For our Group Exercise we chose to watch the pilot of the Apprentice. In each episode of this series, eight males compete with eight females in various business-related tasks. We observed both teams and eventually chose the female team Protégé for the reason that both of us had more notes on this team. Protégé consists of eight women of whom all have had different kinds of business experiences in the past. One major criterion, which clearly separates the group if applied, is that they either learned by theory or by practice. Each task sets up the participants with a series of challenges, and after the challenges Donald Trump will fire a participant in the losing team with the help of his advisers. At the end of the series, one person will win the competition and he or she will receive an executive position at one of Donald Trump’s companies. Each task is set to improve and discover the creative, business, and team working skills of the individual participants. In this episode the teamshad to sell Lemon juice within a specific time frame with the simple and concrete goal to make more profit than their competitors.This means that they needed to cooperate as a team for the first time, make a good plan and choose a right location to sell their Lemonjuice.
Our thoughts about the impressions have been similar on most grounds, however our opinions differed on some of the more detailed grounds. When we were discussing the motivation and goals of the group, our thoughts were similar on the groups’ motivation to win.One of us came up with the idea that some may also do it for the fame that they will obtain in the show. When talking about the individual members, their interaction and the team’s strengths and weaknesses, we mostly agreed with each other by the end, however we differed in our initial impressions of the team. One of us believed that ‘their communicational skills were good’ while the other said that ‘they lacked really strong communicational skills’. We both agreed that the team’s biggest weakness is that they are divided because of their individual goals.We all know that most definitions of an organization not only define the group but also the common goals and although, in most organizations, individuals are tend to have individual goals, goals that sometimes clash with the goal of the group, we both agreed that this team’s biggest strengths are the growth they made as a team during the pilot.
During the observation, our first impression was formed from differentaspects.One was based on the behaviour of the individual group members and the attitude that they displayed in doing their task. Some of them even strengthened our observations on their behaviour by stating that ‘the group goals are less important than their own goals’. Second is based on their relationships and the way that they interacted with each other. Together we concluded that a positive environment is one of the most important aspects of pleasant and efficient teamwork.
In the pilot episode that we watched, all the people were divided into two teams, this meant that they did not have any time to get to know each other before being labelled as a team. So the prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes can be seen everywhere in the episode. Many conflicts arose between team members because of false judgement, internal prejudice and confirmation bias. There were also prejudices between the team members. It was mostly shown when the members talked to the camera in private, which influenced their unity. The project manager Ereka Vetrini was screaming a lot, which led to prejudices and false assumptions about her coming from her other team members. The other members’ overall thought was that ‘she is not a good leader because she does not communicate and organize well’.
Besides prejudices within the series, something that influenced our impressions of the team we observed was stereotyping. One of us had the stereotype view of women that they are more emotional and therefore have less potential of winning against the men. The other stated the first as both a false assumption and discrimination on the fact of gender and the second as a false conclusion because there is no proven relationship between ‘being more emotional’ and ‘potential to win’.
The main weaknesses of Protégé are placing individual goals above team goals, the fact that they are still a random group of people with a couple of things in common, the second does not make them a team and last but not least was weak leadership. We observed a moment were the team fell apart and the individual members all did as they pleased, we are of the opinion that in situations like this, a strong leader is an absolute necessity. The biggest strength of the team was that after all, they managed to win and they did not just win photo finish, they won with big numbers. We think that it is very good to retake yourself after a miserable period and that is exactly the thing that Protégé did.
We both agreed that the team’s biggest weakness is that they are divided because of their individual goals.If our team was called to improve the performance of Protégé than we would have chosen someone else to be project manager and would have given them a couple of days before starting the challenge to participate in various teambuilding skills. In our opinion, the best strategy for doing this is by first replacing Erika with Omarosa, because she is the natural leader in the group. After that the team would be blindfolded and put in a van, dropped on a deserted location within a reasonable distance from New York with nothing but a note that says: “Be back before Monday morning”. After going through that and returning home by working together, these people are a team and not just because they are labelled to be so but because they actually are.