And it’s Goodbye from James…

At last! Lord Sugar Lump finally saw sense last night (actually he couldn’t have missed it) and fired James. Hooray. How we cheered.

LS really couldn’t have done anything else but get rid of James – such was the wide-boy’s litany of mistakes, coupled with the derision that broke out in the board room after his lying was revealed.

James and his apprentice ambitions judder to a halt

The mistake we’re referring to was, of course, when James referred to the hot tub seller as Derek, rather than his actual name of Anthony. And not just once either – but several times. Understandably, concerned about James’ lack of attention to detail, Anthony gave the contract to Tenacity instead.

This left James unaccountably lying to his team about how he’d actually preferred the ride-on lawnmowers instead. And when Roisin pointed out that telling fibs wasn’t actually a very good idea James swiftly and, rather patronisingly, put her in her place by telling her: “I will do what I want to do.”

And that ladies and gents was the problem. James did exactly what he fancied, starting from when he chose to ignore the others advice about what products to take to the Show. In fact, he didn’t just ignore them but opted for the opposite of what they suggested. How to make a team valued, eh?

In exasperation – and under the spotlight in the boardroom – the normally cool-headed accountant Roisin lost her rag (a little) and told James he was “patronizing, demeaning and difficult to work with.” Oh yes, and that he was also “on a complete ego trip.” The deluded boy retaliated by informing her that, on the contrary, he was “not afraid to make a decision or lead and which are the habits of a good businessman.” Give us strength…or better still, a G&T.

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Dastardly Daniel as Mr Punch

Meanwhile Daniel was doing his best to noise up his team mates too. His bad behaviour involved a massive sulk when it emerged he wouldn’t get to sell the hot tubs but smoothie Mark would instead “on behalf of the whole team” (not just himself then?).

The result was what appeared to be a bit of a ‘Punch and Judy’ show where Daniel chased poor Felipe from one side of Tenacity’s stall to the other moaning and arguing with him at every available opportunity (and even at opportunities that weren’t available). The result was the team’s stall did attract an audience – but for all the wrong reasons.

Meanwhile, as we predicted in previous weeks, Daniel and Mark did put on boxing gloves last night. Unfortunately they weren’t taking punches out of each other; rather it was their treat for winning the task. At the moment they’re still sticking to verbal sparring but we reckon there’s a chance things will escalate as the number of chairs available in the boardroom for candidates slowly dwindles.

Tell us, are tempers just becoming frayed in week eight or are the individual personalities starting to come loose because it’s too tiring to pretend to be perfect any longer? Whatever. We’re loving it and can’t wait to see more unravelling as the weeks go on.

Fancy setting up your own Apprentice team event? Then get in touch with us here at Accolade Events. We’d really love to help out!

Lawyer Lauren Bites off More Than She Can Chew In the Big Apple

It was difficult to tell who had the biggest grin on their face when sneaky old Lord Sugar last night told his would-be millionaire Apprentices that they were on their way to the Big Apple – or at least half of them were. But as stoney-faced Karen Brady sarcastically announced later: “Let’s be honest, there was no way James wasn’t going.”

Actually Karen had quite a bit to say in last night’s episode. Take for instance, her uncharacteristic praise of Summit team leader Bianca when she announced in the board room that her US pitch came across as “very engaging” and “with great personality.” Praise indeed!

Distilling the ‘Piers Morgan of Drinks’

From Lord Sugar praise – or rather criticism – was replaced by puns (lots of them). Some of his best were when he described Summit’s energy drink as “less Big Dawg and more Chihuahua,” or his comparison of Tenacity’s dreadful product (which bombed in the US) as “the Piers Morgan of drinks” before adding: “Yes, it really was that bad.”

The rather challenging task on episode seven was to come up with a soft drink and advertising campaign over a period of four days, and which would then be pitched to the great and good of New York City (the 30-strong audience consisting of representatives from Britvik and some of the trendiest branding agencies in the world). So it was pretty amazing that Bianco was so cool and confident in her pitch. Could she be a late contender for the final?

And talking of potential finalists, Riosin played another blinder last night. She and moaning-face Sanjay came up with the branding and billboard design for Big Dawg in London. At the same time, her colleagues James and Solomon had the ‘difficult’ task of auditioning gorgeous young aspiring actresses in New York. We’ve no idea how Bianca managed to keep smiling throughout. She must have just tuned out and started reciting to herself the winning Apprentice’s mantra “£250,000, £250,000, £250,000.”

Mark’s impressive management skills

Mark, who project-managed Tenacity last night was a pretty good team leader, we thought. And so did Nick who happened to pipe up exactly that point in the board room to Lord S. Mark excelled in his willingness to give others responsibility and assure them he had faith in them to do the job. He also showed he trusted them to get on with it by not interfering too much. Well, until it came to Felipe that is. The lawyer’s ambition to be the next Tarantino saw him getting a tad “over-excited” and losing his rag during filming of the advert. In fact, he was pretty much all over the place last night, even shedding a tear on viewing the Tenacity billboard in Times Square. Awwww. Here’s hoping it’s not the pre-curser to a breakdown. Maybe the adrenalin thrill of getting out the office and not having to read legalese all day is getting a bit too much for him?

