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The Apprentice

Some of you will have caught a glimpse of The Apprentice on television. The show where “future tycoons” compete for Alan’s heart.

For me the title is the most misrepresentative item of the show. An apprentice at least hints at the willingness to learn and grow into a role or organisation. The competitors display an arrogance and boast knowledge and skills that suggests they know everything about business that there is to offer.

I know the show is highly edited and we don’t get a glimpse of the learning that occurs from week to week, but there is something about certain contestants’ lack of self awareness that amazes me. They were clearly chosen for TV rather than future leadership prospects.

In this show displaying weakness is an open door to be mob-attacked and outed by the other team members. Clever leaders have a support network of mentors, colleagues, friends and family who they can trust and who will provide support and feedback. I hope some of the contestants at least have this outlet of help between the emotional beating they take every week.

That said I can’t stop watching it it. It’s entertaining, provides excellent material for training, and is a talking point in offices across the nation every Thursday morning!