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Celebrity Apprentice – Lessons in Leadership? Maybe

Apprentice Okay, I admit it, I watch Celebrity Apprentice and enjoy it. Whew, okay, I've said it as embarrassing as it may be. For those of you who haven't seen or heard of Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump, a very egotistical billionaire, gives teams tasks and has them compete against each other. Each week he fires someone from the losing team. The goal is to be the last one standing when the shows season ends.

Last week Darryl Strawberry, a celebrity apprentice and former Major League baseball player, fired himself! He tried to couch it as an unselfish act because he was protecting his teammates from being fired blah, blah, blah, but it was purely selfish. The guy just didn't like to work. But what I really found interesting was the other celebrities that tried to convince him to stay. Couldn't they see that Strawberry contributed nothing to the team? Note: I have included the clip of Strawberry firing himself below.

How many "nice guy" employees have you seen in your career that stay in the background of teams and organizations and are never held accountable for their sub-par performance? I've seen my share. This was definitely the case with Darryl Strawberry. He admitted during the first two shows several times that he was not motivated, hated getting up early to work (because that wasn't the celebrity lifestyle, he said) and was generally tired.

So how do you hold team members accountable in your organization? Here are a few tested and proven tips I have seen work to help prevent less than productive "nice guy" employees from slipping under the radar.

1. Goals. Have team and individual performance goals in place and ensure they are measurable.

2. Clarity. Define team members roles and make sure everyone on the team understands them.

3. Expectations. Create a set of team norms and clear expectations of everyone's roles. And give each team member permission to call each other out if other team members fall short.

4. Accountability. Evaluate the performance of individuals on the team and the team as a whole on a regular basis.

How many "nice guys" or "nice gals" slip under the radar in your teams and organization? Do you have any stories you can tell? I would love it if you would share.



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Mike Rogers