The Apprentice 2010: Task 3 Performance Review

Each week as contestants compete for a $250,000 job contract, get the leadership lessons you can use to succeed

Of course, James was a terrible project manager on this task. He failed to understand the business and was clueless about how to establish good team dynamics. But that’s not why I fired him. My reason is that he’s actually just like David–undermining and negative–only he doesn’t have the balls to say it to your face. James prefers to sow seeds of doubt and discontent with questions and side comments delivered in a calm, seemingly innocuous way. David is the time-bomb that can go off at any time. James is the slow, insidious, malignant cancer. Both are dangerous threats to an organization. And when confronted, both plead innocent and even claim to be oblivious of the destruction they cause, feeling themselves betrayed and victimized.

The good news for Octane is that, with the exception of David, they are all out of obvious weak links. This should give them an edge over Fortitude on the next few tasks.

Interim Evaluations of the Black Candidates: Again, Gene did not distinguish himself positively or negatively during his team’s failed execution of this task, unless you blame him for losing the nails for Octane’s decor project for the entrance to the pet spa. I don’t; the entrance decor was meaningless to this task. And again, we didn’t get to see much of Kelly. (She shares some of what was not shown during a live chat at BlackEnterprise.com immediately after last night’s show aired.)

Is Liza emotional? Yes. But that doesn't make her unqualified to be The Apprentice.

Liza calling Poppy Carlig the “b-word” after Task 2 was raised in the boardroom this week, with Stephanie continuing to insist that she is the weak link among the women and that her use of profanity is proof of Liza being too emotional and deserving of termination. I agree that Liza needs to better manage her emotions (she almost came to tears as she defended herself in the boardroom). However, I don’t believe her use of the b-word automatically means she is out-of-control and unfit to be the next apprentice. Let’s compare Liza to David, who is emotionally volatile and unprofessional. His use of profanity was public (in the presence of a client, the pet store owner), directed at a superior (James his project manager) and in the middle of the task, on the job. Liza’s was private (by reality show terms), peer-to-peer (with the task complete, Poppy was no longer her project manager) and after the work was complete, in a social setting.

While you’ll never hear me call anyone the b-word (or the n-word), Liza’s use of the word, in and of itself, does not make the case that she is unprofessional or emotional. If that were the case, she would have flipped out when she found out about the file errors for the graphics she designed with minutes to spare. Instead, she focused on solving the problem, venting her emotions (without attacking anyone) only after the issue was resolved. Moreover, Liza has contributed to both of Fortitude’s victories, and was not a factor in her team’s loss on Task 1.

Dead Men Walking: For obvious reasons, David stays on this list of job candidates who have no chance of becoming Trump’s next apprentice. I’ve also decided to add Mahsa to this list. Again, Mahsa is a pit-bull, meaning her natural, instinctive response to most problems, threats and challenges is to intimidate and go on the attack. That instinct makes all kinds of sense when operating in adversarial situations and environments, such as the criminal court system that Mahsa participated in as district attorney, but it’s just not what you want in a leader.

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