As well as being a great source of entertainment, BBC show The Apprentice also provides valuable insight into business and how to succeed in the workplace. Here, the founder of law firm Peninsula, Peter Done, shares four important business lessons to take from the programme.
The new series of The Apprentice is back on our screens in the first week of October with the latest batch of determined candidates, all vying for a life-changing job opportunity with Lord Sugar and 15 minutes of fame.
The programme provides a wonderful insight into business and some valuable lessons on how to succeed in the workplace. Here are the top four business lessons we can learn from watching The Apprentice.
Be a team player
Being an effective team player can really help your chances of succeeding in the workplace.
Your role within a team can vary and sometimes and you might be required to lead and on other occasions, you will be asked to work in the background organising things or carrying out certain tasks.
On The Apprentice we have seen numerous times an individual candidate ignore their designated role and instead aim for a leadership position. This often leads to tension and friction within the team and can have a negative impact on the job in hand. Ultimately, a good team player can lead when required but ultimately puts the team’s objectives above their own
Play your part
In my experience people who are successful always do their part and contribute effectively to every task, they are involved in. In each and every series of The Apprentice, we see candidates that stand back and hide in the background hoping they won’t be noticed.
For many, it may be part of the game plan not to stick their neck out for the first few episodes to avoid being blamed for any failures however this strategy has backfired with candidates being fired for not contributing enough. To summarise it is key to get involved in tasks, take on some risk and responsibility and get noticed for your input.
Manage your workload
To achieve success it is important to manage your workload effectively and always have the main objectives at the forefront of your mind. In The Apprentice candidates that don’t manage their workload effectively and instead focus too much time on promoting themselves often end up getting fired because they failed to meet to meet the main objectives and got side-tracked with less important or even trivial or counter-productive elements of their workload.
A lot of the tasks on The Apprentice involve making more money or profit than the other team and looking back at previous series the candidates and teams that make decisions always with this objective in mind normally do the best.
Always celebrate success
There is a lot of uncertainty in The Apprentice and business so it is important to take the time to celebrate success when it does occur. This goes beyond acknowledgment – this is about taking a step-back and reflecting on what you and your team have accomplished and what they have learned throughout the journey.
In today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing world of work, people are not taking enough time to understand why they were successful and how their success reverberated and positively impacted those around them.
Remember leaders are only as successful as the rest of their team and the great businesses know that with the right team dynamics, decisions and diverse personalities, everyone wins in the end.
Peter Done is founder and managing director at Peninsula
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