Stong leadership is a must - comments on this week's Apprentice

8th November 2018

As featured in businessadvice

This week’s challenge saw the teams tasked with creating and marketing a brand new budget airline. Kurran was finally ready to show Lord Sugar what he was capable of, although this had been at Lord Sugar’s request and ultimately put the final nail in the coffin.

As Lord Sugar had pointed out during the runway briefing, two and half million flights took to the sky from British soil last year. That’s a vast and wide-ranging target market comprising of people of all backgrounds, ages and professions, so limiting your target market to a specific niche such as business people or young partygoers doesn’t make a lot of commercial sense. You’re effectively restricting your potential sales.

Team Collaborative’s branding showed little awareness of what people expect from an airline – namely comfort and safety for start. Even those who might be attracted by the idea of a party airline would likely be put off by the ‘O’ in Jetpop resembling an explosion. They also showed little consideration for the people the airline would potentially employ, expecting air hostesses to do their job in revealing, impractical uniforms. If you want your business to succeed, you need to ensure your staff are able to perform their roles to the best of their abilities. I can’t imagine any air hostess comfortably or confidently stowing luggage in an overhead locker wearing that uniform.

In my opinion, the right person left the show this week. With Kurran the aspiring actor finally placed in the spotlight, he failed to make the best of this opportunity. We had waited for six episodes to witness his leadership abilities but the advert task showed a real lack of emotional intelligence when it came to managing his team and taking their thoughts on board. Kurran’s tenure on the show has been a classic tale of someone trying to run before they can walk. You can’t expect to be a great leader without the right experience, skills and behaviours in place, and anyone that says they are going to ‘deal with’ a member of their staff in a boardroom environment certainly isn’t cut out for the job.