Leadership

**Note: part of this article is about The Apprentice, which is an M-rated show. Our Mum taped and pre-watches the episodes and fast-forwarded the parts when there was bad language**

For the past 12 weeks the Letchford family has been watching The Apprentice, with Sir Alan Sugar. In case you aren’t familiar with The Apprentice, I’ll give you the scoop: Sir Alan Sugar (one of the richest businessman in England) was offering a position as an apprentice. Fourteen people were chosen to perform different tasks, and at the end of each task, one person would be fired, until two people were left and he chose one of them to be his apprentice.

The assignments Sir Alan set up for the candidates were ones associated with sales, leadership, teamwork, and to a measure, creativity. The 14 candidates were split into two teams, with a manager/leader chosen out of the team to lead the assignment. After the assignments were over, the losing team had to go to the board room and be ‘questioned’ how they failed, and why the other team made more money. After a think and lots of talking, Sir Alan fired someone.

If we’d known who was going to be the apprentice at the beginning, we probably wouldn’t have believed it – or wanted to believe it. The chosen apprentice, Michelle, kept a fairly low profile initially, while we were going for others who took leadership. Eventually, the choice was either Michelle, or Ruth, two completely different personalities.

Ruth…

  1. Already seemed to ‘have’ the skills of an apprentice
  2. Was very confident with herself
  3. Great salesperson
  4. Was older than Michelle

Michelle…

  1. Was younger than Ruth
  2. Was ready to learn/knew she could learn from Sir Alan
  3. Promised to give Sir Alan 110% work effort
  4. Knew to work hard, as she had done that her whole life

I was surprised that Michelle won, because Ruth, although in the losing team most of the time, had done exceptionally well personally, where as Michelle didn’t shine in comparison. However, I think Michelle’s character of respect, hard work and meekness pulled her through the older, more ‘knowledgeable’ person.

The whole idea of an apprentice is that you learn from your boss. The apprentice doesn’t know everything, or else it defeats the purpose. Although Sir Alan wanted one with experience, he also wanted someone humble enough to be instructed.

From what I gained from watching them, Sir Alan was looking for someone who could lead a team, keep the individuals at bay, and yet, at the end of the day, be thinking of themselves and their position. He wanted someone to be firm and yet respectful to their leader (cockiness doesn’t seem to go down well with businesspeople). He wanted someone who could crack a good bargain and used their brain to get the most money.

What did I learn from the leaders?

Do split up/when you have a short deadline

Do work with the team and the majorities’ personalities and wishes

Do keep track of others

Do accept responsibility for your/the teams’ mistakes

Do keep track of time

Do follow the rules

Do be respectful of everyone else, respecting that it’s their project too.

Do not leave all the hard work to others and take the easy jobs

Do not have favourites

Do not be obsessive with notes and planning

Do not pick a fight

Do not pick people who don’t work well together to work together

Do not be bossy!

What did I learn from the team/followers?

Do listen to your team leader

Do try to understand where your leader’s coming from

Do pull your weight

Do obey your leader

Do support the final decision and leader

Do speak up and voice your opinion

Do be respectful

Do not whine or sulk

Do not be obsessive with notes and planning

Do not try to take over leadership

My Mum has always taught us to be a leader, not a follower. In our social groups, Joshua is the oldest person, and with the exception of one other, I’m right behind him. And while there aren’t many older kids about, there sure are lots of young ‘uns around! And I see that as an opportunity.

Mum tells us that when Josh and I were little, we had family friends who’s youngest were in their early teens. Why would they want to show much interest in two mischievous little kids? But when they came over with their parents for the afternoon, they would give themselves to us, play dolls and trains with us, and ultimately, go crazy with us. We always thought they were just awesome! That’s what I want to be to younger kids, when I’m put in leadership, because I am, especially within the Homeschool group; and I constantly will be.


We know one family who has three young boys, who go to the Church we often go to. Although their boys are under five, they invite us all to their birthday parties and include us older kids – and I greatly appreciate that. It is always something special when big kids join in with little kids. I can always sit up at the table and talk with adults later (although I’ll admit, I do that sometimes already), but now, now is the time where I can, where we can, as young teens (and are still kids!) Do Hard Things, step up and lead who I can, no matter what the age group.

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