Carolyn 101 : Business Lessons from The Apprentice’s Straight Shooter

Carolyn 101 : Business Lessons from The Apprentice’s Straight Shooter

Carolyn Kepcher with Stephen Fenichell

I have been really busy these few days that I am unable to read this book page by page. But managed to find a few gists of things. In my opinion, in any one book, if I can find just one idea to implement, that will be good enough.

1. Mutual transparency creates trust

Good bosses example John Murray should be implicit, not explicit. Teddy Roosevelt’s famous slogan “Speak softly and carry a big stick” could never be amended to “Speak loudly and swing your stick at your neighbours,” ,much less “Shout at the top of your lungs, and when they look at you, thrust your stick in their faces.”

Don’t wield your power unless you absolutely have to. Power kept in reserve packs twice the punch.

When dealing with any boss, difficult or not, have a good base level of performance to fall back on.

Carolyn mentioned about a difficult boss – controller. He handled himself differently with me than he did with others on our staff. With many of them he played the Angry Loudmouth. He ranted and raved and beat his fists on his desk. With me, he was the two-Faced Poker Player. He never once sought to coax me into his confidence, bribe me, threaten me, cajole me as he did with others. His far more sly approach was to to go over my head and behind my back, attempting to isolate me from the centers of power and to create alternative power centers, to which I was to be granted no access.

He proved exceptionally skilled at denying me the resources I needed to do my job effectively. As time went on, it become increasingly clear he had hatched a plan to take control of the club, and he was creating conditions to undermine me and lower my performance so that he could justify getting rid of me.

My best defence, as always was a good offence. But my offence don’t have to be aggressive. In fact an aggressive posture would never have succeeded, because confronting Andrew directly would have exposed me as his foe. I would have to adopt a stealth strategy, one that mimicked his approach to me.


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