Alana Spencer: Lord Sugar wants team players but over-enthusiasm can ruin your chances

Lord Sugar’s business partner, Alana Spencer, explains why being too keen or too domineering can be equally as bad when vying for first place on The Apprentice

Alana Spencer: Lord Sugar wants team players but over-enthusiasm can ruin your chances

Lord Sugar desires a winner who is business-minded but also a team player. I know it’s not the place to go and make friends, however, you must enthuse people to get on board and especially when leading a team you must win people over. This week, it didn’t feel like the loser did. Comparatively, wearing your heart on your sleeve like Sabrina did and exuding too much enthusiasm can equally turn people against you. There’s a fine balance to be struck on The Apprentice.

Although Collaboration won, they also risked failing for lack of teamwork. For instance, while it did look like Camilla was stealing Khadija’s clients and sales, Khadija shouldn’t have been so worried or kicked up a fuss. What people must remember is that if you win as a team, no one goes home. When you’re in that pressure cooker environment, everyone is so desperate to close a sale for themselves but the focus for both Camilla and Khadija should have been succeeding as a unit.

Daniel, on the other hand, did really well. Walking around in a flash suit and acting like he understood the art pieces to clients was great. I think it’s a really good skill to be able to blag it and turn your hat towards whatever you’re doing on tasks. So I was really impressed with Daniel.

But not so much with Typhoon, the losing team. Clearly, project manager Jasmine made completely the wrong decision to dismiss Sabrina and Sian from selling art to clients even after they built a rapport with them. And when Sabrina spoke up she was yet again downtrodden, which is a real shame to see because she was correct in saying she should have stayed on the floor. It keeps happening that she gets completely ignored yet everything she says is the right thing. If Jasmine listened to her advice, they might not have been in that boardroom.

However, it’s one of those situations where you know what you’re doing is right but actually, sometimes being enthusiastic can bite you in the bum and make you an easy target. Sabrina comes across as quite young and the others candidates notice that and don’t understand she is really in with a chance of winning so dismiss her. But that will be to their detriment. I’m saying this because that’s how it worked out with me when I was in there.

Sian, however, just stuck to the instructions of the project manager and tried to lead based on those orders, even though they were wrong. Because of that, she escaped being brought back into the boardroom as part of the final three, which was the right choice. For Jasmine, the decision was just a case of “who out of the three did I clash with?” and one was Sabrina. 

The other, of course, was Tom. Although he’s faced many warnings, I actually thought he came across better this week. Maybe not by miles but definitely better. He had a rough ordeal dealing with Jasmine talking over him and I think he was in a similar position to Sabrina, in that he wasn’t given the opportunity to show what he can do because of Jasmine’s dominance. I think it was right for Lord Sugar to save him, although maybe not so much last week.

Lord Sugar also made the right call in firing Jasmine. Ultimately, she has been too overbearing throughout the process and didn’t seem to make many friendships with anyone. She was also in the boardroom with two people that were already running businesses and although that’s not a deciding factor, it does contribute towards the final decision. The fact Sabrina and Tom were running their businesses on the outside will mean a lot to Lord Sugar.

For next week, I still think Khadija is in the firing line. In fact, I believe she would have been fired this week if she were in a position where her team lost. However, while she’s not terrible, it’s possible to have really terrible people in there right to the end if they just get lucky. We’re also still not seeing much of Sarah which is a shame. But she seemed to have formed some good friendships with people, which will go a long way in helping her. However, if Tom loses in yet another task next week, I think the result will be pretty clear. 

Alana Spencer
Alana Spencer

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