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Petepan

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When I'm in hotel rooms I sometimes switch on the TV. Like just now. I had noticed Tony Fernandez hosting The Apprentice Asia some months ago, but fond the show so ridiculous and painful to watch that I would flip to other channels.

 

But just now, I watched a major portion of it.

 

It is really a stupid show. The biggest question on my mind: Why did Tony involve himself in this? How does he benefit?

 

In reality, CEOs are not like this and corporate environments are not like this. At all.

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I love the apprentice (all the various formats... although of course The Donald does the best rendition). I guess Tony did it because he wanted to stroke his ego? It's the only reason to do something like that. Not that's there's necessarily anything wrong with that. 

 

What do you think are the differences between the real world and the apprentice world? 

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I find it hard to imagine he would need all that circus for his ego. I kept thinking: is it for corporate branding, to convey AirAsia as a desirable employer? But such a show is the opposite of that. It makes Tony and his company come across as mean.

 

Most companies are, by and large, nurturing and adapts itself to the strengths and weaknesses of individuals. Employees are almost never criticized in the group for lack of greatness in projects. They might if they really screw up, but losing in a competition is not screwing up. Of course I've also been in dysfunctional companies, but even those are quite decent unless you work on the premises as a contractor, or worse, a consultant.

 

You don't find the show very artificial?

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I'm sure 'brand building' is one of the rationales used to justify participation in the show, but as you point out, it defies logic. That's why I say it's an exercise in ego-stroking. Ego is the main reason people do things, even things as silly as being the boss on a TV show, as Dr Sigmund told us. 

 

Interesting that you should say it makes Tony and co come off as mean. It's something I've heard from others as well. But by reality TV/Apprentice standards, it's an extremely diluted, toned down and even genteel version of the series. Tony is practically father christmas compared to The Donald and his on-air counterparts elsewhere. 

 

The main thing I find artificial about the show is the standard of English. In real corporate Asia I'd expect far worse English. And worse skin. 

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I think it is incredibly stupid as well, just like the idiots I have as acquaintances on Facebook who constantly rave about it and how interesting it is and how good this or that person on that show is.

 

I find the whole concept to be so contrived as to be fucking stupid and ridiculous. Like you said, it's nothing like reality -- the whole thing is all just dramatised bullshit, like 90% of reality-TV. All meant to dumb the masses.

 

As for why, I'll have to concur with ego-stroking. Hi, how would you like to be a star on TV? Some would revel at that idea, I imagine.

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Yeah, tony is not like that in real life. It's all corporate branding, he understand that game very well. He encourages all his CEOs to be out there in the media Azran, Jason lo n etc.

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I heard he's a really friendly guy. A close friend bumped into him in Zouk one Friday night and they took a photo together.

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Yeah he is, very approachable. I dont know him on a working basis to compare the Apprentice him to the real CEO of Air Asia. Ive been told he is tough a nuts but fair. But i do see him a letting his CEOs having a free reign, which admirable trait but not very common in business owners. I would categorise him smart as fuck.

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I have thought on and off over the years about this business of delegation. Of giving your managers free reign. Right now, I see it this way: How well you can delegate depends on how good you are at finding the superstars. When a business owner doesn't delegate well, it may not mean that he has a personal problem with delegating to others. What it often means is that he wasn't able to hire the superstars, and had to make do with merely "ok" managers, which, because they are not that hot, need supervision.

 

I think most people delegate supremely well if they are delegating to an obvious superstar. Say you need someone to write advertising copy for your product. You wouldn't micromanage an Ogilvy or a Bernbach. These people are so good at that task, you would never dream of instructing them on how to do their jobs. But many companies have mere mortals writing their copy, and these people are only semi-smart, so you feel the need to contribute some of your brain towards their efforts.

 

It's how I feel myself when I have to delegate. I delegate freely when the person I am delegating to have shown that they are far better than me at that task. What value would I add trying to micromanage someone like that? I'm just so glad I have someone like that doing that for me.

 

In some situations though, the guy who is supposed to do something is inferior to me at it.

 

By and large, most bosses would LOVE to delegate more. It means they need to do less themselves. If they aren't delegating, it means they haven't managed to get the great people working for them yet. Finding great people is brutally tough.

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Don Valentine, founder of Valentine Ventures in the 70's which became Sequoia Capital.

 

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Thanks Holymoly, really liked the movie. I wish Jiro would play a smaller role in his business. It's apparent his son is doing essentially everything.

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What a storyteller, what a showman, what an entertainer!

 

High-wire artiste Phillipe Petit on Ted (sorry, can't get it to properly embed here, so just click on the link below)

 

http://embed.ted.com/talks/philippe_petit_the_journey_across_the_high_wire.html

 

http://www.ted.com/speakers/philippe_petit.html

 

<iframe src="http://embed.ted.com/talks/philippe_petit_the_journey_across_the_high_wire.html" width="853" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

 

 

 

The documentary "Man On Wire" by James Marsh is a brilliant capture of Phillipe Petit which I also enjoyed very much.

 

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Almost all the vids here are great. Well, how about a lousy vid for once? This TED talk is so full of bad ideas, somebody should bring that bald guy out to the back and shoot him.

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