I never thought that I’d find a spiritual lesson in a show run by Donald Trump, but The Apprentice seems to have something in every episode.
For those who haven’t seen the show, it consists of a face-off between two teams vying to outdo each other in a small business venture (everything ranging from street vendoring to planning a charity auction).
The winners get perks (visiting George Steinbrenner in the owner’s box at Yankee Stadium) while the losing team has to face Trump and his cronies in the dreaded “board room” where somebody will get fired (a preview of which you’ve surely seen in the commercial).
The wisdom of The Donald
Trump realizes that in business, things don’t always work out as planned. The person who takes a calculated risk outshines the rest of the crew—even in failure. Most often in the program, the person who simply rests on his or her laurels is the one who gets the boot.
Surprisingly Trump epitomizes great spirituality here:
- Do the best you can for others.
- Take some risks—stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone.
- If you fail, admit your faults and make amends.
- Most of all—don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes. We need to keep a healthy outlook so we can once again give life to others.
Trump wants a team player, someone who will give himself or herself to others in a way that not only makes them productive, but motivates them as well. He wants people with infectious enthusiasm—who wake up wanting to be alive. That is the person who’s going to get the job when all is said and done.
The contestants amusingly range from those who energize others well to those who are selfish and out for blood. There are even a few doormats.
Jessie’s choice, Donald’s trump
No better example is Jessie who got bounced in episode six . Jessie blew her team’s chances on a project because her manager, Omarosa (who also got dropped three weeks later), placed her on a negotiating team when negotiation was not her best skill. Admirably, Jessie put forth a decent effort, but she still failed miserably.
Trump immediately spots a weakness in her character in the board room. When he gives her the opportunity to note that Omarosa is a horrible manager, Jessie chooses diplomacy. Thus, Trump realizes that she’s all wrong for his company.
You might ask why Omarosa doesn’t get fired, since clearly the bigger failure is hers? But unlike Jessie, Omarosa, while being a ruthless witch, has some backbone. She fights for herself, and Trump calculates that her tenacity means that she will go the extra mile for him. Jessie, who won’t even stand up for herself, will never be an asset to him.
Trump knows best that in business, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. While we don’t want to be or have our associates be rude or impossible to work with (which is why Trump later fires Omarosa), it’s not exactly a virtue being a wimp either. God doesn’t want any of us to be a doormat, but calls us to use our talents to touch the lives of others.
The man behind the myth
Not only is Trump’s show vastly entertaining, he’s probably the most entertaining part of it. Getting a glimpse into what kind of person Donald Trump is has been a curious kind of fun.
At first, I thought that anyone would have to be a lunatic to want to work for such a demanding and seemingly self-centered person, but after a few episodes I see why Trump is as successful as he is. Amazingly intuitive, he wants what’s best not only for his company, but also for his employees. Maybe he does have too much money, but perhaps among millionaires he is a “good king” who will not be threatened by the success of others. In short, Donald Trump is not the devil.