randal’s fatal flaw


randal was so stinkin’ perfect.

confession: i’m a bit of an ‘apprentice’ junkie. we have a group of friends over every thursday night to watch the show together. and like most viewers, and most of randal’s fellow competitors, i had him picked as the clear winner fairly early on in the season that ended last night. and the guy seemed really amazing on every single level.

but in the last 3 minutes of the finale last night, he pulled a king uzziah on us.

remember uzziah? he ‘did what was right in the eyes of the lord’, following a bunch of kings who didn’t. he experienced god’s power in such amazing ways, and stood firmly in the middle of god’s will and work for many years. but his fatal flaw (a phrase i’m borrowing from a talk i heard years ago by dan webster that has really stuck with me) was revealed when his arrogance lead him to step into a priestly role and snatch the incense out of the hands of a priest. leprosy broke out on his face, and he spent the rest of his years in seclusion.

we all have fatal flaws — some of us more obviously so than others. when i first heard this concept from dan webster, i was at an event with a group of pastors from the church i worked with at the time. we gathered that evening, and in debriefing our day, talked about this idea. and we all identified our own fatal flaws; the one thing that was likely to ‘bring us down’, if anything did. i remember our senior pastor revealing what we all knew, that, unchecked, he would be a sexual predator (thankfully, this has never manifested for this guy). i remember, as a young guy, saying to him, “you’d be a total slut!” and i remember his nervous laughter.

my fatal flaw is self-sufficiency. there are lots of pieces that fit under that umbrella. but that’s my achilles heal. and i think an awareness of this has been highly instrumental in — so far — keeping me from massive failure.

back to the apprentice finale. randal had been the magnanimous one. he’d been a strong leader, but had done so with heart and gentleness. he’d helped other people be successful.

we all saw the ‘surprise’ coming — that trump was going to offer a job to both of the final apprentice candidates. they were both so sharp. and when trump told randal ‘you’re hired’, we could still tell he was going to bring it back around and hire rebecca (the other finalist) also. but trump asked randal. he gave randal the chance to be the good guy one more time and agree that rebecca should also be hired. she started grinning, because it was clear what was about to happen. and everyone knew randal’s character (or thought they did), and knew he would agree she should be hired.

but he shocked us all. randal said there can only be one winner, and that rebecca shouldn’t be hired. he said the show is called ‘the apprentice’, not ‘the apprenti’ (a cute way of making it plural). and in an awkward moment, trump obviously felt trapped (something i doubt he experiences very often) to go along with randal’s shocking turn in character. so rebecca wasn’t hired.

randal had nothing to lose by agreeing that rebecca should be hired. he was already clearly ‘the winner’. but his selfishness, that we’d never seen, popped its ugly head out and revealed him.

i pray my own fatal flaw never undoes me — especially in such a public way!

17 thoughts on “randal’s fatal flaw”

  1. I’ll offer the differing viewpoint here. I can see both sides; but Randal has gotten so far in his young life by his competitiveness (as well as all of his other characteristics), and he didn’t want to share this moment with someone else. He won fair and square. I don’t think his choice tarnishes his character. I suppose it could be explained by selfishness, but I choose to chalk it up to his competitive nature (which, yes, you could choose to see that term as negative, but I don’t).

  2. I can see Kris’s arguement…but the only thing that really matters for that guy is the court of public opinion. And he’s been tried and convicted already. Poor guy, it’s bad enough to go from total winner to total loser in the span of 5 minutes…but to have it on national television… ouch!

    I’m sure that Rebecca will do better now than she would have if she had won. Either way, the Don goes out with a bang!

  3. i’m not buyin’ it, kris. i’m not saying this reveals randal is a ‘bad guy’. just showing that he has a dark side (and, as is the case with so many of our fatal flaws, his weakness is merely a variation of his strength). yes, he won fair and square — and allowing rebecca to get a job out of it would only enhance his winning, because he’d get to be the winner, but also the magnanimous guy who acknowledged the skills of his sister-competitor.

  4. i couln’t believe it!
    i was shocked when it happened.

    i told pam. he couldn’t share the glory.

    then it was clear. Randal’s first decision as the apprentice was disappointing to his new boss.


  5. I hardly ever watch the Apprentice, but last night, after getting home from band practice caught the final minutes of the broadcast. I was amazed just like you. Randal could have so easily gone from a good guy to a great guy in the eyes of the Trump, his fellow competitors and the world if he would have been able to share the stage with Rebecca. You make a wonderful point Marko.

    By the way, I am a newbie to your blog. Heard about it at NYWC in nashville. Good stuff.


  6. My wife and I wanted Rebecca to win, but didn’t care if either of them one. In fact, my wife called it and said, “Do you think he’ll hire them both?” That’s what I was hoping for. Then Randall shocked us both.

    I know it’s just TV, but I think I was actually mad at Randall. I definatly lost respect for him.

  7. With you on being shocked. I did see this morning on the Today Show that the Yahoo execs offered her a job working with in their financial area with Ben Stein.

  8. i didn’t watch it… but i think that randal proved he was the legitimate winner… apparently, randal knew that he was the indispensable member of the group and to give consolation to rebecca would be insulting to him and diminish the value of his work. trump knew randal deserved it more than rebecca, otherwise the don would have fired him. maybe it wasn’t nice of randal to say she shouldn’t win, but it was obviously very true… she was the consolation winner… the “you’re not as good but awww… you’re so cuuuuute!… you can win, too i guess.”

    and what if something different had happened? what if randal clearly won (no tie) and asked that rebecca be hired on as well? we’d all go “that was sweet” but really, it’s terrible television and a terrible way to conduct a competition. that’s like having a tug of war go on for 13 weeks and at the end, just as one team is about to clinch it, they both just go “you know, your team is really great… we should both win”… what a terrible game!! the whole point of competition is being competitive… to compete… not to be nice (unless it’s a niceness competition… how fascinating that game would be to watch)… be nice when you’re off of the playing field but, until then, play to WIN. nobody plays to tie.

    if you can rate these people as employees without having them compete against each other and without comparing them directly to one another, that’s great… i’d love to buy your book (i think the california education system might too).

    in closing, if randal wasn’t the best, most indispensable worker, how could he have backed the don into a corner? he’s not a jerk, he’s not selfish… he just knows deep down that he worked harder and deserved it more and he was able to get that point across to the don.

    ps… who wouldn’t rather work with ben stein? seriously…

  9. andy, i think you’re missing the point. randal DID win. allowing another highly qualified candidate to also have a job takes nothing away from the fact that he won. had he allowed rebecca to be hired, it wouldn’t have changed the fact that he won.

  10. I am thinking Randal got a beat down by his wife last night.

    I agree, I don’t want to judge his character any more than my own, but I was surprised.

  11. I was going to say what Len said…he got here first! Darn spending time with friends! ;) Rebecca seemed to take it OK and I think could be very happy at Yahoo! But I agree,with the exception of Bill it IS a one year internship…hiring both would have been OK. I think she could end up with the better deal in the long run.

  12. I was very disappointed with Randall – for the first time. Rebecca was certainly one of the strongest candidates on the show as of yet; I did think Randall deserved the win, but was excited when Trump brought up hiring her as well. I thought maybe in the moment; he just won, he was excited and all of a sudden he thought he was being asked to share it so he said no – but he was still defending his decision today, claiming it would be like asking a gold medal winner in the olympics to share their medal. No one would have thought he was sharing; he was the winner. She was clearly second place. Oh well.

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