Lessons from “The Celebrity Apprentice”

The Celebrity Apprentice whether you love it or hate it, it is a great example of different style of leaderships. In watching a few episodes, you will see that like people leadership styles and their effects on their teams vary greatly.

In Season 13 Episode 7, Trace Adkins was one of the team leaders and they were tasked with making a commercial in the style of a silent movie. Trace did an overall good job in assigning the tasks to the member of his team based upon the individuals’ strengths and sometime the contacts that individuals may have had. Trace was a very strong leader who did well keeping his team on task as well as coming up with good original ideas in regards to the subject matter. But he was also very much “it was his way or the highway”. On some of the small minute things, he allowed his team members to have some leeway on their decisions with him having the final approval. I felt like at times it led to a lot of stress on his team members and may have caused his team members to have a little resentment towards him. I feel that because of the resentment and frustration that was on the team, they were less effective as a team and hindered their creative process that could have lead to a better overall finished product. Although Trace’s team won the challenge, it was more due to the poor performance of the other team, who was led by Gary Busey, than it was the successful performance of Trace’s team.

In Season 13 Episode 6, Dennis Rodman was one of the team leaders and they were tasked with coming up with an ad campaign for Donald’s wife, Melania Trumps’s make-up line. Dennis’s team was very confused and had zero direction from Dennis. It almost seemed as if he did not care about the task at hand. This led to overall chaos with everyone struggling with his or her role on the team and completing any tasks. It came across as if it were simply a free for all. They were so lacking in focus and attention to detail that they misspelled Melania’s name on the ad campaign samples that were in their final presentation. They did not notice it until after the presentation and Donald’s son, Donald Jr. who is one of his advisors on the show, pointed it out to them. Even after they lost the challenge and were sitting in the boardroom waiting to see who got fired, Dennis still refused to take responsibility. Because of this lack of responsibility Mr. Trump ultimately fired him.

There are many different styles of leadership that fall in between these two examples. While there is not a right or a wrong way to be a leader, there are some that are tailored to the members of the team, which can lead to a more successful result.

Guy Hendricks

History Major, IUPUC

Mama Drama

Only on Dance Moms would adult women try to claw their way through other people so their daughter could possibly be a star. While the daughters of these women are practicing the moms are bickering over whose daughter is dancing a solo, and who is being treated unfairly. Though I am not a parent, growing up I was told there is no I in team. The moms don’t often congratulate another girl for doing well. If they acknowledge another girls talent it often is followed with a steamy remark against the coach Abbie Lee Miller. Abbie doesn’t hide that she favors one of the girls. She often speaks highly of Maddie who many people have watched dance in a recent music video. In this episode of Dance Moms Maddie’s mom was asked if it would be okay for Abbie to pull her daughter Mckenzie from being the lead in a dance and replacing her with Maddie. Maddie’s mom then agreed. When alone with the other moms while the girls rehearsed Maddie’s mom was verbally attacked. The other moms called her a bad mother; they said she wasn’t thinking about Mckenzie and the group, that she was only worried about Maddie. This led to Maddie’s mom walking into rehearsal (which is not tolerated) and telling Abbie (in front of all the girls) that Maddie will not be doing the dance. At that moment I felt so bad for Maddie and Mckenzie. These girls put all that they could into learning the dance and it pirouetted right out of their sight with America and their peers to witness. As a business professional Abbie should have rehearsals private, team members only. Goodbye observation room! Abbie has to stand by her decision, if a mom feels disgruntled she should have them meet with her privately. They came to Abbie so their daughters could have opportunities at stardom. Abbie made no promises that this would be the case for all of the girls, or that the road would be fair. She pushes each girl to reach their full potential so the team will thrive. While I feel she cares about each girl it is clear that she sees more potential in some than others.

Judy Plath


Oversea Conflict

Going overseas can be stressful for many people, especially if it is for a business assignment. Even though it may be stressful there are many ways to try to help make it less stressful. A good way to help with this stressful situation is to be prepared for talking with foreign co-workers. There are many ways to prepare for this like, knowing which country the assignment is in, the length of the assignment, and learn some about their culture.

Upon getting tasked to an assignment in a foreign country, first figure out which country it will be in. Knowing which country the assignment will be in will help to break the language barrier if there is one. The co-workers may speak the same language or they may speak the one common in their country. Knowing what language your co-workers speak will help to know if there will be a language barrier that could cause problems. If there is going to be a language barrier, then the best thing to do would be to learn more about their language. When learning another language some research is going to have to be done in order to efficiently learn the language. The amount of their language that would need to be learned would have to depend on the length of the assignment.

The length of the assignment can determine a lot about how prepared a person needs to be when going on an overseas assignment. If a person is only going to be there for about a week or two then some language should be learned. For this short amount of time, a person should be prepared enough that the language will not be a problem for them to speak and understand, but the person would not need to become fluent in the language. However, if the person is going to be on the assignment for a year or more, then the language should be more familiar to them before they leave.

