Denigrating reality TV has almost reached sport status & a very popular one at that. I have to admit I am partially guilty but I do draw the line at business related programs since I have found them to be frequently instructive [typically about what not to do]. The first two episodes of the Apprentice with Donald Trump were eye-opening. This season the theme was working with previously high powered & successful people who were now down on their luck due to the economy. In the first show of the season there were many interesting dynamics at work with these candidates, which is to be to be expected the first time you throw a group of strangers together, task them with a job, & throw in some time pressure for good measure.
The Emotional Impact Of Unemployment
However, what really struck me was how being unemployed after being a success put some players immediately at risk in terms in terms of their ability to be effective. Rightly or wrongly, it’s a fact that so much of who we are is wrapped up in what we do so when one is unemployed; it really can ding one’s ego. While this is not news conceptually, it is interesting to see it play out especially on the men's team [it's the men against the women]. A sense of desperation has made some lose sight of a key ingredient in being a project manager-if you want to get the absolute best from your people, a little respect can go a long way.
The Final Take-Away
The other standout take-away thus far [although far less surprising] is how much people hunger for real leadership & clarity from their project managers as well as how nicely they respond when given ownership of a specific task. All in all, an excellent start; I find myself looking forward to seeing how events unfold.