Donald Trump Is A Business Buffoon
On this week's episode of The Apprentice, Donald Trump, with his usual "listen to me speak because I don't give a sit what you say" style, fired home builder Bryce, pretty much the most level-headed, well-grounded apprentice in the bunch. His team lost a challenge in which they had to develop a jingle for Arby's new like or natural chicken sandwiches. While we're not so sure why that's such a differentiating factor since we've never met an unnatural chicken - except perhaps in a bucket of fried KFC, the Arby's execs wanted to drive home the point their chain is the only place to get natural chicken. I wonder if they's ever heard on Boston Market or any other restaurant that serves chicken. Now, if they mean organic, hormone-free chicken that isn't slammed against a wall to kill it like PETA so loves to show us in its videos, that might be something to hang the "only" strategy on.
The only reason we digress so much about the "only" natural chicken thing is because Bryce's team didn't mention that in their jingle. Leaving something like that out - whether it means anything or not - doesn't make a CMO very happy. It's no surprise Bryce's team lost. Whit is a surprise is how Bryce took a dysfunctional bunch of 20-somethings (except for Lenny) who were at each other throats last week and turned them into a functional business machine that worked together extremely well. One might think, loss aside, the team building management qualities Bryce displayed would be noticed by Trump but no. The boardroom turned into the usual scream fest with Trump bellowing out platitudes without listening to the details of the back story.
Bryce took Lenny and Lee into the boardroom with him because he basically had no other choice. He steadfastly stood behind the work the other teammates did even though the end product lost. He took Lenny in because Lenny claimed he had no idea what a jingle was and had difficulty crossing the Russian/American cultural barrier. He took Lee, who didn't even participate in the task because he was on a Jewish holiday, because he claimed he had no other choice as Trump said bring two back and he refused to make the other teammates fall guys.
You really had to see the episode to understand all the nuances that led to the difficult choice Bryce had to make in bringing Lenny and Lee into the Boardroom. Suffice to say, Bryce was a breath of fresh air. Fresh air the business world use a lot more of but Trump couldn't get past old school business-think and, rather than recognizing Bryce's team-building management skills, slammed Bryce for displaying what those of us outside the world of Trump call class.
Bryce had the last word though in the Taxi with the classic line, "It wouldn't hurt if Trump listened once in a while."