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Randal's Blog

OVERCOME SETBACKS AND MOVE AHEAD
A Blog Posting for Trump University/NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice"

Monday, April 6 2009, 7:12 am Eastern

This week's task - The teams created short viral videos for All Small & Mighty 3X Concentrated laundry detergent. Executives from All picked the winning video after consulting with blogger Perez Hilton.

Team membership this week - Mr. Trump shuffled the membership for the first time this season. KOTU had Clint, Herschel, Joan, Khloe and Natalie. Athena had Annie, Brande, Jesse, Melissa and Tionne. Brian was away this week.

Who were the project managers? - Clint led KOTU and Melissa led Athena.

Who won? - Because the All executives hated both teams' videos, Mr. Trump decided that both teams had lost and that one member of each team would be fired.

Who got fired? - Donald Trump fired Tionne and Khloe. But he awarded $20,000 to Khloe's charity, The Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness.

This week's episode taught that even when everybody loses, somebody still comes out ahead. Let's take a closer look.

* * *

Lesson One: Unfair Things Happen in Work and Life

Lots of unfair things happened in this episode. All the members of KOTU had their futures unfairly put in jeopardy when Clint came up with an awful idea for the team's video and wouldn't let anyone vote him down. Melissa wouldn't listen to Annie's ideas. Tionne volunteered to come back into the final firing session to support Melissa. She thought she was demonstrating loyalty, without realizing that her action could also be seen as a lack of ambition. And she got fired. Khloe got fired for reasons that she thought were unfair.

But the reality is, unfair things happen. Sometimes the wrong people will get promoted instead of you. Sometimes your ideas will be stolen or ignored. But remember, nobody promised you that life would be fair. You're in the big leagues now, so get tough, get resilient -- and keep moving forward.

Lesson Two: Don't Let a Dictatorial Boss Kill Your Career

Clint was a great colleague in earlier episodes. Yet the minute he became KOTU's leader this week, he became a tyrant. He made bad decisions without consulting his team. He created a video that his team knew would offend the All executives. He did all the video editing and refused to let anyone else help. But Joan, to her credit, wasn't going to let him get away with it. The minute the team got into the boardroom with Mr. Trump, she spilled the whole story about what a terrible leader Clint was. And she distanced herself from the video by saying, "I am ashamed to have any part of it. It was dirty, it was stupid . . . I found it very offensive."

So remember that when some people become bosses, the power goes to their heads and they start to act like dictators. If you have a boss like that, you might not be able to go over his or her head the way Joan did. But you still have to get out from under your boss and get noticed. One way? Volunteer for assignments that put you in work groups with employees from other divisions in your organization.

Lesson Three: Fight Groupthink

The teams did everything wrong. The All executives told them to create videos targeted toward younger mothers, but KOTU's showed a philandering man and Athena's showed Jesse being forcibly washed by profanity-spewing midgets.

The amazing thing was, most of the contestants realized that their concepts had nothing to do with what the All executives had asked for. As Jesse said, "You don't want to offend the company that is paying for this video." But then he knuckled under, went along with the crowd, and suffered a disastrous loss.

If you are serious about your success, object loudly when groupthink sets in. If your teammates start to act like lemmings, be the first to swim the other way.

Lesson Four: Come Clean about Your Past

Mr. Trump fired Khloe when he learned the reason she had missed part of last week's task. She had been in California to take part in a court-ordered program after a DUI conviction. Mr. Trump said to her, "If I knew you were losing time on the show because of a DUI, I would never have hired you for the show."

Khloe might have responded, "I didn't hide that from you . . . your staff just never told you." But that is not the point. She should have gone to Mr. Trump before the show began, and told him about her conviction. If she had done that, Mr. Trump might have hired her anyway -- and she would not have been fired this week.

So don't try to hide your past mistakes. Admitting them is painful, but it is the only way to minimize the damage they will do in the future.

Lesson Five: Be True to Your Word

When Mr. Trump asked Natalie whether she would like to be fired so she could go earn a lot of money in an upcoming golf tournament in Asia, she replied, "No. I gave you my word that I would do this." In this day when the dollar is king, that is an impressive thing to do.

So stand by your word. Even if you don't realize it yet, a good reputation is your most powerful career asset.

* * *

What will happen next week? Clint's war with Joan will still be raging. If they are on the same team, sparks will fly. If they are on different teams, their war could take on near-nuclear dimensions. Meanwhile, the quiet candidates Jesse and Natalie are advancing steadily forward. As we move toward the late stages of this thrilling season, it will be fascinating to watch how the game is played out.

* * *

To see original blog posting click here.

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