Friday, April 02, 2004

I Got Mine!

In a ballsy move, Troy chose Kwame to go into the boardroom with him last night on The Apprentice. Ballsy not only because both competitors have forged a friendship during the 12 weeks of the show but also because Kwame’s resume was a MBA’s dream – Harvard MBA and Goldman Sachs employee. Troy’s resume included a high school education and a self-professed reliance upon Trump: The Art of the Deal by none other than…. Donald Trump! (Never mind the suck-uppedness of this. Does anyone doubt that Trump’s ego is voracious for confirmation of its greatness?)

This looked like David taking on Goliath despite its inevitability. (Assuming Bill would have been fired if he were chosen, Troy and Kwame would have still faced-off one week later.) This looked like a leader making the tough choice when an easier one was available. This looked like exactly the kind of decision-making a firm would look for when striving for the competitive edge!

Its one only fool would have taken. Reading Trump’s paean to himself was the biggest error. In it, Trump puts forth his recipe for success. It is one for those who want not those who have. Trump may have been aggressive as he built his empire, but once he got it, he no longer would need to take risks, and this is what Troy failed to discern.

Kwame was non-descript beyond the resume, but he is exactly what firms who have built the reputations want – a credentialed individual who will looks good in the company demographics. Donald Trump is no longer looking to grow aggressively via high-reward risks That type of behavior is for those who don’t-have-yet. What he needs is someone to Sheppard his holdings along safe and reliable pathways. There is no one better than an academically benumbed automaton.

The question is whether those of us who strive to build without the sureties a “proper” education and the handouts of a good “network” (read: A relative gives you a tit job because he or she can vouch for your benumbedness and inability to rock the boat.) will remain true to our beginnings as risk-takers and not become the business equivalent of Al Bundy’s basking in the glory of our high school football days.

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