Alana Spencer, winner of The Apprentice 2016, explains why you have to be a proactive on the show ‘ and shying away from responsibility is a red flag
Contestants travelled to Wales to run adventure experiences for holidaymakers, which included a highland railway experience and quarry zip line. Kathryn and Stephanie were project managers for this week’s task. This is the second time Kathryn becomes a project manager in this season’s of The Apprentice after Amy refused to take on the role.
While I was at The Apprentice, I was told to be the project manager during a candy task which was right up my street so. I was surprised Amy shied away from leading the team. On the Apprentice, you can’t keep ducking responsibility. All of the challenges and tasks are there to test your business acumen. Whilst people will have more knowledge on certain things, they’re just testing how you would operate in a business. There will be some tasks that are more suitable to others. But at this point in the competition, she definitely should have put herself forward as project manager. Ultimately, you can volunteer yourself for the team and explain what you can bring versus what knowledge you may not have on that task at hand. Then everyone can decide whether you would fit as project manager for that particular challenge. But just outrightly saying ‘I’m not good enough’ shows a real lack of confidence and also a little bit of game playing.
As you may or may not know, I’m from Wales. I have a cafe in Llandudno which is where they went to sell their tickets for their respective businesses, and it was really exciting to see them there. It’s a really nice part of the country and it’s a beautiful area. I’ve been on that train so I know those activities well.
When I found out that one team had the zip wire business to take care of, I thought that they had it in the bag. It is such an iconic well-known attraction in North Wales. I thought it was a no-brainer that they’d win. And at £80 a ticket, in my opinion, was a steal actually. Their success in the task definitely had to come down to their selling abilities because they had such a good attraction. It was nice to see a bit more from Brittany this week as well. I feel like she’s starting to come out of her shell a bit leading the watercolour painting as part of their tour. I feel like she did quite a good job.
Stephanie did a really great job leading her team as project manager. I thought her tip idea was genius. It is really important to know the value of what you’re offering and that you’re comfortable asking customers to tip if they’ve had a good experience. A lot of the time people will, it’s just that they’re not faced with an opportunity to do so. It’s almost a bit embarrassing in a way, giving someone a tip when they’ve not asked for them. So, what the team did was very clever.
One thing I’ll never understand about The Apprentice is how when they do these tours, they do it with such campy energy as if their leading children. While I understand you want to keep the energy high, they don’t really talk to their customers, they’re treating them like kids. We saw it on a bus tour a few years ago when they were singing wheels on the bus in Prague to a group of adults. It’s just quite bizarre.
So, surprisingly, the zip wire team lost. It was mainly down to two main factors – poor negotiation and poor sales. So really anyone in that team could have been fired. However, I think the fact that Amy has shied away from responsibility in being the project manager, along with the fact that she didn’t sell tickets well, she was the right person to go this week. I think Lord should have been looking for an opportunity to get Amy in the boardroom for a few weeks now. And he was ready to fire her. She was the right person to go. I think Catherine has more to her than a bad week. She did negotiate badly, but I think that she’s a smart cookie and will do quite well in the competition ‘ but time will tell.