Intense as the physical challenges are for The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition, most of the drama occurs inside the Boardroom.
And episode two of the reality show wasn’t lost without its own highs and lows as Team Valor and Team Conquest once again made their business pitches.
Surely, viewers can take valuable lessons from the tense meeting between the candidates and ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
Here are three key takeaways fans can pick up from the boardroom:
1. Honesty still goes a long way.
Lara Pearl Alvarez, after being in the chopping block on episode 1, vowed never to be in the same precarious position again.
And what better way for the 24-year-old accountant from the Philippines to step up for Team Conquest and defend her team during the team’s Andaz Singapore pitch.
With Sityodtong inquiring about who negotiated the seven-day plans for the social media campaign and the team left with no answers, Alvarez admitted that her team did not know that it was within their territory to negotiate with parties from Andaz with regards to their presentations.
“The other team in the previous challenge, they talked about the [ONE] VIP ticket and I didn’t think that we didn’t [need to do] a negotiation for that. So for our team, we didn’t think that it was part of the mechanics that we have to talk to Andaz,” she said.
Her courage was greatly appreciated by Sityodtong, who remarked, “That’s fair.”
It also earned Alvarez adulation from her peers, with Nazee Sajedi saying, “That was not a part of the deliverables, so I’m glad that Lara raised her hand and she answered that question.”
Alvarez stepping up to the plate also spared her when project manager Eugene Chung wanted to take her in the final boardroom, with Chatri sparing her and saying, “You guys would have lost before this boardroom even began if it weren’t for Lara.”
As the old adage goes, honesty is the best policy.
2. Maximize everyone’s potential.
Clinton Tudor’s aggressive style almost led to Team Valor’s detriment in the first episode’s business challenge that the 44-year-old app developer from New Zealand acknowledged from the on-set the changes he needed to make.
“You’ll see a new Clinton, accepting my mistakes and making sure my team is on the same page with me,” he said.
Tudor did take a step back and allowed his peers to shine, with Louie Sangalang assuming the role of project manager for the team as he was then tasked to work with Jessica Ramella and Teirra Kamolvattanavith in the shoot with social media influencer Yumika Hoskin.
Still, one can’t fault the rest of Team Valor for having their reservations.
“Clinton’s personality sometimes can be taken as abrupt, because he can be so intense,” remarked Ramella, to which Sangalang responded, “If you do have some challenges with Clint, like you know, being a bit extra with the influencer, just let me know.”
As Tudor worked in the shoot, Team Valor went on and worked on the preparation of the deck.
“We took that as an opportunity to quickly discuss our strategy for kind of managing Clinton,” said Monica Millington. “It’s nothing against him, personally. It’s for the greater good of the team. We’re here to win, and anything that poses a threat to that, we need to manage.”
Not that Tudor didn’t get hints.
“I get shut down by my team a lot. They just don’t want to hear the kind of deeper meaning behind a lot of what I have to say. Does it bother me? Yes, it bothers me,” he said.
Managing Tudor did pay dividends for Team Valor in its strong presentation, yet ONE Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy Niharika Singh couldn’t help but raise concerns — one that caught Clinton off-guard.
“It was kind of news to me,” he lamented. “I really thought you were being really open and transparent and working towards a common goal and we achieved that. I thought we’d all celebrated that together.”
But the rest of the team defended the decision. “We’re not backstabbing you. We’re being very upfront with him,” said Irina Chadsey.
Millington backed her up and noted, “I think it depends on the setting because in certain settings, [Clinton’s] ideas and his thought process can be very distracting. But I feel like he absolutely shone in the production side of things. And so I think it’s a matter of putting him in the right environment, and I think he really showed it in this challenge.”
3. Strong leadership can take you miles. A weak one could derail your progress.
Team Conquest project manager Eugene Chung admitted it from the onset. “We’re not as prepared as we want to be.”
The lack of preparation, mainly due to Chung’s disorganized system, manifested in his side’s pitch and never got through the judges’ prying eyes as Singh inquired about the dynamics within the team.
Paulina Purnomowati, like she did all challenge long, had to step up. “In terms of the presentations itself, the ideas because it’s social media strategies, a lot of it comes from Eugene. Although on the management part, on putting things together, it’s probably not him,” she said.
It soon became apparent that as brilliant of ideas Chung had, it was his teammates Nazee Sajedi, who took care of the shoot, and Purnomowati, who acted as the de-facto PM.
“He has a lot of ideas but he needs to be managed, so I tried to do that. However, he keeps changing his mind,” she said.
Although Paulina’s proactive approach was admirable, the lack of clear vision from its leader Eugene, not to mention his weak public speaking skills, sidetracked Team Conquest and kept them winless in the show.
“Ideas are a dime-a-dozen business. That’s just the reality,” Sityodtong reminded everyone. “If you don’t know how to bring an idea to life and execute, it means nothing. Literally nothing.”