Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Celebrity Apprentice - A Lesson In Boardroom War by Richard Hatch

As some of you know I tried out for the Apprentice twice (both times getting call backs for the remaining 500 slots). I remain with the opinion that had I gotten picked for the show, Donald Trump would have held me back. So in retrospect, I’m quite happy for the experience of trying out and kind of glad that I didn’t get picked.

I wasn’t a fan of Celebrity Apprentice because the desperation to succeed hasn’t always been there. This season however, they have picked just the right line up of characters who want to be seen, need to be seen and would also sincerely like to earn money for their charities.

As great leaders it’s important to watch these competitive reality shows and watch how some of the greatest minds of our time work. They become a lesson in people management, persuasion, body language and numerous of other attributes that when skilled at, can help the road to success.

In comes Richard Hatch. This guys is a manipulator extraordinaire. He makes Russell from survivor appear humble. In his mind, he has already won. In some ways dangerous but in some ways necessary.

Richard had no qualms about stepping up to be the leader of the first challenge. He is surrounded by some of the greatest names in music, acting and sports and he was not impressed. In fact, it was as if he was resentful of them and their fame. He shouted orders out like a drill sergeant. The interesting part is that I think some of them not only didn’t mind it, but felt they needed it.

There is no doubt that his arrogance got the best of him when he pushed David Cassidy during the pizza challenge. The other thing that was obvious was that Donald Trump wanted him to stay in the game. When Richard had to pick two people to come back into the boardroom he chose Canseco and David Cassidy. When questioned for the third or fourth time about physically contacting David, his tune changed slightly, he said, “If I did push David, then I’m sorry and I apologized”. That’s a lot different then “I did not push David”. No one called him out on that. Or at least it appeared that no one called him out on it (not sure what is left on the cutting floor). That’s no different then David and Jose Canseco both agreeing that he didn’t’ take any breaks, and then state a moment later that he took 2 breaks….and he was called out.

Richard also picked up on the fighting part of the argument. Young Don, says that David was not possessing the energy to fight to stay in the game. As soon as “energy” was mentioned, Richard’s body language change sharply to portray a new sense of energy – to convince everyone that young Don was right. At that point you can even here him stating how mad he wanted to be there.

As a Project Manager that essentially got his ass handed to him, he did a remarkable job staying in the game. I bet he also learned a lot about the people he’s playing with from that one instant.

Kudos to Mark Burnett and his casting team. This cast of characters should make for a great season of Celebrity Apprentice


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