Business Rules #11: |
Take Credit, Even When
It's Not Due.
November 19, 2004
Isn’t it amazing? Jennifer Massey stood up this week and took credit that wasn’t due with a grand smile, without so much as a PR type statement along the lines of “It was a team effort.” Well, if you’ve had more than one job in your lifetime, it should not have come as a surprise at all. Matter of fact, it was a smart move!
In business school, they teach us all about business ethics and how to play fairly. In the real world, however, it doesn’t work that way. “Nice guys finish last” should be the statement here. Or try this one on for size: "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime." I had the luxury of reading what others have been saying before I sat down to write this column, and people are very upset with Jennifer. I disagree one hundred percent. She has done what every single person who is carping about her behavior would have done—and that is standing up and saying, “Yes, I am the best.” Besides, it would have been bad manners to correct the top executive from Levi’s while he was speaking.
Oh, I can hear it now, “LaVelle has no idea what he’s writing about! He’s a maniac and is just as evil as Jennifer or even worse!” Truth be told, you’re probably right, but let me pose a question to you:
“If you found $250,000 lying in the middle of the street and no one said anything or claimed it, would you turn it away?”
Of course not! Business is no different, especially on The Apprentice! It’s a competition, folks! Only one person is going on to become the president of one of Trump’s companies. The job pays $250,000 per year and promises major fame and even more fortune. Just look at the people from the first season who are doing well: Bill Rancic has a great career going, Amy Henry speaks all over the country to women in business, and Kwame Jackson landed an $8 billion deal over the summer. Hell even Sam and Omarosa are cashing in on it.
I had a woman once tell me, “Money is the root of all evil.” To which I responded simply, “Only if you don’t have any.”
Only a real loser is going to deny credit, whether it’s due or undue. You can’t be sentimental or you’ll lose that killer instinct. Now I’m not talking about taking credit for something like saving a child’s life or finding a cure to a monster disease. I’m talking about someone saying, “You did a great job;” “You have a great product;” or even something as simple as “That’s a very nice outfit.”
Was Jennifer out of line by jumping in and going on about things that she didn’t understand? Absolutely. She had no clue about what she was talking. She was clueless throughout the entire task and couldn’t even grasp the idea for the jean selector “fit wheel” until it was right in front of her!
But! She impressed the bosses. That’s all that matters.
Whine and cry about it all you want, but Jennifer did what she had to do. She impressed the boss. Many readers of this column have managers who take credit for their work everyday! Jennifer was no different.