I admire Mark Burnett. He produces my two most favorite reality TV shows: Survivor and The Apprentice. If you haven’t heard of these two shows, please Google them.
I love the two shows because they are like social experiments, bringing out the real nature of the participants. I keep wondering whether I’d accept to go on such a show if invited (you know, the Naija Twitter Celebrity Apprentice show). I’m scared that I might find out some things about myself on international TV that I didn’t know about, and that they may be ugly.
These two shows are difficult to manipulate. Unless you win every task you’re given, there will always be a chance to be knocked out. In the Apprentice, if you lay low and let others take the bullets, when your time comes to lead, you may not have the respect and loyalty of your team needed to win. You could get fired for “lack of ideas”, “not stepping up”, or “not being a team player. You could even get fired for not being able to defend yourself properly.
The self defense part appeals to me because I admire people who know how to give convincing arguments. It’s not about shouting. Get your point across and cover your flanks because your strong points can very easily become your weak points. One statement or question from people trained to see through pretenders and your argument falls to pieces. You may even have been pretending to yourself without knowing it. Only to be outed in the end as a fraud. Shivers yo!
The twist to the social experiment in Survivor is the secret ballot vote. The participants decide who goes. And the worst part is, by being a strong player, you automatically become the target. Except you’re really good at brainwashing people, forming alliances, picking out someone else to deflect the attention to, or simply intimidating people. Phew! That’s a lot to manage! Then people could huddle in groups to plot your downfall while smiling with you and you would never see it coming. Nah, I won’t be on Survivor Woji.
This team work thing came through for me once when I was in a leadership/group series of challenges. For one week, we failed task after task, not for lack of ideas, but for the lack of the extra 1% push that set the ball rolling down the hill. The straw to break the camel’s back was never available until the task was failed and it was found in my hands. We were also required to give feedback to each other and the effect was humbling. Everyone said the same things about me. That I should be more pushful with my ideas and more visible. Wow. I thought being gentle was a good thing. No. Not all the time. Sometimes those with the good ideas sit back and let lesser ideas fly because they think they have nothing at stake and then when failure comes, it becomes obvious that those who should have known better refused to back their convictions with firm assertive action. Needless to say, I’ve decided to become less apologetic of my ideas and become more of an apologist (not gonna check the dictionary if I used the right word there).
Are you ready to look in the mirror? Are you scared of what you might see? Well, I am. I think I’m scared to hear “You are the weakest link, goodbye!”
But I think I’m too curious not to take a look. Maybe.
The road to life is a disciplined life;
ignore correction and you’re lost for good.
(Prov. 10 vs 17, The Message)