Why the Apprentice gives business a bad name

I’ve just run away from the television because my good lady wife is watching the Apprentice. Might as well write a blog and eat chocolate instead, I thought. Lindt’s Roasted Almond, in case you’re interested.

Why do the Apprentice give business a bad name?

Well…partly it’s because all the contestants are so stupid and so extreme. So it’s the sort of TV I hate because it’s so contrived and exaggerated.

These people are supposed to be business people, in fact, they’re supposed to be high flying, top quality business people.

So, I worry that the general public might think that all business people are like this – I worry that people might think that I’m like this.

The competition

Now, business is often competition. You want to be better than your competitors, and you want your company to win.

But it’s rare, in my business experience, that people will stoop to the games playing and low tactics which seems to happen every week in the Apprentice.  The name calling, blaming and trickery which goes on is something that I haven’t really seen since school.  And the clever bit in the show is the way that Alan Sugar manages to see through this every time.

He’s positioned as such a masterful business mind that he can work out what’s going on with the snivelling brats. I know plenty of mums who would give him a run for his money on this one.

The challenges

And the challenges. I hate the challenges too. When in your business career have you ever had to do something like this? That’s right, never. If I had to design a new flavour of crisps, or sell sausages, I’d take some time to work out my strategy.

They always go wrong because they don’t work out their strategy, or if they do, they just grab the first thing that appeals to them and they don’t work it through. Actually, that might be like some of real-life businesses I come across as a business coach.  Hmm…no, actually I’ve never had a client who has made so many mistakes, so quickly.

The Apprentice promotes the idea that business thinking is based on gut instinct. It isn’t, being good in business is something that you learn.

Why does it appeal?

Apparently, 8.11m people watch this stuff.  That’s a third of everyone watching TV while I’m writing this blog. I’m trying to work out why it’s so popular.

People like the Apprentice because they can see what’s going wrong, and laugh at the idiots. It’s pure entertainment of course – we’re laughing at the expense of others, and we can take sides and want one of the idiots to win more than the others.

As long as no one thinks that it bears any relation to the real world of business, where people co-operate, work in teams, develop partnerships, and think for at least 5 minutes before selling their sausages.

If you’re going on the Apprentice, and would like some help, why not get some business support and advice, so you’ll do better than these numpties.