You’re Fired!
Week Thirteen: How Do You Define Success?

A man finds a magic lantern complete with a genie. The genie grants the lucky
man one wish. The man wishes to be “irresistible” to women so…the genie
turns him into a puppy.

Has The Donald carefully defined his goal? What is his definition of success with regard to his next Apprentice? What is society’s definition of success with regard to our children? Let’s take a look back at this season before we look at this episode.

We began with 18 candidates. Half came with credentials (book smarts) and half came with self-made bank accounts (street smarts). During the course of this self proclaimed “longest job interview” each candidate is expected to prove their abilities. Just as in a traditional classroom, they are each on their own to sink or swim. The problem is that they receive mixed signals regarding the ultimate qualities The Donald is seeking. Based on the tasks, it appears that he wants someone who is great at print, visual and person-to-person marketing. However, during the Board Room evaluation, most of the people who are fired, grab a cab because they can’t lead their team. As team leader, you are expected to pull your team together on behalf of The Donald’s ultimate goal. However, we’ve seen those with passes quietly take a week off, we’ve seen team members attempt to sabotage others and we’ve seen team members take credit for the work of others.

We’ve seen unhappy customers and unhappy Apprentices. The Donald and his team has seen it all. We’re still left with the question, what behavior are they rewarding?

The Three Stooges and The Lone Ranger

Donald has been complimentary of Alex. Why? What skills has he shown? The Donald has said that he’s sophisticated and a winner. Is that the same as saying he has nice manners and doesn’t cause trouble? Alex, Bren and Chris created an uninspiring product similar to material you’ve seen a hundred times at car dealers. “They behaved like the Three Stooges” said Tim Knapp, CEO of Nextant Systems. “I wouldn’t hire any of them.”

Bren asked Alex to be sure to get a specific shot that could have made the final product more distinctive, however Alex said he “ran out of time.” In the Boardroom, the Donald ignored that oversight and continued to blame Alex’ problems on his forced “association with losers.” High school students from the area have complained that teachers very often determine early in the school year who the “good students” are and then manipulate grades to reflect their beliefs. Is that what is happening with Alex? “

On Net Worth, Kendra didn’t cause trouble either. She ran into resistance from her team members, realized she didn’t have their respect and chose to do the majority of the task on her own. She did a great job and if Team Trump was looking for someone to do their marketing, she’d be a slam dunk. In her career to date, her marketing strategies for “My House Real Estate, Inc.” have been “ virtually unparalleled.” However, from the perspective of leadership, she couldn’t cut it. “It’s not her fault. As a successful book smart real estate agent, Kendra has never been taught to rally the troops.” said Knapp. “To her, all-nighters are a source of pride. To a leader, all-nighters are often a sign of poor planning.”

“It’s the Fate of the Free World for Goodness Sake”

Craig, Tana and Alex took naps and took some real abuse from Team Trump as a result. The whole idea of taking a nap is no big deal. In fact, following the lead of Winston Churchill, who had responsibility for the fate of the free world, power napping on everyone’s part may have been a help. The real problem was failing to understand the task, the role of each team member and the desired end result. The responsibility for this begins with The Donald just as in the classroom the responsibility begins with the teacher.

If a teacher’s job is to successfully convey information, knowledge and skills then the first bit of information should be a well defined goal. Without knowing what’s expected of them, the only way a student can reach the goal is through sheer luck. Further, goals are not crafted for a small number of students. Rather, for education to be truly successful, goals must be developed for all students. Just as with World War II, it is the fate of the free world that is at stake. Perhaps the reason traditional education is often determined to be a “failure” is because society hasn’t clearly defined success.

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