~ There’s A Lot to Learn About Leadership from the Show! ~

By Ann Vanino

The new season of The Apprentice has a twist: celebrities are competing for contributions to their favorite charities. There are lessons to be gained by watchingThe Apprentice through a leadership lens. This season is no exception. The Celebrity Apprentice can teach you about power, big egos, winning and losing, business strategy, leadership skills, how emotions affect performance and the ups and downs of human interaction.

How can you make the most of The Celebrity Apprentice to grow your leadership skills? A few suggestions follow: view The Celebrity Apprentice as a business case study, use the show to assess your own performance at work and learn all you can about leadership from the show.

Viewing The Celebrity Apprentice As A Business Case Study

Viewing The Celebrity Apprentice as a case study is a way you can deepen your learning of the leadership lessons from the show. Case studies are used in schools and organizations to analyze business performance. There are a variety of formats for case studies. Generally, a case study profiles a business, a particular business situation, the challenges the business faced, the solution found, the results, and the benefits gained. With a group, or on your own, you can develop a format for a case study of The Celebrity Apprentice. Here are three ways to view The Celebrity Apprentice as a case study. I am sure you can have fun with this and come up with your own ways as well. For each of these case study formats you can download forms from my web site (links follow each description.).

Following Team Performance Case Study

This format is episode-based and follows the performance of each team on the assigned task. This case study allows you to analyze performance the way Donald does––by team performance.

(Free form available for download at:

Following One Candidate Case Study

For this case study, follow one candidate until they are fired or chosen as the Celebrity Apprentice. This case study gives you the opportunity to look in depth at a candidate’s leadership potential.

(Free form available for download at:

You Choose Case Study

Using your criteria determine the best performer, the worst performer, noteworthy performances, poor performances and who should be fired.

(Free form available for download at:

Use the Show to Assess Your Own Performance at Work

The show gives you an opportunity to employ the power of observation. Observation of workplace dynamics lets you look through an unbiased lens at what works and what doesn’t. This season, on The Celebrity Apprentice, you have candidates who have achieved success and been around the block a few times. There’s a lot to observe about leadership, working in teams and approaches to tasks.

As you watch the show, jot down notes regarding what you see. In your opinion, what works, what doesn’t work, what annoys you, what inspires you, what causes failure, what creates success? Look carefully at human interaction within teams, among teams, with clients and with the Trumps – which interactions are effective and which are not.

Use your observations as a benchmark for your own performance at work. Take each observation and relate it to your performance. For example, if you observe that a candidate on the show alienates their teammates, ask yourself if any of your behaviors could alienate coworkers. Put winning strategies and approaches to work for you.

Learn All You Can About Leadership from the Show

After the first season of the show, I wrote a book, Leadership on Trial: Lessons from The Apprentice ( which I identified seven leadership lessons from the show: take risks, be yourself, know the game, maintain balance, have a strategy, think outside the box, and know when to join and when to lead. Use The Celebrity Apprentice as a primer on leadership. The show is a resource for the perplexed and the successful. With a no-nonsense approach, it provides a primer for successfully navigating today’s business world. Mine The Celebrity Apprentice for the leadership lessons it offers. By doing this you’ll be a winner too!

Opportunities abound for learning and improving your leadership skills. The Celebrity Apprentice is one of them. Have fun and become the very best you can be.
©Copyright 2008 – 2019 by Ann E. Vanino
All rights reserved in all media.