The Apprentice 2010: Task 9 Performance Review

The 2010 edition of The Apprentice, NBC’s business reality show starring and executive produced by real estate mogul Donald Trump, features entrepreneurs and professionals competing for a $250,000 job contract with the Trump organization. Each week the contestants must complete a business task. The winners are rewarded; the losers must report to the infamous boardroom, where at least one candidate will be fired by Trump. Of the three African Americans featured on this edition of The Apprentice, only Liza Mucheru-Wisner remains. With each task of The Apprentice 2010, I will post performance reviews of the candidates, their teams and their project managers.

Read and comment on other performance reviews of The Apprentice 2010 Tasks.

But before delving into my summary and performance reviews for Task 9, let’s briefly address the sad case of Anand Vasudev, who I correctly identified last week as the candidate who cheated on an earlier task by surreptitiously asking a friend, by text message, to pretend to be a stranger and bring “at least $50” in cash to add to Team Octane’s sales total and guarantee a win for him as project manager. Worse, Anand:

Didn’t need the money to win the task calling for the creation of pedicab tours of Manhattan–Octane won the task going away. (By the way, the friend refused Anand’s request.)

Lied to Trump’s face when asked directly if he sent the message–during a boardroom session called by Trump to reveal the cheater prior to assigning Task 9–in front of Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and all of the remaining candidates.

As expected, Trump fired Anand. Of all the ways to go out on, especially if Anand expected to use his national television exposure on the show to impress potential employers, this is the worst in the history of The Apprentice. There are plenty of lessons, both obvious and subtle, that can be drawn from Anand’s conduct. I’ll point out just two.

First, there is nothing more important than establishing a reputation for integrity and protecting that reputation. I believe, had Anand come clean when asked directly by Trump if he sent the text, he had a 50/50 chance of being severely reprimanded, but