The One Word You’ll Never Hear On The Apprentice

Is Leadership.

Every week contestants will tell the boss how good they are at selling, how they’ve taken on ‘feedback, how they can ‘control people’, but you’ll never hear about leadership.

If I had 16 people contending to work for me at £100,o00 a year I wouldn’t be looking for skills that I could hire in for less. I’d be looking for leadership – the ability to lead people, lead markets, lead change and lead organisations.

I would say the reason why is because we can easily and lazily point to the tangibles of how much we sold. But it takes detail and observation to show how you’ve lead. It’s harder work, but far more valuable, and the rarest asset around.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • What word do you never hear on The Apprentice?
  • Why oh why is leadership the never spoken word?

Archived Comments

  • http://twitter.com/nickdonnelly Nick Donnelly

    The apprentice is a TV game show – it has nothing to do with business in the same way X-Factor has nothing to do with music.

    The surprise would be if *anything* relevant came out of the show…

  • / Scott Gould

    Agreed – but it represents popular opinion. Can’t tell you how much I hear the same stuff coming out of people that I mentor. Of course I kick it out of them! :-)

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s because true leaders would never fight over a job working for Donald Trump on a reality show. I personally don’t watch the apprentice. After the first season I got tired of it. I don’t have much stomach for reality television to begin with. I thought something with a business flavor would keep me interested. I was wrong.

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com Brian Driggs

    I’ve never actually watched “The Apprentice,” so you name it, I’ve not heard it!

    Why is “leadership” seldom spoken? Could it be the B-school emphasis on managing (read: controlling)? This is one of two areas in which I fundamentally disagree with the “business” community. The first is the fundamentally flawed (anchor effect) statement, “business exists to make a profit.” Second is the need to control everything – from the market to the message to knowledge/information.

    I think we’re on the cusp of people realizing they don’t need big businesses. It’s like the next evolution of the knowledge economy – where the knowledge takes on meaning and becomes a sort of currency which can be bartered.

    Think of it this way, if I know people who will help me build my own house, solar/wind power it, maintain my paid-off cars, grow my own food, teach me about anything I could ever dream of wanting to know, and share with me the rewards of my investments in them, what need would I have of any business currently in existence…

    … and how could any manager possibly manage that?

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