Learning from The Apprentice

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIn our home we’ve gone nearly a year without cable or satellite television. Admittedly, I still go through TV withdrawals. I miss The Amazing Race and The Apprentice more than any other shows. Both are fascinating to watch as people compete to win grand prizes, both teach valuable real-world lessons too.

In The Apprentice two teams compete in projects – one team wins. The winning team receives a reward. The losing team has someone fired from the show; a fairly simple concept. After all the firings take place a single contestant emerges and is hired as the apprentice.

So what can be taken away after sifting through the emotions, drama and hair pieces?

  1. Reward Immediately: As soon as the winning team is announced they immediately receive their prize. In the show the reward is often being whisked off to some amazing event or experience. This allows the winning team to enjoy their reward while the excitement of the win is fresh.  The feeling of winning is great, reinforcing the win by rewarding right away helps increase its value. Reward now, don’t delay.
  • Delaying the reward may result in less excitement or willingness the next time a contest arises.
  1. Discipline Later: In contrast, the losing time returns to their apartment and is called into the boardroom only later in the day. Yes, this helps build the show’s drama as participants begin placing blame and coming up with strategies for saving their own hide. In the real world a delay creates time. Time for cooler heads to prevail. Time for more rational and less emotional thinking. Time to understand the cause of the mistake or failure. Disciplinary actions taken in the heat of the moment are often regretted later.
  • Disciplining immediately could result in poor decisions or lamentable actions that weren’t well thought out.

Hopefully you are rewarding far more than disciplining. It’s a lot more fun (for everyone) to hear “You won!” or “You’re Hired” than to hear “You’re Fired!”


What’s Left To Do

Wow! It’s already July – the year is half over.

Good time for a gut check on how the year’s gone so far; time to realign objectives or goals to achieve in the next six months.

At the start of 2013 I published a personal Bucket List for this year. Nothing outrageous, just things I’d like to do personally or experiences I’d like to have with family and friends. The plan wasn’t necessarily to complete half by end of June, but it’s still good to review progress.

So, how have I done?

  • 7 Achieved
  • 4 in Progress
  • 12 Untouched

Not bad.

Still room for improvement.

It’s amazing how fast the year is flying by. A Bucket List isn’t a checklist to be marked off. It’s about maximizing the present. I’ve got plenty to do this year still and am looking forward to it.


How about you? How are you doing on your Bucket list or goals for 2013?