Can A Reality TV Show Really Tell Us How to Be Better at Business?

The Apprentice on BBC has started its 11th series. It’s one of the BBCs most popular series every year. But should we use it as an educational tool for succeeding in business or merely see it as entertainment?

Every candidate is unique and it could certainly be argued, some candidates are more focused on being a celebrity than becoming a successful entrepreneur. Katie Hopkins is a name that most of us are familiar with and her rise to fame was due to her appearance on the apprentice. However, others, (even winners) are forgotten about and hidden from the public’s eye. What’s interesting, is some of these candidates that people forget actually go on to great success in business.

So what skills does the Apprentice emphasize?

Sales – Alan Sugar definitely likes those with a sales background and those who can reliably sell a product. Is this important in business? Absolutely – the ability to sell is without doubt something every business is interested in.
Confidence – Those candidates who are confident and able to take control of a situation definitely do better than those who shy away from challenges. This is a very important aspect of business. You don’t need to be the biggest extravert of all time but you do need to be able to lead and command a team.
Ruthless – Being able to make difficult decisions and potentially saving yourself at the harm of a colleague. This is a big problem that recruiters find. This ruthless attitude can be seen as an important skill to have, however, build a company of ruthless employees and don’t be surprised when they all stab each other in the back to get ahead. This isn’t necessary the business environment that you want to breed for a sustainable organisation.
Worth Ethic – Every successful candidate has been willing to work very hard and regardless of feedback, will keep trying harder. This is fundamental to business and life in general so definitely worth developing this in your career.

As you can see, there are certain qualities that the Apprentice defines that are very important for business. The association with fame shouldn’t be our only association with the candidates. Without shouting about it, some of these previous candidates are some of the UKs most sort after employees.

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