Hi Apprentice Fans! It was great to be back in the boardroom this week – this time with my younger brother, Eric. Eric is an accomplished, strong businessman and philanthropist, and everyone at The Trump Organization values his opinions tremendously. I am sure that you felt the same after watching him this week!
A Perfect Fit
After a fantastic performance last week, Stephanie had the opportunity to meet with Michael Rupp, the CEO of Rockport. Stephanie was incredibly impressed with Michael and was excited to meet with him, mentioning how polished and professional he was. In their time together, Michael offered Stephanie the opportunity to participate in one of Adidas Group’s advanced management programs – a great break for her and a perfect fit for her future employment aspirations. Way to go, Stephanie!
Hail to the Pedi-Cab
To introduce the task, my father pointed out a Grayline bus with his name on it, which we inaugurated this year, with Trump Tower being part of their New York City tour. My father is truly the ultimate New Yorker!
As anyone who has visited New York knows, it is a city that moves fast and needs many different forms of transportation to get us to where we need to be. Residents and tourists alike are forever fighting for taxis or space on our subways, buses, and streets! Pedi cabs are New York’s latest transportation addition and yet another way to get around town.
This week the task had the teams creating a full pedi-cab business plan which would involve passing a test to get a license, designing a tour, selling it, and ultimately, peddling like crazy all around the city. The winner would be the team with the most profits. This was going to be a good mental and physical work out, and hopefully profitable for both teams.
Prove It to Me
Both Kelly and Anand felt they had something to prove this week and were chosen as the Project Managers. Kelly mentioned that my father saw her as a weak player, so it would be her chance to shine, and Anand explained, “the time had come to prove myself as a leader.” I was eager to see how each of these players, who hadn’t been the most outspoken on their teams, would lead.
It was hilarious to see both teams go to the training facility for pedi-cabs, witnessing their adaptability and skills as a driver and a peddler. It was a bit of an obstacle course and required balance as well as endurance. Kelly and Mahsa were deemed not able to cope with the peddling and heavy traffic, so they’d be in sales. Anand has always shown himself to be strong in sales, so he wisely took that position on his own team. The men seem to be having an easier time with this obstacle course; I was curious to see how both teams would do as they hit the streets.
Chariots of Fire
Each team was allotted three pedi-cabs. Octane decided on a Roman chariot idea for theirs, complete with gladiator garb. I liked the idea — it was original and eye catching, and would likely attract tourists. Good plan.
One comment on the men’s team: David has proclaimed on every episode that he is a terrific salesman, but I didn’t see him adding much to the sales strategy or process in this challenge, except for admitting that it was fun to ruffle feathers. How that type of attitude contributes to a team or to a victory is beyond me. I am all about teamwork, and I don’t know how he can feel that his current strategy is helping him with his teammates, or will end up benefiting him in the boardroom.
Babes on Bikes
Fortitude chose to play the “sex card” by naming their business Babes on Bikes and wearing alluring outfits that would appeal to men. It wouldn’t have been my preference, but they got some attention—and made some sales, although it wasn’t easy. Their main problem was location selection. Fortitude chose Wall Street as they thought there would be plenty of “wealthy men” there. Unfortunately, during the day, most of those wealthy men are inside working, and on Wall Street the focus is definitely on making money, not spending it for everyone to see during work hours. I had serious doubts as to their success.
Another problem was Liza’s offering of free rides — that may have worked in the ice cream challenge, but definitely not here. When Eric visited the team and asked Kelly who the best salesperson was, she named Poppy — and another battle was in the making. Mahsa and Stephanie (shocker!) both took offense, and I was convinced poor Kelly was going to be under some intense fire if they lost.
Fifth and Coliseum
Octane was frustrated with David, but the men managed to put on a good show with their rides up and down Fifth Avenue and by having advance sales the night before. They were colorful and engaging in their gladiator gear, and despite some of David’s antics, rose to the occasion and showed confidence and verve. I have to applaud them for their theatricality–it was hard to miss them standing in front of Trump Tower, and they made the best use of their location.
There was a pretty big fireworks display in the boardroom this week! Octane had some very tough words about David. Clint called him “classless and schizophrenic” and implored my father to “rid us of this plague.” My father said those were the strongest group of words he’d heard on The Apprentice. It continued with the team letting us know that David’s nickname on the team was “the virus” that he was a “loopy nut.” It was clear that there was no love or respect between David and the rest of the team. After this intense show of emotion from his teammates, I finally asked David how he would mend the situation if his team won? He replied that he could make amends if the team was willing to accept change. He also said he’d be willing to change so the team could win the next task. Again, I’m not sure what to make of David and his behavior, or the level of his sincerity. One thing is clear – if he does decide to try to redeem himself, the road back won’t be so easy.
After the David “drama,” all three of us scrutinized Fortitude’s choice of location. Their tactics were questioned – first, my father asked who they were targeting — New Yorkers? He pointed out that they’re not as likely to ride in a pedi-cab as tourists. I observed that most Wall Street businessmen would be fired if their bosses saw them riding on the back of a Babes on Bikes pedi-cab during working hours. I also suggested that the women missed one major step in planning — simply polling some pedi-cab drivers to get their advice as to the most viable locations and target markets. After the strength of Fortitude in so many challenges, I was disappointed.
As it turns out, the men made $950. and the women $320. The women were clobbered as my father said, by a “totally dysfunctional team.” What a win for Octane! As a reward, Anand will get to meet with a friend of mine, Chuck Davis, CEO of Fandango, Inc. and Daily Candy. It’s a great opportunity and I am sure that Anand will impress him with his charisma.
The Wall Street location choice became the main topic in the boardroom for Fortitude. Kelly, as Project Manager, had to take overall responsibility early on in the task, and wasn’t strong enough. She had voiced concerns about the location but didn’t act on them — causing her team to ultimately lose. My father pointed out that not only had she failed the pedi-cab test but she failed the task, and as Project Manager, she was fired.
Although I thought it was the right decision, Kelly’s been a good player and I know she’ll do well. I wish her the best.
Enjoy your weekend, and I look forward to seeing you in the Boardroom next week!
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