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Dec16
More on the Apprentice
Thanks to my friend and colleague Russ for pointing me to this sizzling Apprentice debate. 

As I have read many commentaries about the finale episode of the Apprentice last night, one thought kept coming to my mind. Does anyone remember the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome? Do you remember when Tina Turner’s character Aunty Entity declares, “Two men enter, one man leaves.”?

Is this the rule that should have applied to the boardroom of the Apprentice last night? Some think so. From My Irrationalities, “This is about a job. Survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog. It isn't about a popularity contest.”

On the other hand, The Apprentice Rules weighs in, “Sometimes winning isn't everything... and that clearly was the case here. When faced with the choice between being gracious or selfish, Randal was greedy, greedy, greedy.“

I don’t think that anyone doubts that Randal Pinkett demonstrated exceptional business skills and talent and deserved to be named the Apprentice, however, at what cost?  Will his choice affect his ability to lead? From what I have read across the internet this morning, Randal disappointed many. One viewer commented, “We learned more about Randal in the last few seconds of the show than we did all season.”

Could that be true? How many of us would forget all his talent, hard work, experience, and commitment based on this one decision? Rightfully or wrongfully, it looks like many would take this one decision and give it more weight that all his talents and business acumen. That is an interesting social experiment that has tremendous implications for leaders. Effective leadership requires followers. Randal lost support, trust and the confidence of what appears to be the majority of viewers. While he may not care what the public thinks (I doubt that since he was on the Apprentice), I think we could extrapolate that approximately the same percentage of people that he will lead at Trump’s organization may feel the same as the general public. In that case, he may have lost more than he won.

Strangely, I wonder if Randal did what he thought was best or what he thought Trump wanted to hear or what he thought would be cool TV. I don’t know. I do know that a leader has to make difficult decisions, some unpopular. Making decisions that are true to what you think is right is most important. For this you will respected. You will be trusted. You will be followed. Most often, the character of a leader will unify more than business skills. Skills are a dime a dozen compared to the integrity of a leader.

Just ask the guy that failed repeatedly as a politician but brought our nation through its darkest hour,

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln

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