Career Management Advice from The Celebrity Apprentice (Week 2)
It doesn’t pay to be funny at work. For the second straight week, Donald Trump fired a comedian to close out another episode of The Celebrity Apprentice. Sinbad learned it truly is a Different World when you move from the stage to the boardroom, as he was dismissed from a reality show that actually serves up some good career lessons, in addition to laughs and unnecessary drama.
Branding is Everything
In the continuing battle of the sexes, each team was put in charge of creating a storefront to promote the Kodak brand. Sinbad had guests create their Kodak moments by standing up to bat with Darryl Strawberry or performing with Bret Michaels, but ended up sacrificing the brand by not informing these same guests about the products and services offered by Kodak. The women’s team, led by wrestler Maria Kanellis, also had guests take pictures with celebrities, but did so in a less glitzy manner, taking time to focus on the brand. It was no shock that they won. They obviously cared more about the product they were shilling.
Be a Leader
Sinbad accepted the project manager role, but just came up with the idea and didn’t delegate authority. Sinbad’s ramblings and unorganized work atmosphere became even more glaring coming just a week after Bret Michaels’ excellent job in the same role. The fact that everyone just fell into roles as the competition went on, openly questioning whether or not the task would be accomplished in time, played a major role in Sinbad’s dismissal. On the flip-side, Maria Kanellis did an amazing job coming up with the vision and letting everyone have their say and know their roles. Of course, having a coughing Sharon Osbourne dish out cupcakes to guests may not have been the smartest idea, but when it came to putting the focus on Kodak, Kanellis came off a true genius.
Go to Work Sick (At Least During Big Projects)
If the women lost, there was no way Sharon Osbourne would have been fired. She came to work sick, let everyone know she was sick, and continued to perform while drenched in a sweat. At any other job, she would have been sent home early so no one else got sick, and eventually Sharon did go home, but she showed up ready to go the next day, looking like a real trooper to her team. When a big task is assigned, calling in sick could mean trouble. When a deadline needs to be met, let your boss decide how sick you are. Sounds callous, but how many workers have paid for using their sick days at the wrong time?
Don’t Be Overly Inquisitive
It’s good to ask questions, but Cyndi Lauper annoyed her teammates by asking too many and at the wrong times (she asked the Kodak executives how to use their camera). One teammate actually dodged traffic to get away from her. As nice as Lauper is, her annoying traits will alienate her from the team. With no defenders, when the women lose, Lauper’s second trip to the boardroom could be her last. Allies in the workplace are important. Let Google answer your easy questions.
Stop Wasting Company Time
Former Governor Rod Blagojevich was notably seen talking on the phone about his legal troubles while his team was doing their jobs. For the second week in a row, Blagojevich let his personal issues affect his work productivity. Sinbad was fired for poor leadership. In the real world, where one person isn’t fired a week, Blagojevich would have joined him. Bret Michaels, too.
There Is No Excuse For Lateness
Bret Michaels showed up late several days in a row and was told he needed to be on time. He responded by showing up late again. The group left without him and he argued that someone should have picked him up, while actually stating to the camera that in rock terms, he was early. I would have fired him just for the remark.
Don’t Be Overly Aggressive
Michaels is lucky he survived this week. Riding the coattails of an impressive first week, the rock star was not only late, but he was very aggressive to his boss, cursing at him when he felt he was being ignored and walking away from his team when he wasn’t given an answer about his job task. If you are being underutilized, be proactive and look for something to do. Impress them with your initiative.
And just like that reality television is like PBS.