I am literally incandescent with rage, properly furious. I was really enjoying Episode 7 of the weekly "car crash" TV that is The Apprentice when the idiot that is Lord Sugar uttered the immortal words "I’ve never met an engineer who turns in to a successful businessman". Idiot, clown, buffoon!
So here’s one straight off the top of my head.  James Dyson. Yep that’d be the James Dyson who despite being severely handicapped with a passion for engineering, reinvented an entire product category and industry. Ooh here’s another one.  Steve Jobs. Again, despite being a coding geek, he has managed to reinvent more markets and industries than Lord Sugar has downsized, commoditised and flogged. 
Quite frankly with a bit of Googling, I could unearth many business leaders that have an engineering background. I always suspected Lord Sugar was an industrial dinosaur who appeared on Wednesday’s because the cotton mill didn’t run that night – and he has proved me right. Idiot.
Anyway back to the show. The key constituents of last night’s task were:
·         Processing Information (did you understand the key commercial levers?)
·         Creativity (could you Idea/Concept Create?)
·         Empathy (did you understand the market?)
So I liked this task, it was a bit more rounded. It was just a shame the majority of the contestants weren’t!
So, a quick mention to the star of the night – I thought Helen was just superb again. She got the commercial levers straight away, she understood men better than the, frankly, more 90’s-bloke-than-girl, that is Natasha and led the affable but bumbling Tom (my wife loves Tom) so he looked quite good.
Which brings me to my point: Who spotted Helen in the first episode? Not me – and I do this stuff for a living. Jim & Suzie were hot favourites emerging from Episodes 1 & 2. They’d interview great; their initial impression is strong. They are now (metaphorically after you’d hired them) looking less great. If we were making the decision based on a couple of "standard" interviews, Jim and Suzie would most probably have been hired, Helen not. 
This is important. It just shows that how we recruit today has the potential for disaster.
Quick words on the Project Managers:
Is it just me or is Natasha depraved? "Blow Your Load!"…I’ve just cringed writing it. If she really believes us lads think that’s clever or bordering on funny, I can assure you her ordination as a nun is well on its way to becoming a reality. Not attractive.
Her PM skills are well-known; she has no listening ability and is domineering. However Natasha’s biggest challenge to winning the task is not a complete lack of any coherent leadership behaviours, but what’s between (or not) her ears. Pointedly she is not bright. All of Chemistry’s research has shown that as you progress up an organisation, the need for Intellectual Horsepower increases, in Natasha’s case this is her Achilles heel – and the reason why she will not make it.
We are starting to see how Jim works; he is coercive but in a way that leaves him looking like an angel. We call this Influencing Others, Level 1. He doesn’t create "win-win" situations he looks to manipulate people to his way of thinking, this is not great leadership, it’s actually not leadership at all. 
We see this behaviour everyday in corporate life; it’s the manager who calls a meeting with a decision made and then feigns asking people for input, cajoling, suppressing and poking until he/she gets the answer they already had! 
In short, Jim should have been fired, however Glenn (nice guy, wouldn’t have gone the distance) was undone by a moment of utter lunacy by the wonder that is Lord Sugar.
PS: I am still bloody furious!