Guest Blog: Celebrity Apprentice isn’t for Everyone

© 2012 By Megan Hunter, MBA

Celebrity Apprentice isn’t for everyone, but I enjoy watching people work in groups, especially celebrities. Thinking back to business school days, I recall the concept of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing, a process clearly evident as the teams form on Apprentice. That is, until The Donald mixes teams up and the process starts all over again – a brilliant strategy to draw out authentic personalities.

A couple of people have stood out in that high-conflict kind of way this season – Lisa Lampanelli and Aubrey O’Day. I still don’t know who Aubrey is or how she became a celebrity. Lisa is an abrasive, highly successful comedian.  I don’t have enough room in this blog to write about both of them – their behaviors could fill a book – so I’ll focus on Aubrey, who appears as the best project manager (EVER, in her mind, having actually likened herself to The Donald – to his face -- at one point).

She’s intelligent, creative, driven and enjoys endless energy. Doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous. This is where our expectations get screwed up. We look at the package presented, see the bottom line results she can produce and get confused about her stunning depths of destructiveness on the team.

Case in point, when Arsenio Hall led the team, he ended up losing his mind (believe me, this is an understatement) after the boardroom (his team won) after holding it together in the boardroom. He completely over-reacted in a major meltdown after Aubrey repeatedly poked him with the proverbial needle under the table, then went into victim mode when things didn’t go her way. Tears work for her. She projected, bullied, and used every last ounce of energy to make her teammates look inferior.

This is where we get it wrong. Arsenio comes off looking as hot-headed, explosive and temperamental while Aubrey holds herself as not just a jewel in the crowd – as the actual crown. Her behavior patterns are easily identifiable once you understand high-conflict personalities.  (see: “It’s All Your Fault” for more information about HCPs)

So the question is, what do you do when you have a high-producing employee who sucks up to the boss, but slays everyone around her? Do you keep her? Move her? Fire her? You know she causes major trouble, which shoots morale and causes retention problems.

Limits and consequences are required. Just like small children, high-conflict people will test boundaries and limits, so they need those around them to set limits and follow through with consequences when boundaries are breached. And yes, that may mean she would eventually be let go. Some HCPs can behave better with limits and consequences but some may not, and if they do not, the behavior is too destructive to her colleagues. It’s simply not worth the negativity and low morale sure to come with such behavior.

The next question is, how do her fellow colleagues deal with her? We’ll save that for next time. Stay tuned.

About Unhooked Books

unHooked Books is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. We’re not just an online bookstore. I opened unHooked Books after seeing a need for one place for people to find the best and most current information available on personality disorders and borderline personality disorder in particular, living healthy, eating healthy, and managing your life. After 15 years in divorce and child support law in a county prosecutor’s office and the Arizona Supreme Court, I co-founded High Conflict Institute which helps people in high-conflict disputes of any kind. This bookstore stemmed from the needs of the people who contacted us out of desperation. Our books are written by people who are experts in their fields. I’ve personally met and worked with most of them, and those who I haven’t met, come highly recommended by those whom I have met. Enjoy perusing our bookstore and contact us with questions or comments. Thanks for stopping by! Megan Hunter unHooked Books 

Co-founder Megan Hunter is a speaker,  author,  and international expert on high conflict disputes, complicated relationships, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She has over 13 years’ experience  as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.