Unexpectedly Intriguing!
April 21, 2005

As a manager, one of the keys to developing a successful team is to give credit where credit is due. It's one of the fundamental steps that you need to take in building loyalty and trust with your employees. The atmosphere of respect that results can even become a competitive advantage, as this environment may be a key component to your being able to get things done with your staff in less than ideal circumstances, whether it be meeting tight deadlines, hitting challenging cost or sales targets, or just maintaining a pleasant work environment under enormous pressure.

As an employee, it is just as important to give credit where that credit is due. Here, it's not so much a matter of meeting a goal, as it is one of gaining the respect of both your management and your peers. Last week's edition of The Apprentice saw the near absolute dissolution of the trust between manager and employee when Apprentici Tana took over Magna team project manager Kendra's presentation to Pontiac's executives in presenting the team's brochure for the new Pontiac Solstice that was the focus of this week's project.

In doing so, Tana gave the false impression that she contributed far more to the design of the team's promotional brochure for the car than she actually had. In reality, the brochure's design, from concept through completion, was the nearly single-handed result of Kendra's creativity and hard work, which required her to pull an all-nighter to ensure the brochure was complete before the project's deadline.

The event provided one of the more compelling moments in the history of "reality" television, at least as far as The Apprentice goes, as we could see Kendra's pained reaction as it happened. You know the expression I mean - the hurt and anger that only comes from that sharp, stabbing pain in your back as someone slips a knife into it. Suzanne Condie Lambert describes the situation in her weekly Apprentice recap:

Kendra's internal rage only increases when the fully rested Tana hijacks the presentation. She is cheery, articulate and evil incarnate. Just like Kelly Ripa.

Sadly, this conduct falls under the category of managing difficult people, which I covered for last week's episode. I really can't add anything more, beyond the importance of building trust in the workplace. Frankly, I'm curious to see how Kendra handles the aftermath in the next episode.

In the meantime though, Patrick Ruffini has suggested that Donald Trump might make an admirable appointee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Such a move seems logical to me, as it would put the author of The Art of the Deal together with the architects of all sorts of artful deals. This is a man, after all, who recently sailed through bankruptcy court for his casino properties and was personally unaffected, financially speaking. This also is a man for whom a cruise line was willing to skirt a major storm for the sake of satisfying.

My humble opinion: he'd eat them alive.

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