The Apprentice – The Ego Has Landed!

That time of year again, Strictly is back on, The Walking Dead is soon back, M&S have their Christmas food on the shelves and the nights are drawing in, and yes, The Apprentice is back tonight too. Yes indeed, another chance to point and laugh at the over blown egos and self-aggrandising.

What is it that we love about this show? Is it the wonderful opportunity that is on offer? Could it be the Lord Sugar put-downs? The mind-bending tasks perhaps? How about the boardroom battles ending in the pointy finger and those immortal words “you’re fired.” No, what we like is listening to the absolute ego driven, Willy waving, self-promotion statements these people come up with, remember these from last year? “I am the Swiss army knife of business skills” or I’m the Godfather of the business and I’m going to make Lord Sugar an offer he cannot refuse” oh dear. Fools. Oh and please remember these ‘business people’ made £1.87 in profit in the first show last year. Business people? Pah!

The ego is an amazing thing; it tricks us into believing so much about ourselves to the point where we only hear our own voice. When things go well, some people just need to shout about it, no problem if it is tempered with a bit of humility, but these people are relentless. Is it due to insecurity, a need to be appreciated, or loved? or simply just bragging and showing off? We have moved through a time where we have heard that in schools no one is declared a loser or a winner, no, everyone is a winner, just showing up makes you a winner. This reduces the competitive edge so that true achievement is masked or blurred and under achievement is rewarded. This could contribute to this mentality coming up through the ranks in these people, after all many of them are very young, entrepreneurs maybe, but still young, and some of the basic life lessons such as humility have not been learned, let alone applied.

We also live in a time where confidence is key, we hear people saying that they have a need to feel more confident for whatever reasons. We are sold products that make us feel more confident, clothes, perfume, skincare, toothpaste, I might be mistaken but I am sure I have seen an advert for yoghurt where someone has said “it makes me feel more confident” – really, yoghurt? Are you sure, and how does it make you feel more confident? Sorry but the only possible way that it could make you more confident might be if you applied to an area infected with thrush so that it eased the itch, then you would feel more confident that you would not be scratching yourself in public.

See confidence is powerful, ensuring everyone feels that they are a winner is confidence building, however I cannot help feeling that all this confidence is misplaced. These people are acting under the misapprehension that something has been achieved in some way? It hasn’t. Arguably you might be thinking dear Reader that if it makes you feel good and positive then what is the harm? There is so much misery out there after all. Well yes, I can of course see and accept that, but true confidence, derived from true achievement is far more attractive. Why? Because it is subtle, elegant, unspoken and earned. It has been created at a deeper level with humility and an unboastful sense of being and place, that results in something, that, in my opinion; is much stronger and meaningful; a quiet sense of self-assuredness. People are attracted to this and react well to these types of people, offering them their respect. The holy grail of interpersonal relations some might say, after all it is not just given is it? We are reminded that respect is born of admiration, something that has been achieved earned or attained through sheer effort or hard work. Now show me just one of these contestants that demonstrates that you genuinely respect. They can have all the money, power and ego they want, but without something true, they are nothing but false. Ego can do this to people.

This blog forms part of one to one coaching and management development offered by me Simon Hares at SerialTrainer7.  If you would like to receive one to one support then please get in touch by emailing me 

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