Guest Blog: Celebrity Apprentice isn’t for Everyone
by Megan Hunter, High Conflict Press and UnHooked Books 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.