that is. They had created a bin with a cafetiere-style instrument for squashing down rubbish. I first thought this could be quite a good product, then I changed my mind.
It turned out so had half of the team. Azhar then very weakly fobbed off their concerns about the Eco Press, leaving Ricky and co very much dissatisfied. He then lambasted the others for not being ‘100%’ behind the product, without really giving a reason why they should be, and subsequently lost all support for himself as a leader.
To top it off Duane – the man behind the product – wasn’t just overlooked but actively silenced, being told not to speak in the pitches. He was dumbfounded, which was probably the idea (I sense that some of the candidates are feeling threatened by him) but as Steve’s presentation floundered, the voice of Duane was unleashed to save the day. Hurrah!
Making a splash
Based on Laura’s unfathomable resentment of having her child splash water in the bathroom, the girls came up with a bath splashguard that doubled as a sort of draw-and-play… thing. They tested the idea on a group of mother of toddlers, who largely dismissed the concept as impractical and ineffective. They seemed less sceptical of the tap cosy (yes you read that correctly), so the team went with that.
Except then, they didn’t. Or rather Jane decided that they wouldn’t. Realising she couldn’t make the world’s taps as cosy as she wanted them, Jane ‘took the initiative’ and off they went with the Splish Splash…thing.
A shambolic presentation and fluffing of numbers led the girls to defeat for a second time, but the recurring problem for all the candidates so far is teamwork. It’s early days, so we can excuse them for being blinded by the intensity of the competition and the desire to be noticed. The Apprentice is a competition between individuals. But, as many of us will have seen this within our own workforce, a new employee so keen to make an impression on those above he forgets to listen to those around him. Whether producing a great new product, hitting a sales target, or delivering satisfaction to clients, the desire to achieve for the business should be above the desire to achieve for oneself.
Such desire can only be created by the managers they are trying to impress. Lead by example: reiterate the value of success through teamwork, emphasise your own willingness to listen to all ideas and concerns and encourage a collaborative working environment for all. Just as the candidates on the show would do well to remember that while Lord Sugar is entertained by the motor-mouth glory hunters for a while, eventual winners are chosen on what they do, and what they show themselves to have learned along the way.
Image of Alan Sugar courtesy of Featureflash / Shutterstock.com