The Americans TV companies thought they hit the jackpot with The Apprentice, with the obnoxious Donald Trump scaring the wits out of contestants. Surely no one more vile could be found to compete with him. Wrong. In Britain the BBC managed to find the thoroughly unattractive “Lord” Sugar, and we have our own Apprentice series. Take that, USA!
So what is my problem with these guys? Sure, just looking at them and listening to them is enough to make my stomach turn, but that wouldn’t justify writing about them here. What really bugs me is the message they and their broadcasting partners are sending to our ambitious youngsters:
- Be ruthless. No one is going to care about you in business, so you should not care about them either.
- In the end it’s all about the ‘bottom line’.
- The killer instinct is essential.
- If it sells it’s good.
Not satisfied with brainwashing grown-ups as to how it all works, the BBC and “Lord” Sugar have come up with the bright idea of Junior Apprentice, so they can indoctrinate schoolkids with their views of the ruthless world of business.
In a world where “successful” and “rich” are used interchangeably, I am very happy to say that in my own little business, the brutal methods of Sugar and Trump have no place. We disagree with them and aim to show that you can be civil, relaxed, socially and ecologically responsible and, as a by-product, have a healthy “bottom line” too.