Four Crucial Business Lessons from The Apprentice


Peter DoneGroup Managing Director and Founder of Peninsula

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The new UK series of The Apprentice aired on October 2 with the latest batch of determined candidates, all vying for a life-changing job opportunity with Lord Sugar and 15 minutes of fame.

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Four Crucial Business Lessons from The Apprentice

As well as being a great source of entertainment, the programme also provides a wonderful insight into business and some valuable lessons on how to succeed in the workplace. With this in mind Peninsula Founder and Managing Director Peter Done provides his top four business lessons we can learn from watching The Apprentice:

1. 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; sometimes 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.

We have seen numerous times on The Apprentice where an individual candidate ignores their designated role and instead aims 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

2. Do 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.

3. 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 the main objectives, and got side-tracked with less important or even trivial or counter-productive elements of their workload.

4. Always Celebrate Success

There is a lot of uncertainty in The Apprentice and business as a whole, 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 you 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 great businesses know that, with the right team dynamics, decisions and diverse personalities, everyone wins in the end.

Peter Done

Peter Done is Group Managing Director and Founder of Peninsula, the globally trusted provider of employment law, HR and health & safety services. He co-founded the company in 1983, which has since grown to advise and support over 100,000 businesses and employ thousands of staff in the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


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