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

1 Comment

  1. x204project said,

    December 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I think that it would be difficult to work under either one of these team leaders. I don’t think I could work with someone who thought that it was their way or the highway. I also don’t think that I could would under someone that didn’t give me any direction. If I had to work under someone like Dennis, I think I would end up making taking charge and being the leader myself to make sure that the job got done at the best of my ability. The Celebrity Apprentice was a really good choice when looking at different styles of leadership.
    Taylor Bray


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