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You are the weakest link: Goodbye


Sir ALucinda may have been the weakest link in Sir Alan's chain of apprentices, but all the candidates showed their weaknesses instead of strengths in this episode, says John Fay. It all turned rather messy when their creative CV's started to unravel in the face of tough interviews.

Week 11's show took a different format to the previous episodes as the final five were forced to undertake gruelling interviews as opposed to a team task.

The remaining candidates were grilled by four of Sir Alan’s business contacts in a series of brutal interrogations to establish who had overstayed their welcome with Sir Alan.

The five apprentices showed their weaknesses, perhaps more than their strengths, in this episode but the ‘unemployable’ Lucinda was the eventual weakest link in Sir Alan’s chain.

Alex’s over-reliance on using his age as an excuse for his lack of experience and general incompetency was trying to say the least. A leader needs to improve their skills rather than rely on weak excuses for lack of personal development.

He referred to himself as being dynamic but in reality his CV left little to be desired. His attempt to bolster his credentials by listing fluency in English as a skill did not impress the interviewing panel.

Having a wide skills set is beneficial but listing skills which are a given, such as being able to speak in your own mother tongue, will never impress. Alex needs to identify where his weaknesses lie and undergo coaching to bring his skills up to a better standard.

Lee’s assertion that ‘nice guys don’t win’ was not really representative of his real drawback. Lying on his CV about his time at University and also neglecting to correct spelling errors made him appear shoddy. He said he had been untruthful to stop feeling inferior in terms of education, but lying did little to make this better.

He should instead invest time in gaining qualifications rather than creating cover-ups to save face.

Helene, believing she was a deserving winner for overcoming childhood difficulties, did not make a strong case for winning a role with Sir Alan. She should have focused on work strengths or weaknesses she has overcome as essentially it is her business prowess not personal difficulties which Sir Alan is interested in.

Claire’s confidence and presentation skills served her well in the boardroom and her business-growing potential is not in doubt. It comes perhaps as no surprise then that she is being tipped as the winner, but her people skills could be addressed as she seems keen to criticise others and is always willing to discuss the other apprentices when they are away from the group.

Lucinda was the casualty of last night’s show, after her ‘zany’ personality failed to win favour with Sir Alan. She stated she was a team player in interview but there seemed to be little evidence of this.

Throughout the previous challenges, Lucinda has failed to cooperate with fellow team members and perhaps she hit the nail on the head when she queried whether Sir Alan’s company would be ‘right’ for her.

Lucinda managed teams well when she was leading tasks but her inability to work as a key team player was her downfall. As she stated ‘teamwork is crucial’ and perhaps this skill needed addressing.

With just four apprentices left, we can only wonder which candidate will prove themselves enough to win a place at Sir Alan’s side. Perhaps the entrepreneur should start a sideline show to recruit The Coach as it seems each of his final candidates has some serous training issues to address before they are considered an ideal candidate for the £100,000 golden opportunity.

Leadership expert John Fay was awarded an MBE for his work teaching leadership, confidence and citizenship skills to young people during a 10-year period. He is the founder of SFL, a change management, leadership and development company. For more information visit


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