And it’s goodbye from Lauren

The only other lawyer – Lauren – also had a tough time last night. So much so that she was fired. Her problem wasn’t getting ‘overly-involved’ but rather overwhelmingly “under-involved.” Mark was sure to tell LS over and over again that Lauren had contributed nothing to their team’s effort and in doing so ensured it was her name the taxi driver asked for when he entered reception.

And so James survives another week. But then so does Daniel, Solomon and Sanjay.

Find out about how to host your own Apprentice event with our fun team building exercises here at Accolade Events. How will your employees react under such pressure? Freak out like Felipe or display the management mastery of Mark?

Tears, Tours and Tantrums: Last Night’s Apprentice Angst

Last night’s episode of the Apprentice was a lesson in knowing when to keep your gob shut. And the two who failed miserably on this particular score were Tenacity project leader Dan (despite bragging he was an expert in corporate events) and surprise, surprise James. Interestingly both are from the school of market trading (a sector of sales which has never been comfortable with that particular edict).

Dan failed miserably in this lesson because even when his entire team turned against him and accused him of failing to organise or lead them – and indeed failing to make any ticket sales at all – he insisted he’d done nothing wrong and that Tenacity had won the task anyhow.  Talk about taking nothing on board.

James’s failure was his usual selling stuff as cheap as chips (asking for an 80 per cent discount at posh Hever Castle was a big ‘no-no’ for starters). Worse still though was his singing – and, god forbid, his insistence that the guests on his high class bus tour should join him in a chorus of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘ One Man Went to Mo.’ We here at Accolade Events cringed along with Karen at the time whom we bet wished she could get off at the next stop. And we’re certain she wasn’t the only one who felt the same way. Personally we wondered why no-one chucked him off the bus when they had the chance.

Which brings us to our next point. How come James didn’t get fired? Sure Jemma was the worst tour guide we’ve seen this side of Disney. She had to constantly refer to her notes and at one point took pains to mention Anne Boleyn’s marriage chest, telling the guests that it was worth seeing “if you can find it.” Then there was her classic line that Anne and Henry had “grown apart.” See, that’s what happens when you play truant during school History lessons Sometimes those missed lectures really do come back to bite you on the bum in adult life.

Dan was certainly a poor project leader tonight – to the extent that everyone in his team looked for guidance from handsome and competent Aussie Mark instead. And if Tenacity had been brought back into the boardroom last night we feel certain it would have been Dan who’d have been rolling his wee suitcase towards the waiting taxi instead.

But former bank manager Sanjay never did himself any favours either as leader of Summit. Not only did he fail to cost the project properly, but he seemed to be more of a sidekick to James than the man in charge. But then that was probably due to the fact that no-one can get a word in when James is around anyway. And despite the latter’s efforts to the contrary he really isn’t funny, amusing or entertaining. We just wish someone would sit him down and tell him. Admittedly some of the others such as smart Irish accountant Roisin are beginning to – but will it ever get through? Unfortunately we seriously doubt it.

And so it was blonde dancer Jemma who had to bid farewell to her baying housemates tonight – or would have had she got the chance. Happily she now has plenty of time to go and get some decent make-up advice. Take a tip from us – natural is nicer Jem!

Looking to host a Corporate Event? Find out how you and your colleagues can get involved in your own Apprentice-style event at our website www.accoladeevents.co.uk

 

There are plenty of different indoor team building games that can be utilised to bring people together, form stronger relationships, improve many essential skills and inject a lot of energy and fun into corporate life. Everything from musical games, art events and races are included in team building events. However, some of the more popular team building games are those that are fashioned after game shows.

The biggest reason that games after television game shows is so popular is because they do not exclude anyone from participating. Everyone has a fair chance regardless of age or physical condition. Plus, the rules to play these types of indoor team building games are already mostly known by the participants.

Take Part in Game Show Through Indoor Team Building Games

Many people have had that thought that they could win at one of their favorite television game shows if they only had the chance. Your next team building event can give them that chance. Many different television quiz and games shows can be easily made into a team building game where everyone can participate.

Team Apprentice – You may be quite familiar with the hit show The Apprentice. The premise of the show runs teams through different business building tasks to see which one succeeds. Then, Donald Trump, the “executive” fires the one person who had difficulties. Team Apprentice puts a bit of a spin on this where the team is hired rather than fired. Series of team challenges, which focus on communications, problem solving and leadership, make this a full team game.

Your Song – The most popular type of show on television now deals with singing as a competition. Shows like The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent are wildly popular because of the opportunity to win at singing. Your Song is a great game that not only uses singing for team building, but takes the fear out of singing. Usually people are fearful about singing, but this team building event uses their fear to their advantage. This game grabs hold of opportunities in a hugely positive way and it shows that they can achieve spectacular results outside of the teams comfort zone.

Team Millionaire – The Hot Seat is calling out and a team will win. This Millionaire game show will inject healthy competition and include an entire team. The game is not just about the one person that sits in the hot seat, the entire group will be playing all of the time. Team Millionaire really is a winning formula, it’s a great show and yes, it’s our final answer. It gets even better when you start asking specific company questions.

Indoor team building games do not always have to be about food races and balloon art. There are plenty of great ways to have fun, energise a conference and lay a foundation of business skills that everyone benefits from.

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