Celebrity Train Wreck

Posted March 2, 2009 in Latest News & Insights

Consider this a venting post…

After a non-stop weekend, I was in dire need of escapist television last night so started surfing and found myself trapped in Donald Trump’s ego for about 90 minutes.

Seems like Trump has given up on the original “Apprentice” formula and is sticking with last season’s “celebrity’ version and, when Tom Green is coming across as the most sane person in the room… well, you have to wonder.

There’s something ironic about the fact that a show that is supposedly about proving who has the most “leadership” ability is filled with people who have to be the ULTIMATE individual contributors!

The very nature of celebrity is to be a non-team player.  Watching the show gave me chills thinking back to some of the diva ego’s I’ve had the “pleasure” of working with over my career.  The idea that one could ever be stuck managing an entire team filled with that personality type…well, it’s too horrible to contemplate.

But what irritates me most is Trump himself.  I saw him speak at a leadership conference a few years ago and half the audience laughed at everything he said and the other half were disgusted that he was even invited to speak at a conference on leadership.  Although I respect anybody who has the obvious “balls” Trump has to “go big or go home”, I fall into the latter category when it comes to respecting his approach as a leader.  What I personally find frightening is that there are people out there that will actually watch him in action and think that it’s the way it should be done. Ugh.

In this past month’s Roundtable Recap, I found a great article in Inc. magazine called “7 Signs Your Employees Detest You”.  I bet many people working for Trump are exhibiting one or more of the behaviours outlined.  In fact, one of the sign’s noted has to do withturnover (ie: is retention the problem, or is it you?).  I notice Caroline and George – Trump’s “long-time, trusted advisors” have been replaced by two of his children (another great lesson in leadership to role-model for the masses – nepotism… and what a great way to honour your loyal employees: replace them with your younger/better looking kids.  Nice one.). 

When the first Apprentice came out, universities got on the “hipster” bandwagon and started using the episodes as case studies in Leadership.  I really hope that practice has been ditched… or that the tone has switched to how it’s an “anti” leadership lesson.  In my opinion, the last thing we need to unleash into organizations are more Donald Trumps, Omarosa’s or Andrew “Dice” Clays.  This type of ego-driven leadership should be kicked to the curb.  We definitely shouldn’t be glorifying it by giving it it’s own tv show.  What do you think?

Happy leading!


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