The Apprentice – Episode 4

As the tasks get more complex, we asked our resident Apprentice fan, and Assistant Manager of our Employment Law team, Rosie McArdle to give her views on the HR issues that cropped up in Episode 4 of the Apprentice.

Last night’s episode of The Apprentice was a classic case of a manager incorrectly utilising his team through a clear lack of strategy and leadership.

Although Scott started with purpose, and argued well that he was the best man for the job he soon fell away through ‘soft touch’ management and an absence of a plan.

A perfect example of this was when he let Brett lead the main pitch with the inventors without providing him with any direction even though, clearly, his strength was not in building relationships and this proved costly in the task.

Scott also struggled to get the best out of his staff’s abilities. Ruth proclaimed earlier in the episode that “I don’t know anything about cats, but I do know about selling,” Scott understood this and tasked her with selling the high end products to potential customers.

However, throughout the task it was clear that Ruth was struggling with identifying her target market and closing deals and whilst Scott gave encouraging words, “Ruth, your energy is amazing” he didn’t address the problem at hand or change his team around to ensure the right people were in the right roles.

On the other team David lead Team Versatile in a much more structured and controlled manner. He had a clear strategy about the products he wanted and how to build relationships with inventors to get them on side. He also effectively utilised the skills within the team to play to individual strengths.

Scott’s ‘soft touch’ approach to management and resourcing lost him the task and in the end it was down to Lord Sugar to sum Scott’s errors up in one sentence, “Put your best people where they make the most money”.

Wise words!

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