03.23.05

The Apprentice, Week Eight: Communication Expert Notes Important Lessons on Leadership and Interpersonal Skills

Week Eight of The Apprentice gives viewers a behind-the-scene perspective on what kinds of behaviors prevent success. Dr. Carol Dunitz offers insights into the show and what can be learned from this pop culture phenomenon. “While any one of the contestants can be fired,” Dunitz notes, “it is the project managers who have the highest risk. In five of seven weeks where someone hears Donald Trump tell them, “You’re fired,” the person who is told to leave is the leader.

 

At the end of week one, Project Manager Todd is dismissed. Todd tells his teammates, “I’m with you,” while he sits on the sidelines. Members of teams do not respect leaders who remain aloof, uninvolved and unwilling to contribute. At the end of week two, Project Manager Brian is fired. Brian jumps in on the assigned task without a plan and starts pulling up toilets. It is important to have a plan that everyone embraces before proceeding. A person cannot lead unless he has followers.

 

At the end of week three, Project Manager Danny is dismissed. Danny is too busy trying to get consensus from his group to pay attention to the time. The result of his lack of decisiveness is that his team does not have adequate time to address the task at hand. A strong leader cannot afford to be distracted and lose sight of goals. Tara, project manager for her team in week six, also has a problem staying focused. She becomes concerned with social impact instead of focusing on the team objective. “When you are part of a team, you have to put aside your own agenda,” Dunitz confirms, “and embrace the goal of everyone you are working with.” Audrey, who is a project manager in week seven, refuses to take responsibility. She wants to delegate all tasks and then blame her teammates when things don’t work out the way she wants them to. Leaders must assume responsibility for their own decisions as well as how those decisions are implemented.

 

Week eight zeroes in on other negative behaviors. They include laziness, a negative attitude, and poor follow through, which lead to Michael’s departure. An affinity to interrupt teammates and choose the wrong issues around which to negotiate lands John in a taxi home.

 

Dr. Carol Dunitz is an author and professional speaker who has ten programs that teach people how to communicate more effectively. She dresses in costume, sings original songs and tells stories and anecdotes that underscore the points she makes. Programs address issues including interpersonal communication, teambuilding, leadership, intercultural communication, sales and negotiating, customer service, and listening.

 

Dunitz’ new book, ‘Louder Than Thunder,’ has received excellent reviews in newspapers around the country as well as on the Internet. It was featured on the March 7 th cover of Publishers Weekly. Former Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer who provided an a dvance endorsement for the business parable wrote “‘ Louder Than Thunder’ shatters the glass ceiling while dispelling gender myths that have plagued corporate America for generations. This book is a ‘heads up’ for every businessman, an inspiration for every businesswoman, and a thoughtful reminder about how we can all aspire to be better communicators.”

 

The book is about a CEO who calls in her three vice presidents to tell them she is about to step down and that one of them will succeed her. She has a riddle for them, “What is louder than thunder, as highly charged as lightning, and more powerful than the fierce North Wind?” Whoever comes back with the best answer will be the next CEO.

 

“Louder Than Thunder” provides significant insight on how to become a better communicator through a series of vignettes. These vignettes deal with the insights of a young person while coming of age and subsequently achieving lifelong aspirations. The reader is taken on a journey with the book’s protagonist as she learns to deal with the world around her by carefully listening and observing. In the process, the reader comes to understand how to communicate more effectively in every day interactions in and out of the workplace.

 

Dunitz is also the principal of The Last Word, a communication and creative services business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The book is illustrated by award-winning artist Helen Gotlib.

 

“ Louder Than Thunder” is available at bookstores everywhere or at louderthanthunder.com. A recording on CD by the author as well as the learning guide are for sale at www.louderthanthunder.com.

 



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