As much as I am impressed by the moxy of Donald Trump, I don't normally watch shows like the Celebrity Apprentice. This season's episodes caught my attention though because of how Poison's lead singer Bret Michaels handled himself. Kind of a weird topic to bring up in a Web Development blog - perhaps, but I felt there was a lesson to be learned.
Bret went through a truly harrowing experience with the brain hemorrhage - as Trump pointed out, something like 50% of people don't even make it to the hospital. So if you call that lucky, I guess Bret was lucky. The lesson through all this was unrelated to Bret's illness or diabetes for that matter - rather, what I am referring to was how he presented himself throughout the show, how he treated others and how he progressed to ultimately win in the end. Bret ran what I feel was one of the best marketing campaigns I have seen in a while and in a very pure way, without even really being aware of it. He really had no gimmicks or outstanding project results - he was just being himself and "keeping it real".
One crucially important point to this blog post is that Bret's opponent in the finale, Holly, raised considerably more money than he did and was, on paper, a considerably more accomplished apprentice. Last year's apprentice Joan Rivers even stated it Live on the TV in the 2010 finale - something along the lines of, yeah sure Holly is quite clearly the better apprentice here but if you vote from the heart and not the head, Bret should win. I imagine music sales for Poison have increased from Bret's appearance on the show and I even found myself listening to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" on Pandora this morning. - All because Bret seems like a genuinely good guy, plain and simple.
So what's the lesson out of all this? Well simply by being the best we can be, by being honest about our work and as straightup as possible people will come to trust and flat out like us more. Too often one can find oneself in circumstances where we don't want to let the client know of some small issue or of certain limitations on a particular project because we feel that it is in some way unprofessional or that it shows weakness. I think Bret Michaels just taught us that in fact we can rise above all odds and shine when we try to be as transparent as possible. It's OK to show some flaws as long as you show you are capable overall and willing to do the very best job you can do for the client. Above all else client's appreciate honesty and often times when a client is badgering for answers on something or results they are in fact simply nervous themselves, perhaps getting pressure from above.
The moral of the story is that you don't necessarily have to be the very best at what you do to be successful, you just have to do what it is that you do and do it to the best of your abilities. With honesty and integrity and treating others right you can win the gold! :)
PS: No - I'll not be reviewing the finale of Lost next week :).