The Apprentice – Behaviours and Personalities

Business Partner not Boss!

As you are perhaps aware the new series of The Apprentice 2011 is different from previous seasons as the winner will not receive a job from Lord Sugar, but a £250,000 start-up investment that will see the pair enter into a working relationship on an equal basis. This begs the question :

Will the winner accept Lord Sugars direct management style or
will he have to adapt to be a Business Partner rather than a Boss?

In Business we work with different personalities everyday and understanding what makes your colleagues, employees and customers tick can be instrumental in having an effective working relationship.

It will be interesting to see how the series develops and which characters Lord Sugar warms to. Will he look to work with someone like himself or will he look for someone with obviously different behavioural traits that compliment the style that has made him successful?

So who is behaving like Lord Sugar’s Business Partner?

When watching this week’s episode I found myself thinking about the DISC behavioural model, which looks at four styles and preferences of behaviour, and tried to identify which personality types are be likely to compliment or clash with Lord Sugar.

I’ve included some of my observations and predictions below but what do you think?

Dominance Style

  • Getting results
  • Doing it and doing it now
  • Being in charge
  • Enjoy new opportunities and challenges
  • Initiating change and taking risks

Lord Sugar clearly has a dominant style which focuses on controlling the environment. Will this make him clash with 26 year old Melody Hossaini who declared at the beginning:

“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are foot prints on the moon”

Does Melody portray similar behaviours as Lord Sugar (and it appears so on the first few episodes that we have seen) and if so would this lead to a strong working relationship or one that will end in disaster?

 Influence Style

  • Enjoys being involved with people
  • Avoids being blamed for things going wrong
  • Enjoys freedom from responsibility or following through on detail
  • May overuse humour, playfulness

Perhaps they would make an able foil for the steel of Lord Sugar but I wonder how he would cope with their emotional expressions, or their continued verbalising of thoughts and feelings?

Steadiness Style

  • Focuses on cooperating with others
  • Enjoys being involved with people
  • Tends to avoid conflict
  • Prefers conflict free environment
  • May overuse modesty

Could this style cope with the directness and would they need to learn to be more assertive to gain Lord Sugars respect or would they even want to be involved in his world!?

 Conscientiousness Style

  • Focuses on what is the ‘right’ or correct way
  • Looks for opportunities to analyse and assess
  • Avoids unwarranted or personal criticism
  • Moves cautiously, tends to do it alone, concentrates on detail

Would someone with these behavioural styles apply to join the shown in the first place when putting yourself  ‘out there’ is almost a pre requisite to getting the job ?!!


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