Tag Archive for: Donald Trump

The Courtesy Strategy

2015 Celebrity Apprentice Cast with Donald Trump

don’t watch many reality shows, but Donald Trump’s The Apprentice has always fascinated me. When it first premiered,
with non-celebrities participating, I followed the program until Bill Rancic
won the initial challenge. Each episode, I remained glued to the screen. Then,
afterward, I would berate myself for enjoying a show that encouraged folks to
undermine their opponents in order to take the prize.

those of you who have avoided the temptation, please let me congratulate you.
The premise is that Mr. Trump brings together talented individuals from all
walks of life to be divided into teams, compete against each other in
accomplishing business tasks, and eventually be eliminated (“You’re fired”)
based on judgments of their work product, their cooperative abilities, and
their capabilities to outlast each other. The original prize was the
opportunity to manage a Trump-owned enterprise. Later, the participants were
limited to people considered “celebrities” (including actors, singers,
comedians, reporters, athletes, reality stars, and people generating media
attention) who played for donations to selected charities.

I weaned myself from the terrible viewing habit, although I must admit some
backsliding to watch Omarosa’s manipulative efforts. Of course, I was intrigued
when celebrities became involved, and had to see if what I read about Gary
Busey’s antics was true. Then, this year, how could I not tune in for Joan
Rivers’ last TV appearances?

Leeza Gibbons
is a more personal reason that the current Celebrity
appeals to me. It features among the players local girl made
good, Leeza Gibbons who grew up in Irmo, South Carolina, a suburb of Columbia,
and attended the University of South Carolina. Also, I went to law school with
her brother Carlos.

Gibbons came to prominence as an interviewer of celebrities on Entertainment Tonight. She also hosted
her own programs and infomercials and has been a competitor on Dancing with the Stars. She’s beautiful,
intuitive, kind, supportive, and the epitome of a lovely Southern lady, which
is why she seems to be doing so well in this round of the Celebrity Apprentice.

the early episodes, Leeza followed a Bill Rancic strategy,
remaining low key, but always available and part of the team. She appeared
level-headed and evaluated the situations reasonably without making derogatory
comments. She even expressed regret and concern when people faced the
boardroom. At one point, Geraldo Rivera asked her when she would step up to the
plate to be project manager. With demure tact, she managed a non-answer.

the task arose to make a viral video for Chock Full of Nuts Coffee. Making
videos is Leeza’s forte. So, she stepped up to the project manager slot,
listened to the recommendations of all her team members, and ultimately took
charge to direct the process, including making use of a dispute between two
female team members and incorporating it into an edgy, controversial film for a
conservative product. Even she admitted she wasn’t certain how it would go over
because it pushed the envelope, but with her classy presentation, her team was

Geraldo Rivera
Leeza and Geraldo, two reporters, one respectful and deferential, but savvy,
and the other inventive and intelligent, yet erratic, face off in the final
challenge that will air tonight (Monday, February 16, 2015). Who will be the
victor? Will class overcome brash?

you can imagine, I intend to watch the resolution. Maybe because I was raised
in the South and have seen its manners work successfully in so many settings, I
have to admit I’m rooting for a Leeza win. I haven’t felt as guilty following
the episodes this time because I saw less of bad behavior being rewarded and
more of courtesy and kindness being admired.

do you think? Is courtesy the preferred strategy? Can it be used for a
competitive advantage?