The knowledge of the culture of the country is very important to know in order to be prepared for an overseas assignment. Knowing the culture is very important especially if the person has to do any public speaking. Some cultures can have different meanings to things than other countries. For instance, in the United States the cuss words are different from the cuss words of Great Britain. Therefore, something that would mean nothing in the U.S. can cause some conflict if unknowingly said in Great Britain. Another big example would be hand gestures, like the okay hand symbol. This is normal everyday behavior in the U.S. that means okay, but in other countries this symbol would be ‘flipping someone off’. To be prepared for speaking to foreign co-workers knowing the culture is a big one to ensure that there would not be any conflict or awkward situations.

Being unprepared for a business assignment overseas can be very stressful. The best way to reduce stress during this situation is to be prepared for everything that could make the assignment stressful, like a gesture that could ruin the speech that will land the company a new business in another country. Overall, an employee can best be prepared by knowing where, how long, and the culture of the business assignment.

By Heather Hehe, English Major-IUPUC

Dreaming of Equality

Segregation and racism ruled the world only a few years ago. Remarkably, a man name Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, just in time for the fight for civil rights to be put into motion. His experiences and life events led him to be a great speaker and able to move thousands of people into action for equal civil rights.

Martin Luther King Jr., birth name Michael, was the grandson of a minister of the Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia. The ministry had been handed down through the generations, along with the adopted name Martin Luther after the German protestant religious leader, and King was expected to carry on the tradition. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up the middle of the three children. He had a loving mother and a father that strongly believed that everyone should be created equal. Being a minister, Martin King Sr. believed that it was against God’s will to treat others differently because of their race. Growing up with a church-based family allowed King to adapt his communication tone to that of a preacher’s. In all of his speeches given, he sounds like a minister in church, but that did not make any of them less effective.  King followed in his father’s footsteps and many of his ideas developed because of his father’s opinion.

Education came easy for Martin Luther King Jr. He started public segregated school at age five and then later attended Booker T. Washington High school. During his time there he had managed to skip two grade levels and began attending Morehouse College at the age of 15. In 1948, Martin had earned his sociology degree and went to the Liberal Crozer Theological Seminary to further his education in Chester, Pennsylvania. Finally getting his Doctoral study, he went to Massachusetts to continue studying at Boston University where he completed his Ph.D in 1955. During that time, he had met his wife Coretta Scott and became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. Martin Luther King Jr. had completed all of this hard work by the age of 25.

It was not until he was done with school that King really started getting into civil rights movements. His mentor, Reinbold Niebuhr, was an American theologian and preacher that gave King inspiration. Later on, a man named E.D Nixon offered King a position on NAACP chapter, which meant the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Nixon wanted King to lead a boycott and he gladly accepted. Leading this group led to many speeches given by Martin Luther King Jr. that ended in police brutality on the demonstrators attending. On August 28, 1963, King led a group to Washington in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This is where he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Over 200,000 people stood and observed while King gave this speech. This speech led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During that time, Martin Luther King Jr. also received a Nobel Peace prize in 1964. The ideas of Martin Luther King Jr. were influenced by many people like his father and his mentor, but he also grew up in the heart of the civil rights movement. This could have greatly affected his frame of reference, but looking back he was not the only one who fought for equal civil rights. He was surrounded by his peers fighting for the same accomplishment and that was to be equal to whites. The ministry mixed with civil rights equality gave Martin Luther King Jr. a special tone to his speeches. He was articulate and loud, but also mentioned bible references and God’s will. King had a likeable approach which benefitted him during his fight for equal rights.

Martin Luther King Jr. gave his last speech and then was assassinated the night after by a sniper by the name of James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. He died April 4, 1968, but left behind a legacy that soon would be fulfilled. Major outbreaks of racial violence occurred after the news of King’s death spread. Movements grew and worked harder to pass equal laws. The results today come from them the communication of one man who had a dream.

Sarah Miller, Business Major-IUPUC

http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89344679

Water Cooler Worries

What is a water cooler conversation? Dictionary.com states that a water cooler conversation is an “informal conversation among office staff.” I believe that the word office is not needed in this definition because informal conversations take place in retail and factory work the same way that they would in an office setting.

What drew me to this topic was that this was brought up as an issue in a recent review of my company’s policies. We may have misused the definition of the topic, our problem was hallway conversations. Two employees would see each other in the hallway and they would talk about a current conversation and move on, but everyone else on that project would be left out.

This is not the typical issue with water cooler conversation. Most of the places that I looked, water cooler conversations were viewed positively. Talking to other employees allows people to recharge their batteries, build relationships and if used correctly can raise work place morale.  When the conversations are negative about other employees or if major negative news about the company is delivered with this method, the workplace morale can be drastically brought down.  Overall in general I believe that water cooler conversations are good for companies and can be beneficial for employees.

By Zach Walker, Mechanical Engineering Technology- Purdue College of Technology