The Directors View: The Apprentice – episode one

Stuart Haining Business News, General 0 Comments

The new series is off to a flying start with an eye-watering array (20 this time) of irritating and boastful wannabes that we will no doubt all grow to love!

Aside from leaving standing-room-only by squeezing an extra 4 people into the Board Room (maybe the BBC pay Amstrad for each seat?) the main highlight of this first episode is a difficulty in remembering which candidates shone through, as most sensibly adopt a low profile.

First up, the girls…

Team leader for the weirdly named Decadence female team should be our favourite given her roots in Goldman Sachs, was Sarah Dales. Apparently she dislikes being ignored, which was exactly what happened when she asked the team to pretty-up…..apart from being a bit non-pc these days (even if some of the girls could do with a bit more glamour) it wasn’t exactly a winning tactic for Sarah and made her few friends inside the boardroom or at home on the sofa. It’s a bit off really as most people involved in sales know that even half attractive girls will outperforming blokes as chaps will always buy from women!

So a thumbs up for Sarah from me.

Another noticeable female contestant was Roisin Hogan from Dublin….aside from the fact she seemed sensible and not as argumentative as some candidates nearer to home, shouldn’t she be in Apprentice Ireland?  But I think she’s one to watch as potentially cool under pressure.

Not so cool under the pressure of an espresso machine was a candidate closer to home from my own POB of Leicester….Lindsay Booth. Sadly she did seem to want to let off steam (pun intended) and vent at Sarah for failing to help out with the queue. Fair enough, but there is a time and place in business to argue, and its never in front of customers!

Nurun Ahmed is easy to remember because of the headscarf…if that’s the correct terminology….a very busy lady with a job, several young kiddies and quite a few fledgling businesses by the sound of it..so she’s another one to watch who also seemed quiet sensible so far.

So what about the boys?

Well as usual the males took bravado to a new level…..top of bunch, literally, as he’s about 10 feet tall and hard to miss with inappropriate cream shoes and no socks is Robert Goodwin. He seemed like a nice posh boy but sadly he’ll never get on in business if he can’t enjoy a bacon butty from the snack wagon with the rest of us……you won’t find guacamole in a 2 for £10 restaurant (where we treat clients) either even though you might find it in one of his hot dogs!  But we warmed to Robert once he’d smarted himself up a bit more “boardroom-style” than “bedroom-style”.

An unfortunate sub team leader for the boys in Episode one was Chiles Cartwright, a consultant who apparently consults from Shropshire. To us he came across as a bit too dictatorial and it was plainly rash to leave behind tea shirts that cost ten times more than spuds….but we think his experience would be useful as the programme progresses.

Team leader was of course Felipe, originally from Columbia, and after the roasting he got from some candidates on his team he might have preferred to be serving coffee with Lindsay..but we thought he was brave to volunteer on task one, did well to take some time out to match peoples skills to tasks, and did well to survive. How long he’ll last is of course tough to say as Lord Sugar seems to have a dislike for lawyers if past series are anything to go by, even if they’ve been good candidates.

Steven from Canada, originally an Arctic community social worker, left a big impression on everyone. Yes he wound everyone up the wrong way, but generally because he was right. He looked stunned when fellow contestants widely turned on him and may now feel the Apprentice Board Room is like being savaged by a polar bear, or is that the Antarctic?……either way he’ll be better prepared next time, so again one to watch but we doubt he’ll last the distance.

Sadly we haven’t yet formed much of an opinion about the remaining dozen candidates, due mostly to them being pretty non-exsitant so hopefully we’ll see more tonight.

We won’t spoil your enjoyment if you haven’t watched Episode 1 yet by revealing the loser who was fired…..but if I was Lord Sugar I’d have focused my attention on how many sausages went unsold….if lots, then Karen was correct that seeking out posh ingredients was a waste of time and the boys lost money accordingly. But if all the sausages sold despite this distraction and the boys had no stock left, it was irrelevant……so this all points towards Robert being fired instead. Instead of who, though…….?!
Chiles (sub-team leader) should of course also have been in the firing line from Day 1 simply by virtue of having a daft name, is he Giles or Charles?…..in fact we’d never have let him get past CV stage!

One thing is for sure, we are completely hooked already – bring on the next episode!

About Stuart Haining

I have a strong passion for online strategy and disruptive technologies – but is pragmatic too, having been working with this online malarkey for 20+ years!

I’m Seriously Helpful but not always serious!

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