Team building lessons you should take away from The Apprentice

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So you've seen a lot of good teamwork on The Apprentice, but there has been a lot of poor judgement as well. Here are some lessons to take away from this year's show.

  1. Don't be afraid to challenge leadership with your ideas: Your manager is human; he/she will be wrong from time to time. Don't be afraid to challenge leaders, and raise your own ideas. They will appreciate your contribution as you're doing it for the benefit of the whole team.
  2. Understand the individual skills of your team: Ruth put in an amazing effort in her work, but putting her on sales was a poor call. She looked out of her depth and clearly wasn't happy in her work. Make sure your people are doing what plays to their individual strengths.
  3. Don't get caught in tunnel vision: Sometimes, as was shown with Snottydink, people can get so focused on a task that they forget the bigger picture. Always step back and make sure you're taking all options into account. You could be too zoned in to notice that there's a much simpler way.
  4. Don't just lead with an iron fist: This is the flip side of my first point. Team leadership requires more than being a commanding voice for your people to follow. They have to trust you, too. As the old saying goes – never ask anyone to do something they don't believe you wouldn't do too. Perhaps more importantly, never tell someone to do something they don't think you know how to do yourself. Listen, encourage, and act with confidence, and you will instil that confidence in your team.
  5. Don't take things too personally: The boardroom discussions in The Apprentice ultimately get really childish, as the team members start to blame each other to keep themselves safe in the game. In real business, feedback is valuable, not an opportunity to engage in personal attacks. Be thankful you're not in the pressurised environment of a TV show, leave your personal life at home, and stay as professional (and courteous) as possible. Comments that may sound harsh aren't intended to be personal. Real feedback is just your colleagues being honest with you, and wanting the best for your future and the future successes of your projects.

If you feel your team could do with learning a lesson or two from The Apprentice, why not send them to our very own boardroom with Lord Sweetener in The Apprenticeship Challenge!

Posted By: Jim Alexander on Wednesday, 11th November 2015

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