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by Vault Careers | April 19, 2010


He had a successful stint in wrestling, but when it came to succeeding in business, Bill Goldberg’s survival streak has come to an end…losing out to Cyndi Lauper and the finger point of doom from Donald Trump, who proclaimed, “Bill Goldberg…you’re fired” to end another educational episode of

In this week’s episode, the men of Rock Solid battled the women of Tenacity in a challenge to makeover and establish a breakout country music star. The end result was an interesting case study for how to successfully manage a team. Even in winning, Cyndi Lauper has a lot of learning to do.

1. Delegating Authority vs. Abdicating the Throne: Donald Trump announced this week’s music-based challenge and for some reason, Goldberg decided it was time for him to step up and take on the role of project manager, despite Bret Michaels, of Poison fame, being the obvious choice. The former wrestler deferred to Michaels on every decision, believing he had no right to question the rock star. Funny enough, while Michaels may have known all there is to know about promoting music, Goldberg actually understands how to make a star. The former NFL star was a nobody wrestler until Ted Turner’s wrestling minds molded Goldberg as an unstoppable monster complete with smoke machines and piped in audience chants. Goldberg’s success hinged on a makeover and yet the only order he barked was to tell his country star Luke Bryan to smile more when they took his photo for a media kit.

2. Defer when Necessary: Cyndi Lauper, who ironically enough has done more for the pro wrestling business than Goldberg, body slammed her competitor when it came to management skills. A music icon in her own right, Lauper knew she had a marketing genius on her team when it came to Sharon Osbourne. Sharon has guided her husband’s career to higher heights than should be possible. When Lauper needed advice on how to market Emily West’s look, she wisely reached out to Ozzie’s wife. When you have two musical masterminds who are able to work together, regardless of who is in charge, you create an unstoppable force, at least in this challenge.

3. Live by the Sword; Die by the Sword: It was no shock that Goldberg’s team loss, but had he won, Goldberg would have received $20,000 for his charity, despite Bret Michaels doing all of the work. It only stands to reason that Goldberg also face the consequences for his team losing. Yet, the men, including Bret Michaels, tried to convince Trump that the rock star should be fired. Trump knows business. He fired Goldberg for foolishly choosing an assignment he had no possibility of winning on his own. The lesson here: If you take on the responsibility, you had better be prepared to face the music. If you delegate authority, do not do so in a way that allows you to throw someone under the bus if they fail. In the end, the buck stops with the project manager.

4. Don’t Burn Bridges: Despite winning, Cyndi Lauper is turning into a boss from hell, fast creating enemies on a show where you need allies in order to survive. Whenever Holly Robinson Peete or Maria Kanellis tried to offer their opinions, Lauper went with the “Zip it” approach, quieting her teammates because she felt they knew nothing about how to create a star. Whether she is right or wrong, a dictatorship will alienate members of your team. There is a saying in public relations that is probably said in other circles as well: “Be nice to those who work for you, because chances are at some point, you might be working for them.” Next week, someone else will be project manager and Cyndi Lauper’s iron fist rule may come back to haunt her. Winning doesn’t always guarantee future success.

--Posted by Jon Minners,


Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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