Hi Apprentice Fans! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed this week's Apprentice. After a tough boardroom, Stephanie was sent home and Liza joined Octane in the war room. As the final four were celebrating, a surprise guest showed up to mix up the teams. My father announced that it was back to men vs. women. The task was delivered. This week the teams would fly to West Chester, Pennsylvania to QVC Headquarters. The teams would pick a product, sell it, and the team that made the most money would win. Liza and Clint both stepped up as the Project Managers for their teams. The advisors this week were headhunters Juan Bettencourt and Catherine Roman.
Steuart, the winning PM from last week, had the opportunity to meet with Cathie Black, Chairman of Hearst Magazines and a great business leader. Cathie advised Stuart to "take what you have, and instead of making it bigger, make it better first." I think that as an entrepreneur, Steuart walked away with a lot of useful and inspiring advice, which hopefully he can apply to his future endeavors.
The teams were off flying on their helicopters down to Pennsylvania. While on the trip, Steuart and Clint enjoyed some "father-son" bonding, as Steuart told Clint that he reminded him of a 20-year younger version of his father. Interesting... It's down to the final four, so as the competition gets tougher would Clint and Steuart stay as friendly?
Octane and Fortitude arrived at QVC and were introduced to a selection of Isaac Mizrahi merchandise to choose from. The curveball thrown at the teams was that they would have to negotiate with each other for which item they would sell on air. I always enjoy seeing what negotiation tactics the teams resort to using. Clint and Steuart put a strategy in place, planning to dupe the women from the start. The men were working on making Fortitude believe they wanted a watch, hopefully tricking them and getting the handbag, their first choice. During the ladies' plotting, it was interesting to see Brandy reply to many of Liza's questions with, "You're PM, you decide," or "Your call." I have seen Brandy pull this method during the tough decisions over the past few weeks.
When the teams reached the negotiation table, Clint's strategy was executed exactly as planned. Catherine declared afterwards that Clint dominated, to which I would have to agree. I was looking forward to seeing if Octane could keep this momentum throughout the task.
Price is key, and the teams continue to learn that during each sales task. I was impressed to see Liza step up and vocalize her opinions on how she thought her team could make a profit. It was great to see her confidence finally come out. I think the ladies were trying to look at the price points of both the watches and their competitor's handbags - very smart.
Clint didn't appreciate Steuart's little brother attitude, and I thought the "family" might take a dysfunctional turn... If I was Clint, the PM, I probably wouldn't appreciate Steuart's jokes at this stage of the game. The men's team finally hammered down on picking a price point and planned to take advantage of the installment pay plan.
Brandy and Steuart were the presenters for their teams and it was show time! My father and Isaac had the opportunity to watch live from the boardroom in New York. For Fortitude's sake I am glad they didn't see my father and Isaac's faces when the show just abruptly ended. There was no wrap-up or final push to buy. I thought the timing would definitely be a point brought up in the boardroom. The men grabbed their purses and were live. The presentation seemed to be going well and they were able to plan well enough to give the QVC watchers a proper sign-off. I did see Isaac's eyebrows raise when the price was announced.
The teams entered the boardroom and Liza was immediately in the hot seat. My father asked her why Brandy was the co-host for this task. She explained that due to her research, 85% of the viewers were Caucasian therefore she thought that Brandy would be a better choice to host. Whether or not her choice was the right one, I was impressed by Liza's honesty and her bold statements. She certainly found her voice on this task and I think my father respected her for that.
As the results were revealed, the teams were reminded that it was all about the money. Octane's winning streak was over and the ladies brought this one home. The celebrations came to a halt once the teams found out that two people were going to be fired. Liza and Brandy were excused to wait in the lobby... not off the hook yet.
When it came down to it, Clint and Steuart were both great candidates with very different skill sets. As my father stated, there was no loser, but unfortunately someone had to go and that was Steuart. The competition only gets tougher and I am looking forward to next week already. The final two are always tasked with something BIG... hope they are up for the challenge!
Thanks for all your commentary here on the blog and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/donaldjtrumpjr). Have a great week.