The Apprentice – Episode 5

For this week’s episode 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 this week.

Leadership was an interesting theme in last night’s episode and even though Charleine’s team won the overall task, she can count herself as very fortunate in scraping this victory as her handling of individuals in the team nearly lost her the task.

It was clear from the outset that Charleine didn’t like “know it all” Richard and she made sure he was in the sub team away from the main group. She gave him the role of leader of the research team, but then would only speak to David on the phone, often asking him to repeat the information Richard had shared with her. This approach did not sit well with Richard who was visibly angry at being side lined.

Richard’s annoyance grew when his skills were ignored and he was prevented from pitching to the corporate contacts. The team didn’t manage to get a deal from any of the major bookdealers, with Charleine unable to reach an agreement with Waterstones.

In the workplace this sort of blatant behaviour from a manager could lead to grievances or Constructive Unfair Dismissal claims and perhaps more importantly from a commercial angle, not managing or utilising an individual correctly could result in under performance and an associated loss of sales revenue, it is therefore vital that your best people are in the most appropriate position for their skillset.

Often the ‘best’ people in the organisation are the most vocal, critical and disruptive as they strive for improvements and progression, so the hallmark of a good leader is to leave personal feelings aside, utilise your resource correctly and do what’s best for the business and the team.

Again it came to Lord Sugar to have the last word on the issue of management,

“You may dislike Richard, but he can sell. That was a poor management decision.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

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