You’re Fired!
Week Fifteen: Hindsight Is 20/20

Last week Bren was fired for his reluctance to take risks. In the cab on the way out of town, Bren shared his relief that he was heading home to his family. “I came out here for something and realized it was back home, right under my nose.” He felt that the experience left him a better man.

Bren’s buddy Alex was left to choose a new partner. He decided to break up Craig and Tana creating a team of the two contestants who have been most unable to work together: Craig and Kendra. By all rights, Craig and Kendra should have been sitting in the board room. That’s not what happened.

Don’t Take Your Eyes Off The Prize

Despite the constant tension, Kendra kept her focus. In an interview on TheFishbowl.com, Bren said “She and Craig were like oil and water and she won in spite of that.” What is it that prepared Kendra to think clearly and creatively despite the dysfunctional team atmosphere? Why was Alex unable to do the same when he was working with a supportive project partner?

Kendra and Alex are the two remaining members of Team Magna. They are both educated and successful. The difference may be setting a goal and maintaining focus. Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt discussed the danger of busyness and the need for clarity of vision in their best selling book “The Power of Focus.” We’ve all heard the phrase “Do first things first” but putting that into practice is easier said than done. Kendra identified the essential steps and made sure they were completed. On the other hand, Alex and Tana were bedazzled with their product.

How do we teach children to focus? In a traditional classroom we use rules and consequences. While this may work for some, most find it an unnatural approach to harnessing a child’s inherent creativity. In other words, children will rebel. “What’s the choice?” you might ask. “We all know that children have a short attention span. Heck, we all have short attention spans.” To quote Craig: “Be careful of your generalities.”

Think about how long a child will spend chasing insects, reading the newest “Harry Potter” book, or playing make believe. Think about how long adults will dedicate to something that really interests them. As with anyone, children will focus on those things that interest them.

Well designed curriculum begins with the teacher and ends with the student. A well developed project based learning experience empowers students to take control of their learning. Consider what will be relevant, motivating and challenging to the students. Then your only problem will be getting the students to leave.

Hind Sight

Apparently the Apprentice experience didn’t meet this criteria. Danny and Bren, during an interview on TheFishbowl.com, suggested that if they had another chance at Trump University they wouldn’t be so stressed. “I’d push the envelope and have a good time” said Danny.

During their taxi rides home, Bren and Alex both felt they’d benefitted and were both glad it was over. Alex said “I feel freed.” In talking about Alex, Bren said “He didn’t go with a lot of grace. He had a bizarre taxi ride.” Bren continued “Alex said he was going to start all these businesses but he hasn’t started a single one.” To quote Alice Cooper:

“School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces”

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