Here it is, my week in the spotlight whether I like it or not as appointed by Lord Sugar. The task of buying nine items in London was never something I would have chosen for myself as I never thought logistics and planning were my forte before entering the process. However, these were the cards I was dealt and I actually surprised myself how much I enjoyed it in the end regardless of the fact my close ups in the episode only ever capture my infamous "resting bitch face" as usual.
The core of my strategy to the team was prioritisation, which was one of the reasons I was so assertive and focused when it came to getting that Amstrad Computer as soon as possible as the known high ticket item. Another thing I communicated to the team was the importance of finding out what the unknown items were just incase they were high ticket. The added recommended retail price on top of the fine for the expensive items was a real concern for me from the get go.
Why I took that risk to be late
Part of being in business is having the balls to take risks and this is probably one the biggest risks I've taken in my career. At 6pm I was under pressure this week to make an executive decision about whether the sub team should go and buy the Scarlet Doeskin and my team the scarf at the risk of being late for our 7pm deadline. This was a hard decision to make and was not taken lightly. My rational for getting the items regardless of being late was due to weighing up the cost of both possible fines.
Senario 1: Be on time and don't get the two items.
This would mean we would get a £50 fine for each item, plus the recommended retail prices of both meaning £100 minimum in fines and God knows what else. I can honestly say that the one thing that swayed my decision not to do this was the fact that the sub team had not negotiated the scarlet doeskin yet. Anisa had suggested in our brainstorm meeting that If we do find out the doeskin is definitely a fabric, we should try get a small sample. We had no idea how expensive this material was and I was concerned that when given the penalty of the recommended retail price, we could have been charged £50, plus the price of the length of something huge like jacket or a rug.
Senario 2: Receive the late penalty, but get all 9 items.
I was also aware that my car was at the complete other end of London from the House of Lords at this point and even though we had an hour, we could have still been about 5 minutes late to the deadline due to rush hour. The deal breaker here for me was that the rules stated a penalty for being late, but it did not specify how much or whether there was a difference in penalty for being 5 minutes late, or 45 minutes late and it also didn't specify if it was a fine for each individual sub team so I told my entire team to just finish the task. At this point, my worst nightmare was being stuck in traffic for an hour and getting a fine for being marginally late and then getting a further two fines for the missing items. So I took the risk knowing that if it was the wrong decision, I would have to take responsibility and it was on my head. It paid off as our fines were only £100 for being late versus the opposing team's fines of £347 and I was emotional in the boardroom due to the result. After such negativity the week before, my priority was proving any doubters wrong but most of all, making sure I had a moment which my family in Gambia could at least watch and be proud of as I hadn't felt I had much opportunity to do that so far in the process. In hindsight, would I have avoided showing emotion in the boardroom whether it be happy tears or not? Yes, because it shows weakness in the cut-throat environment I'm in. However, at the same time I don't see a problem with being a business person who is also human.
Credit where credit is due!
As the only Londoner in my car I really don't think Anisa was given enough credit in this weeks episode in terms of footage for the level of input and support she gave me as project manager. Navigating around London would have been a hell of a lot harder without her and she played an instrumental part in the team so shout out to Anisa! You were brilliant this week.