While I absolutely admire Donald Trump - the businessman - as an on-screen corporate role model, he's a
bit of a joke total clown.
Worse still, I think The Apprentice is a borderline disgraceful showing of what it takes to succeed in business and the message it sends out is so damn tainted with Hollywood Hooplah (and don't even get me started on all the product placement) in order to make each Boardroom scene more dramatic than the one which came before.
Trump is a business animal who succeeded through breaking rules...and yet, in an episode from a previous season, he fires an apprentice who breaks a rule by bringing in only 1 (he could have chosen 2) other candidate who was except from the week before. The candidate in question was an overwhelming choice to be fired...and yet Grumpy follows the rule book.
Each week the two team's performance from their dumbass tasks are separated by a fistful of dollars and somehow a $30 difference is enough to call one group a bunch of losers and the other wieners. In a world of marginal outcomes, how can there be such absolute labeling?
Then in last week's episode promoting Dicks Sporting Goods, the "worst loss in the Apprentice's history" results in 4 (count 'em - 4 - gasp, shock, shudder, scream) firings due to the fact revenue decreased, compared to the other team's increase
The inspiration for this post comes from Jason Benetti, who sent me this perspective:
There was a scene on The Apprentice Thursday night that would have made long-term thinkers cringe. The teams were charged with creating a display at Dick's Sporting Goods that would help increase revenues for a specific product category. One of the groups decided to construct a batting cage to help sell baseball equipment. The line for the age was consistently 20-deep, but baseball-related revenue declined 34% that day. So, four team members were fired in what was dubbed "The Worst Loss in Show History". I bet that Dick's sees a high volume of return customers. Can possible apprentices be re-hired?
I thought his point was spot on and certainly a poignant commentary on the state of short term thinking and the overemphasis on short term results in the corporate world today.
Granted the team had an objective and a goal and they certainly did not meet that goal. On those grounds and following the letter of the law, they were guilty as hell and failures indeed....but should there have been better metrics deployed for this task? Did Trump overreact (ya think?)
When we look beyond the superficial layer of PERFORMANCE DID NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS, is there more to this melodramatic moment which is an indictment on how tiny our little minds have become...