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  • Louise Southam

Charisma and ‘The Apprentice’


Every year I watch The Apprentice, I’m fascinated by how the individuals interact as a team, or not, as the case usually is. How each week there appears to be someone who is ‘bottom’, who makes fundamental mistakes that will lose them the task. I find myself cringing throughout the 12 weeks, as I witness over-sized ego’s clambering over each other to show they are worthy to stay another week. Which team will head off for the wonderful treat and who will end up drinking tea out of a polystyrene cup in the café, discussing who is to blame for the loss? The question on my lips is ‘who will be fired’?

The conversation that ensues is more like a scene from a child’s nursery, where they are arguing over who had the toy first and why it’s theirs. I wait with anticipation for Lord Sugar’s quick quips, his shut down comments and his great one-liners. He always delivers! These candidates sit; with their expressions of ‘don’t let it be me’, clear for us to see as they fight for their right to stay another week.

This year has been no exception and for me there have been the slanderous comments, the bitchy verbal cat-fights, the over-speaking of each other and the genius cringe moments that make The Apprentice TV gold. Dermott and his singing mermaid’s is one of my favourites.

What struck me this year though is how much confidence this group of candidates lacked when they were doing their pitches; I found my palms getting damp as I listened to them mumble their way through, week after week. It wasn’t just confidence, it was charisma.

Courtney made the final, which was definitely a surprise to me after Karen Brady had told him twice in the Boardroom, that he lacked charisma. He really did. It was only in interview week, when Claude verbally goaded him into responding with passion, did we finally see a glimpse of how much he wanted that winning spot. We saw his creative talents as he sketched out a ‘gadget’ that was a sugar cube dispenser of Lord Sugar’s head, he spoke of how he survived on £8,000 a year by living at home with his parents, in order to build his business. This was my first real experience of seeing his passion and energy. He beamed and his entire being lit up. Courtney has charisma.

So why is charisma so important?

Charismatic leaders build higher engagement levels, they stimulate a mindset of innovation, creativity and growth and they possess higher levels of resilience. Harvard Business Review states that charismatic leaders are 68% happier, healthier and more effective. We know that charisma is innate within all of us, not something we can teach and when we are being our authentic self, who we truly are at our core, we shine.

He may have come second, yet Courtney’s presentation at the final was authentic, passionate and confident. He certainly was the most charismatic he had been for the entire series and I cheered him on. I do wonder if he had reconnected to his own charisma sooner, would he have been Lord Sugar’s next business partner? We will never know.

Roll on the next series!

#Charisma #CharismaConnection #TheApprentice #leadership

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