‘Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. They make the impossible happen, if you are willing to put your mind to something there are no boundries to what you can achieve Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.’
The Apprentice has been a series of roller coasters for me both mentally and physically. Personally it has tested me in more ways than I thought possible.
It started out as bit of a challenge between me and a good friend of mine at his summer BBQ, this is when I decided to apply for the next series of the show. Luckily for me I was successful in passing the tough selection process whittling out over 40,000 hopefuls to get down to the last 16.
I went on the show to test myself under some of the most demanding business situations that you can be put under, I have done things that I could have never dreamed of doing in a career and succeeded in so many areas that I have never thought of exploring.
I was true to myself on the show, one thing I said is when I go on the show I am not going to be your typical candidate and tell tales or turn on friends in the boardroom. This was to work against me in the boardroom in the end but I left with my head held high, my integrity in tact and happy with my performance.
On the show you develop so many great business skills including product design, working under pressure and to tight deadlines, branding and marketing campaigns, sales and pricing strategies, cost control and project management.
Having been on the show I have learned so many things about myself and how business is conducted, I still believe that nice people can go far in business contrary to Lord Sugar’s views, but I also learned that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and are willing to work hard, I think for too long I stayed in my little job content with what I was doing, now I can see what true potential you can have, given the opportunity and I look forward to putting the things I have learned into practice in the future.
I have so many highlights from my 8 week apprentice experience, however the two key highlights to me were the bakery task in week 3. I was given chance to show my leadership skills and how to work well under pressure, as well as ensuring that the correct people were doing the jobs that suited them best.
Episode Three: Flour power …
The former Marine won plenty of plaudits for running Synergy’s baking operation in the factory, with Nick Hewer branding him “brilliant”. When Melissa and her fellow pitcher arrived to assist with the process, Christopher ensured they were fully briefed about how to proceed.
Once unleashed from the ovens, Christopher was part of the successful Le Pain Artisan stall in Kingston-upon-Thames that sold croissants and bagels.
Christopher was on the winning team Synergy. They took £999.37, spent £139.50 and made a £859.87 profit.
Episode Six: A narrow victory …
My other highlight would have to be task 6 when I was project manager with the now infamous Octi-Kleen product and my strap line ’8 hands are definately better than 2′.
I enjoyed this task because I managed to conceive an idea, design it and market it and ultimately win the task. In recent interviews I was praised by lord sugar with him saying that the product concept was excellent.
Christopher took on the Project Manager duties for Synergy’s successful advertising campaign. He latched onto the Octopus suggestion from a focus group, which resulted in the ‘Octi-kleen’ product. He briefed designers along with Liz and Stella, before deciding to take a leading onscreen role as a husband in the commercial.
While auditioning his ‘fake wife’ for the ad, he admitted he was keen to avoid casting any ‘mingers’ in the part. The commercial was criticised for its backward approach to contemporary gender roles, but that failed to prevent Lord Sugar from declaring Synergy the winners as they understood and followed the task’s brief more than Apollo.
Christopher was Project Manager on the winning team Synergy. Lord Sugar deemed their campaign to be superior to Apollo’s.