The “Laosy” Apprentice – You’re NOT Fired -Episode 4

Episode 4 (E4) reminded me why I don’t ever want to mess around with a strong and powerful woman. There is no enjoyment in life knowing how easily I would be dominated by a woman who can strike fear with her looks and actions. There was a strong display of feminine power.

E4 started like the previous episodes. Wade and David return to their teams after a bitter boardroom battle that sent James out of town. Let me remind you how confident Wade presented himself to Trump guaranteeing he will lead his team to victory and leading David the right way. Once he left the boardroom, Wade easily hands over the project manager position to Clint after a brief exchange. So much for his bold and powerful prediction! I agreed with Clint on calling Wade weak. It was a cop out to easily hand over his word after forcefully communicating to Trump his intentions.

On the women’s team, Mahsa steps up and take the challenge of Project Manager. Mahsa is Mahsa as usual. This is her opportunity to show viewers that her confidence will translate to success. Clint claimed control to the surprise of Trump. Of course, he is expecting Wade to be the quarterback. I am sure this leaves a negative impression on Trump. (I speculated that Trump will be asking Wade this in the boardroom later.) Clint delivered a resounding reason why he wanted to lead this episode. He was sick of losing and wanted to change the failures into success. I am excited to see how Mahsa and Clint will fare.

As the team assembled and started their planning, I am very impressed with Mahsa as she lays her ground rules. She quickly let her team know that she will be strong Project Manager, not to take things personal and the goal is to win.  Through three episodes, this is the first time I see a Project Manager laying down the foundation and expectations. Clint does his own pep talk, telling his team to “Go Big or Go Home.” His energy was contagious raising the men’s spirits. Both Mahsa and Clint were passionate about their task to create the best viral video for Popcorn, Indiana.

I think the producers must be reading my blog. LOL. To my delight, we are given snippets of Kelly and Brandy. In previous episodes, these two women were not given too much air time. We are also getting to know Wade more as he expressed his concerns about the team’s concept.  It became clear that the two on the hot seat this episode would be Tyana and David. Both opposed their team’s concept. The major difference between the two is Tyana’s out-of-sight and out-of-mind attitude.

In the boardroom, Trump asked Wade why he didn’t step up to be project manager and living up to his bold promise. Wade softly replied he didn’t want to upset the success of the team. Whatever powerful and confident demeanor Wade was able to show in E3 quickly transformed into a soft and weak demeanor. Steuart strongly expressed how excellent the team performed without David. I admired the honesty. David is uneasy and feeling the heat. Anand praised Clint and let Trump know that he did a great job. Clint graciously said thank you. It was well deserved.

For the women, the conflict was between Mahsa and Tyana. Trump asked the women who did not like the performance of the team. Tyana raised her hand and received a verbal assault from Mahsa. I expected Mahsa to viciously attack. She not only calls Tyana the weakest link but also the “biggest” on the team. It was a great one-two punch leaving Tyana speechless as the room smirked in surprise. Tyana attempted to fight back but her bark was pretty weak. If you have watched the show, you know that when your butt is on the line and you’re about to be fired, you better come out fighting with everything you have. This was not what I expected from a self-proclaimed “cougar.” To the surprise of Trump, other team members back up Mahsa’s assessment of Tyana.

After getting their feedback, the team’s videos are viewed. Trump announced the men as the winner of this task and reward Clint an opportunity to meet Steve Forbes. Mahsa decided to bring Tyana and Liza back to the firing room. It is very apparent that the duel is between the younger cub and the older cougar, Mahsa and Tyana. These two have been barking at each other all season. It was time for Tyana to go. I wanted her to get fired in E3. Fortunately for her, the men’s team was horrendous. This time around, I was very sure Tyana was next t to be fired. Even though Mahsa was the losing Project Manager, she was able to get her team to work together in a fun and productive environment. It would come down to Trump’s assessment of the task.

Trump asked Liza again for her assessment. Liza affirmed that Tyana was the weakest link for checking out of the team’s activities. Trump thought Liza’s statement was very contradictory of Liza due to her past relationship with Mahsa. I believe because of Liza’s honesty and her ability to put her personal feelings aside, Trump was able to really understand how terrible Tyana was. Mahsa is saved as Trump echoed the words, “You’re Fired,” to Tyana sending the cougar home.

