The Apprentice 2011Last night, Dara O’Briain hosted a humorous look at what candidates need to do to get hired. �But as with all good humour, it was funny, because it was true.

Over the course of the series, I have been deriving lessons from the tasks, and Dara O’Briain drew out ten rules.

I want to compare what we each learned and make some comments.

Rule 1: Sell Yourself

I didn’t highlight this in my own list, but let’s take a look at the title of Chapter 2 of Brilliant Influence: Appearance Matters: How to Look Influential. �Spot on Dara. �I describe this as the “one chance to make a first impression” principle.

Rule 2: Get on Well with your Colleagues

My lesson number 14 referred to the importance of rapport-building in sales, but Dara beat me to this one. �Whilst candidates have shown in this and previous series that they are willing to turn on those colleagues they like personally, any edge can help you in the boardroom, and will help you get your way on a task. �In�Brilliant Influence I describe the “I’m gorgeous fly me” principle, in which we are influenced by people we like, and show you five ways to build this liking.

Rule 3: Leadership – be careful what you wish for

Project Managers often get fired when their team, loses, and often they deserve to, for poor leadership. �In Brilliant Project Leader, future candidates will find lots of invaluable tips, techniques and processes to help them. � Two aspects Dara highlighted here are “Listen to your team” and “know your market”. �I draw these lessons:

Listen to your team

  • Listen hard and recognise that, whilst you may have the final decision, you may�not have the greater wisdom.
  • Use the diversity of team perspectives to create a better decision.
  • Listening is strength.

Know your market

  • Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? �Discern its true nature.
  • Before you meet your counter-party for any negotiation: prepare scrupulously.
  • You must set aside your own opinions and gather market data objectively.
  • Research your prospects.
  • Know your audience. �Fashion your message to have impact � in the right way.
  • Get your product right for a section of the market, and people will want it.

Rule 4: Never Let on You’re an Amateur

Plenty of scope in this one to highlight the candidates’ various foolishness, but the serious point behind this is what I describe in Brilliant Influence as the “your doctor would tell you to” principle. �We are influenced by people with credibility. �Lord Sugar also made a couple of firings based on what I call the “narrower is deeper” principle, deprecating candidates with deep knowledge, who failed to apply it (Edward, Zoe and Natasha come to mind).

Rule 5: The Decision of who should do the Pitch should be Taken Seriously

… and I would add that, whoever is going to do it:

If you have a pitch or presentation to give, use all the prep time you have and
rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Rule 6: Shopping is Easy when you know how

My lesson 3 was:

Before you meet your counter-party for any negotiation: prepare scrupulously.
You may also like�The Seven Deadly Sins of Negotiation

Rule 7: Right – Sell something

Indeed:

  • To thrive in today�s market, preparedness for multicultural business is essential.
  • You must set aside your own opinions and gather market data objectively.
  • Research your prospects.
  • Rapport building and a prepared pitch bring in the sales.
  • Know your audience. �Fashion your message to have impact � in the right way.
  • Get your product right for a section of the market, and people will want it.

Rule 8: Communicate Clearly

This one is nearly as obvious as my Lesson 17 – use your common sense but then, Use your Common Sense: the Basics of Influence is the title of Chapter 1 of Brilliant Influence.

Rule 9: In the Boardroom, you have Two Strategies

Dara highlighted what he called “The Tom Path” after Tom Pellereau‘s strategy, and “The Jim Path” after Jim Eastwood‘s.

The Tom Path

Polite, respectful, demonstrate learning from what happened.
Show that you have deep powers of insight.

The Jim Path

Use powerful influencing and rhetorical techniques to persuade and even manipulate.
Not for nothing did Lord Sugar award Jim the BBIW Award!

Rule 10: Play your Trump Card

It seems to me that in this series, Trump Cards are:

  • Intelligence
  • Sales success
  • Commercial acumen
  • Strategic thinking

… and, because Lord Sugar will need to invest in his Apprentice in a new and significant way:

  • Lord Sugar’s respect and liking

Only 12 hours to go…

More on The Apprentice.

Brilliant Project Leader by Mike ClaytonBrilliant Influence, by Mike Clayton

One Response to The Apprentice 13: How to get Hired
  1. Quality submit, I enjoy up-dates of your stuff.


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