Leadership Lessons from the Apprentice

Last night saw the return of the Apprentice, the ultimate in car crash television for those interested in pretty much any aspect of business. Yes, even though we know candidates aren’t chosen for their supreme business skills, and we know the situations aren’t at all realistic, for some reason we don’t get bored with a group of people using random metaphors and arguing with fishmongers to force terrible salads and mountainous fishcakes on unsuspecting London commuters.

Yet, for all the falseness and theater, the leadership lessons from the Apprentice are often very real. For us at Learning to Inspire the Apprentice usually provides us with a great spring board for discussions in workshops the next day.

Last week’s episode didn’t disappoint. April, leader of Team Connexus, showed some spectacularly bad leadership; quickly closing down Dan when he was working out quantities to purchase and shutting off another member of her team who wanted to negotiate in the fish market. A despairingly hilarious moment was when Brett became fixated on the specification of the fishcakes and April’s only response was to repeatedly shout the same thing at him which only made him shout back more. As a viewer it was obvious that April’s efforts were just not working and a simple change in style would have been much more effective. If we could all see it, why couldn’t April?

The answer is lack of self awareness – or, in the case of Mergim attempting to sell fish to a vegan restaurant, any awareness at all. April was blind to the effect she was creating in her team. When she came up against Brett, who was certainly rigid in his approach, you had a recipe for disaster  It’s not unusual to lose sight of self awareness in a high pressure situation – unless it’s really in the muscle and you will frequently find that, when you need it most, self awareness goes out the window.

That’s why all the Leadership programmes Learning to Inspire have ever delivered have truly at their core been all about Self Awareness..Why?  Because over the past 15 years, we have discovered that Self Awareness is what matters most as a leader, and why we have taken the bold decision to come out of the closet and put Self Awareness at the heart of our new brand message.

So as we begin another round of The Art of Leadership next month we begin with –  Pursuit of Self Awareness which is perfect for leaders looking to further develop their own levels of understanding of the impact of their actions and behaviours on themselves and those around them. We start in Chester on the 17th November and Cardiff on the 19th November.

If you’re a HR or People Development Specialist and are curious to see how critical Self Awareness is for an organisation as a whole why not come along to our Quest for Self Awareness taster days running in December – Chester on the 1st and Cardiff on the 3rd. .

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