Here are the Laosy Guy’s quick hits of this episode:

  • In any team activity, it is always hard to separate your personal biasness or feelings with other team members especially when you don’t feel part of the team for one reason or another. Liza had been critically called out by her team including Mahsa in previous episodes. She was emotionally affected by her team’s attack. She could have easily set up Mahsa for failure and have her fired. Instead, she sorted out the facts and gave a resounding testimony on why Tyana needed to be fired. Liza was able to demonstrate the ability to separate her personal feelings to do the right thing.
  • Have you ever cracked your tooth or perhaps suffered an injury? Toughness is a vague concept. In E4, we saw David leave his team because he broke half of a tooth while eating a bagel. Clint dismissed him and it worked out to be one of the best scenarios for the team. Steuart commented that David should have stayed and contributed to the team’s task implying David’s lack of toughness. Personally, I have seen this similar situation twice. First, an older woman cracked her tooth eating an apple. She initially complained about the pain but continued to finish her work. It wasn’t until two or three days that she was able to make a visit to the dentist. Secondly, one of the students I tutored cracked her tooth in school. She is a fifth grader. That same night, she arrived for the group tutoring session and shared with all the kids the cracked tooth. They asked her if it was painful. She nodded her head up and down. She said she wanted to finish school and hang-out at the tutoring session. Needless to say, these two were able to endure pain and continue their daily tasks. I can’t personally speak about cracking a tooth and the pain. Therefore, I can’t really tell you if David’s tooth was so painful that it caused him a level of discomfort that caused him to leave his team. I can definitely understand Steuart’s comments about David.  Having played injured on sport teams and working injured throughout my career, I can only say that it would take a unique pain or discomfort for me to leave my duties and responsibilities.
  • David checked-out of his team due to a dental issue which is excusable. What is not excusable was how Tyana checked-out. This was the first time this season where I saw great team energy and enthusiasm from the woman and the men. A lot of credit has to be given to the Project Managers, Mahsa and Clint for developing a unified team. Of course, when you have so many different personalities, you are bound to have differing thoughts. Tyana and Wade expressed concerns about their respective team’s concepts. Neither thought their team was achieving the requirements of the task. Even though Wade didn’t agree with the team’s approach, he was able to participate and help his team in the process. On the other hand, Tyana handled herself like an immature brat, secluding herself from her team as they worked on editing the final footage. She voluntarily chose not to engage. Ultimately, it led to her firing. Tyana gave me a lesson on how to react when you don’t like the approach of your team. To her credit, she did express her concerns. Her teammates argued that she was whining instead of providing constructive feedback. Tyana did not have a solution or creative idea to support her argument or concerns. If you are very concerned about something, then you should also have ideas to help the process. I always thought that Tyana lacked the creative ability to solve problems. She lacked intellectual substance. In the workforce, you better have a strong reason for expressing concerns. No one likes a whiner and complainer.

Here is the Laosy Guy’s guide to not getting FIRED:

1)      The older it is, the better the “whine.” –  We all hear the same consistent message about the art and science of wine making. It takes years to achieve a true classic winner. Some things are just better with age. I guess “whining” is something that can be better with age. If “whining” was an art that gets better with age, then we can all be grateful for Tyana for giving us a great example. You would expect that with age, people would know how to conduct themselves accordingly to the environment and circumstances. In E4, Tyana is seen as a whiner that had nothing to offer in solutions. She withdrew herself from assisting in the completion of the tasks, remaining idle in a secluded corner. I expected a person of her age to be more mature and knowledgeable about how to conduct yourself in the business environment. We need to learn that with age comes learning and maturity. When you are placed in a team and do not disagree with your teammates, the last thing you want to do is whine.

2)      “The fact(s) of the matter is…” – I was very impressed with how Liza conducted herself in E4. In prior episodes, she was seen as an emotional time bomb, becoming very defensive when given feedback from her teammates. Her emotional outbursts created a division between her and several of the women. It would be so easy to assume that she would become vindictive and when given the opportunity, she would viciously pounce on her haters. I actually admire her for her emotional outburst because to me, it was an indication of deeply ingrained desire to perform at her best. She was able to give viewers a great look at her personality and character by telling Trump the facts of the tasks. She gave the honest assessment of how Tyana and the rest of the team performed. This surprised Trump greatly because he also assumed Liza would turn against Mahsa when given a chance. In the end, Liza put her personal feelings aside and presented the facts. How often do we find ourselves in situations that test our desires to fire away at others that have hurt us? Avoid being a “Laosy” person and just stick to the facts.

3)      Laughter can take you miles and miles… – It was very fun and entertaining to see how both teams were able to work together and yes, laugh together. This was truly the first time I have seen each team enjoying the company of everyone for the most part. I have said before and will say it now, Clint and Mahsa deserve the credit for doing a great job rallying their teams and showing them that you are allowed to have fun at work. When you are having fun, your spirits are lifted.  The men’s team was bursting with energy. It was reflective of Clint’s enthusiasm. A strong leader knows how to have fun no matter what the situation. Adults lose their sense of humor and laugh less and less as they grow older. Laughter is a powerful force that can lead you to greater success.

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