A Manufacturing Apprentice



Congratulations to Randal Pinkett, the recent winner of “reality show,” The Apprentice. Randal was a year ahead of me as a student at the MIT Leaders for Manufacturing Program. Although he hasn't been working directly in manufacturing, he's the owner of a consulting firm, and his leadership characteristics shined brightly on the show. I'm sure the Trump Organization will greatly benefit from having a strong leader with a process and operations education and focus.

Again, congratulations to Randal!

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Mark,

    Some would take issue with this comment, but I think Randall really showed himself to be greedy and egocentric, not to mention selfish and low on class when he had the opportunity to bring Rebecca along too.

    He may be a great guy, but both he and Trump failed to think on their feet in my humble opinion. ; – )

  2. So next time you’re up for a consulting contract, and the client asks you “would you take on this co-consultant, you’re both good”, would you say yes? Or would you want the business for yourself? Would that be greedy? I’d think not. The rules of The Apprentice were clear upfront, pick one apprentice and one winner. I don’t blame Randal for wanting to be the one winner. It was ultimately Trump’s decision anyway. I don’t think that reflects badly on Randal at all.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Apparently we disagree.

    Trump has several thousand employees and many apprentices as well as senior staff to mentor the up-and-comers.

    Trump-land is a land of plenty and opportunity, not a land of scarcity. At least as far as I can tell.

    The bigger point here, for me anyway, is that when you have the opportunity to lift another, especially a “worthy” other, you should do it. In fact you should do it even if it posses a small risk to you.

    I really feel a moment of greatness was lost to selfishness and perhaps insecurity.

    As for me agreeing to take on a “co-consultant” the simple and always true answer for me is “I always *.* (remember DOS syntax) advise my clients to do what I believe is best for them even if it is detrimental to me. I realize that may make me an exception to the norm, but it’s me I have to live with in the end.

    No offense intended on any of this Apprentice stuff my friend.


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