Anyone who follows the Muika Leadership ‘tweets’ will have noted our prediction (which was broadcast on Tuesday night) for this week’s The Apprentice, and while Jim may still be safe inside Sugar towers, we still believe the smooth talking Northern Irishman’s days are numbered. 

Last night, it was touch and go between Zoe and Edna, and in the end Edna took her moment under the spotlight to recite her CV instead of effectively challenging the reservations that Lord Sugar had about her – wrong move.

As any successful sales person (and, for that matter, business person) knows, you need to pitch to your target audience. Lord Sugar does not strike me as a person easily impressed by pieces of paper (except for the ones with the Queen’s head on), and for me this massive dip in Edna’s less than emphatic The Apprentice career, highlighted the fact that no matter how many qualifications you have, it’s action that counts. Edna works in a people management role and should know that vision is great, but action is just as important. 

Despite being fairly measured throughout, Edna felt the pressure was on her in the boardroom and resorted to pieces of paper rather than her usual measured approach to why she should not be fired. As Lord Sugar said, on her CV alone she should have been home and dry – her behaviour didn’t match what was written. 

Big lesson for developing leadership.

 Yes, academic and professional qualifications are valuable, but it’s not the end game. It’s demonstrating through our actions that we can implement that learning, rather than just talk a good story that counts. Whilst IQ is important, isn’t EQ (Emotional Intelligence) as important, if not more so within the current environment? 

We see it often within businesses where highly qualified people do not translate their learning into practice. In fact they become highly ineffective and can end up costing the business in the long term. We also see the fine words written in glossy brochures and posters about businesses – what they stand for, how they treat their staff, their clients, and quite often there is quite a gap between what is written and what is actually demonstrated by the behaviours of the leaders within that business. 

Carl Jung is quoted as saying, “we judge ourselves on our intentions, others judge us on our behaviour”, and Lord Sugar judged Edna on her behaviour last night. Qualifications, whether they be individual or business standard awards, are not enough in themselves. Action taken to demonstrate these is what equals success.

Karen Murphy

Muika Leadership

If you want to ensure your behaviour is congruent with your business vision, strategy and policies, speak to Muika Leadership about their Cultural Competence Inventory, and bridge the gap that may be preventing you from the success you want. Click here to get in touch today or find out more about the different companies that we have worked with in leadership development and equality training.