Outside of Barclays Premier League football, the Detroit Red Wings, and (thanks to my youngest) SpongeBob Squarepants, I really don’t watch much TV. However, I have been watching the current season of Celebrity Apprentice.
I know that there have been several college professors that have used the show as a tool to discuss business management with their classes. And I agree that the show can be educational, demonstrating things like: management style, delegation, project management, collaboration, communication, etc.
What I find intriguing at times is the way the game is played. The impact of the personality of the players becomes an integral part of the game. Does the nice guy finish last? Does getting nasty and using cut throat and back stabbing tactics make you standout and succeed?
This brings me to Lisa Lampanelli. Lampanelli is a strong player who delivers results for her team. She is talented in many areas that make her an asset on a project. She also is a hot-head with a demonstrated tendency for verbally berating co-workers.
How much of that can a team and its manager tolerate in order to reap the benefits of the talents that she brings to the table? When does it cross the line and the benefits no longer outweigh the costs?
I don’t believe that a team can be successful for long tolerating this type of behavior. There are times for team members to be firm, decisive, question one another, and even engage in a conflict of ideas. These things should be part of a healthy team.
In this case, Lampanelli has crossed the line from conflict of ideas to personal attacks. Not only is the tone of her conflicts nasty, the content of her conflicts are to attack fellow team members even to the point of name calling.
This has even moved outside of the show/workplace. Referring to fellow Apprentice star Dayana Mendoza in a recent radio interview, Lampanelli said, “I actually would love to see [Dayana] giving birth. She’s a sp*c! She’s going to do it f**king soon, anyway. She’ll be knocked up before the end of the week.” Personal attack turned now even more vicious to ethnic slur, attacking a whole group of people.
In a real workplace setting, allowing these behaviors to continue poisons the team atmosphere and will lead to voluntary turnover of other talented team members. No company should tolerate this type of behavior in the workplace.
And Celebrity Apprentice shouldn’t reward this type of behavior either. And I don’t believe Donald Trump will hurt the Apprentice and Trump brand by crowning Lampanelli as the next Celebrity Apprentice.
Which is why I don’t think Lisa Lampanelli can win Celebrity Apprentice. What do you think?