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Lord Sugar doesn't want good team players, he wants natural born leaders

Written by Alana Spencer on Thursday, 31 October 2019. Posted in Reviews

Winner of The Apprentice 2016 and Lord Sugar’s business partner, Alana Spencer, reveals how being a good team leader is essential in the competition – or else contestants could be axed

Lord Sugar doesn't want good team players, he wants natural born leaders

Winner of The Apprentice 2016 and Lord Sugar’s business partner, Alana Spencer, reveals how being a good team leader is essential in the competition – or else contestants could be axed

This week the contestants did a treasure hunt task. We did this as well during my time at The Apprentice, and it was a lot of fun. And it was the one we all were most looking forward to. We did ours throughout the night around London but we were all one big group. I quite like the twist this time, where one group was in Oxford and the other in Cambridge.

We had Jemelin and Marianne as project managers. I was quite excited to see more of Marianne after her eloquent take towards Thomas in the board room last week. So yes, I was very pleased to see her become project manager. We haven’t seen much of Jemelin in this season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she hasn’t been doing lots of stuff. It could mean that she’s just not really been a very controversial character. You have to remember there’s five days of filming with four different cameras out, a week’s worth of tasks for an hour’s worth of television. So far, she’s come across as very composed, so I wasn’t sure how she was going to come across as project manager. However, she didn’t seem to be the best leader that I’ve seen. She seems like a great team player but not necessarily a good leader.

Ryan-Mark knew for a fact that he needed to start putting his name in the ring, or else he would have been accused of just breezing through the competition without putting any work in. He made a very blatant attempt to cover his back, and I think everyone saw that. It’s quite frustrating to watch actually. Ryan-Mark was trying to make sure it looked like he was putting his name in the ring. But actually, it was the most pitiful attempt at a pitch for project manager that I've ever seen. And that would have definitely would have been noted by Lord Sugar, because he wants to see people who are able to lead a team. Ultimately if you go into business with Lord Sugar, you are going to grow a business and you’re going to be employing more than just yourself. All in all, he does need to see that you can lead from the front. So that wasn’t a great for Ryan-Mark in this case.

In the other team, Marianne put herself forward very confidently and I think she was the right person to lead this task. The one person that really stood out to me was Thomas. He did an absolute blinding job of getting the punting poll from £200 to £50. I wasn’t too fond of Lottie’s comment about business and gambling because actually, you take risks in business every day. Small risks or big risks – there's multiple risks involved. And there’s sort of a visual representation of that. And to say there’s no room for risks in business - actually, what a load of rubbish. I loved Thomas’ style of negotiating. I think that is definitely his skill. He’s a people person. And that’s a shame he’s not really had a chance to show that until now. I think we really saw what he’s made of in this task, and i think he was probably one of the main reasons his team won.

As for the other team’s negotiation on the punting poll, Ryan-Mark's negotiation was possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. There were some really pitiful negotiations, including Lottie’s. Like Karen said, they were essentially saying “we need this item and we’re prepared to pay whatever it takes to get this item”. I couldn’t think of a worse way to negotiate. I think Lottie and Ryan-Mark definitely did the worst in this task, though we didn’t see every negotiation.

What I quite enjoyed was watching the girls Marianne, Scarlett and others. They purchased the cheap, new book and then second guessed themselves and went back for another. But thank goodness they did. I like that they were trying to think outside the box a little bit. But you can definitely get too clever in this. But this challenge wasn’t about being too clever, it was a challenge about negotiating. They proved how good their negotiating tactics were by getting a book that was actually £30 more expensive to practically the same price as the other team paid – that was pretty impressive.

Jemelin wasn’t the best leader but I think there’s definitely more of her. I think she did a very beautiful pitch in the boardroom about coming to this country and not being able to speak the language. And Lord Sugar loves that. He loves when people show their passion and show that they’re a fighter. And obviously she has got something in her. For her to have moved here, learn a new language and set a life up here that shows that she’s got something about her and he would have seen that. I think Ryan-Mark should have gone home. When he did the pitiful pitch to become project manager, I thought it was about time. Because you need to show that you’re willing to give everything a good go and he was trying to shun that responsibility. He also did one of the worst negotiations. In my opinion, he should have gone. And I think Riyonn maybe had a little bit more to show for himself. So, I think that was a bit of a shame he was fired. He also seemed like a really nice person and I think that’s always really nice to see great people in the Apprentice.

I have one comment about the contestants not knowing what some of the items were, or not knowing when World War 2 was, ect. I’ve had a few Twitter messages last night saying “Why can’t people just Google”. And actually, you’re not allowed Google during the show. And I don’t think people realise how much they use Google and use their phones to find out what things are on a day to day basis. And it’s really challenging without that. You’re kept in a bubble while you’re in there. You have no access to phones and computers and you’re not even allowed to look at magazines if you’re in a shop because they don’t want you to know what’s going on. So, you’re not aware of things like you are when you’re in the normal world. So, I think people need to cut a bit of slack on them.

About the Author

Alana Spencer

Alana Spencer

Since securing a business partnership with Alan Sugar in The Apprentice 2016, Alana Spencer's cake company Ridiculously Rich has been doing ridiculously well. As a winner of the series, she's writing a weekly round-up detailing the performance of The Apprentice 2019 candidates exclusively for Elite Business.

Follow Alana Spencer on Twitter @alana_spencer_, Instagram @ridicrichbyalana and her Facebook page Ridiculously Rich by Alana.

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