Yippee the wicked witch is dead…Twittersphere was ringing loud and clear last night, the demise of the onerous creature that was Melody was met with songs of joy!

The bit I really don’t understand at all is what Lord Sugar saw in her, other than possibly himself (!). However this fits, because the frequent trap of hiring managers is to hire in their own image.

Anyway, I thought this evening’s task was much better than last week’s, the idea of selling to re-invest and sell again, building your asset base in either cash or stock along the way, was inspired.  It was the first task in a long time that actually had relevance to starting your own business, that of understanding assets.

So, a couple of observations that relate directly to the PMs for tonight. 

Firstly Natasha; OMG the girl makes a lit match look brighter than the sun.  She is completely unprofessional and so dense light bends round her. Yea!  (…What is her "yea" at the end of every sentence?  I think it’s because her brain needs the pause to form the next word, it’s like "yea", her brain, "yea", pausing "yea", before deciding what to do next, "yea?".) 

Natasha completely and utterly missed the objective of the task and believed if they sold everything and had the cash they would win…well, they did win but the objective of the task was lost on her and subsequently her team was punished for it. 

Intellect is the "speed at which you take in, retain and process information".  How this impacts Natasha is that some people’s brains are wired up like Clapham Junction, trains moving in and out, some loading passengers, some holding, others moving off, all at pace.  There is a lot going on at high speed with shifting priorities. 

Then you have Natasha’s brain which is more like a tube station, she can focus on the one train, e.g. "I have to sell some stuff".  Try and add the "build your assets" train and what happens is she needs to move the "sell some stuff train on" or just ignore the "build your assets train", which she neatly did in this exercise. 

The challenge for Natasha is that not even Nintendo Brain Training is going to help her with her Tube-like wiring.  She will thrive in a business that is basic in its levers, where interactions are simple transactions and there is no need for a high degree of intellectual horsepower; something like recruitment, "yea!".

This whole area of how your brain works is emerging science even for the science world.  We have something like 100 billion interconnected nerve cells in our 4lb brain, we then have over 100 chemical agents reacting and interacting throughout the brain.  How this all works to build our Intellect – so what we like, don’t like and how we behave – is just starting to become clear. 

For example, we know our right brain controls the left side of our face and is our Emotive side, the left side controls the right side of our face, our logical side.  This is why for example, mothers of new born babies almost always (if right handed) hold their baby in the cradle of their left arm, so they can "connect" with their left eye, the emotive side.  Cool, huh?

Anyway talking of emotive people….Melody.  C’mon there is something cute about her, isn’t there?…Ooooohhh no there isn’t! 

She is abrasive, corrosive, manipulative, egotistical but above all High Self-Starting, and this – when put alongside Helen in this task – was why she failed.  Contrary to Natasha, she did not fail the task because she was thicker than two planks of wood, but because she far too quickly moves from idea to implementation. 

Outwardly this looks great; she could be described as action-oriented, fast moving, a go-getter.  When running a team, however, you get frequently described as "headless", "fickle" and "chaotic".  I know this because out of 10, I score 10 on Self-Starter.  My nameplate on my door (before I removed it from its hinges) at Nortel was replaced one night with "Captain Chaos"; I laughed and thought that was great….not realising it wasn’t actually meant to be funny; it was feedback!

So High Self Starter can be a huge asset, but only when tempered by the right behaviour.  What Melody has to learn is that not every idea should be implemented or articulated and for most ideas to land and be successful you have to do this boring bit called planning or strategy! 

How I get round this, is every time I come up with an idea or I hear an idea and think "Let’s do that!", I whip out a blank piece of paper and some coloured pens and start mind mapping the idea.  This is my version of planning/strategy.  Invariably 9 out of the 10 ideas I scrap after planning because I realise they won’t work — before I would have tried 10 and realised 9 would fail and quickly change tack. 

This is my point, when working as an individual contributor this is fine; it’s only me it impacts and actually trying quickly, failing and then u-turning is what I enjoy. 

When leading a team, however, it drains energy from the team is sometimes unrecoverable. You can leave people dazed and confused and less likely to come with you next time.  Tom and Helen were dazed and confused with Melody’s lack of thought and strategy.  What she didn’t know was 10 minutes with a piece of paper and some coloured pens would have saved her from the firing squad!

PS: Jim’s return to form was stellar tonight, I have run out of words to talk about why Jim is great at connecting with people, however I have one tip… watch where he puts his hands :).