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5 Business Lessons from Big Brother


Big Brother is back on CBS for the 15th installment of the popular reality game show. 16 new houseguests signed up to live in close quarters with cameras watching their every move all in hopes of winning the $500,000 grand prize.

Every week, three of the contestants will be up for possible elimination and the majority won’t have a clue how they got there. Want to learn from their mistakes? Here are five lessons from Big Brother that you can use to succeed at work.


1. Be nice to everyone

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This season, the producers have thrown in an elimination twist. Each week, the viewers will vote on a BBMVP. This person will have the power to nominate one houseguest for elimination. The catch is, the MVP will be voting in secret. That means that the contestants have to be nice to everyone, not just the Head of Household, because they don’t know who is going to cast that final vote. 

It’s the same in the office. If you can’t be nice because it’s the right thing to do, just remember that the co-worker you diss this week could become your boss a month from now.

2. Don’t get HOH-itis

On Big Brother, the winner of the weekly challenge becomes the Head of Household or HOH. That person gets a private room filled with snacks and other perks. The HOH also gets to control the game and is safe from elimination. It’s a sweet place to be but it’s only temporary, so flaunting your good fortune is never a good idea. It simply makes the other contests jealous and that’s not where you want to be when your time is up.

Same goes for the office. If you get special perks, free lunches, or extra vacation days, it’s best to keep your joy to yourself. Dissension in the ranks isn’t good for you or the business.

3. Don’t speak badly about anyone

The season’s contestants spent a little time mocking the swelled head of Big Brother 13 winner Rachel. No harm in that, right? It’s not like she’s going to hear them and get revenge. 

What they don’t know is that contestant Elissa is Rachel’s sister. She’s keeping her identity a secret for her own protection, but you can bet she’s taking down the names of everyone who bad-mouthed her sister.

Think twice before you say anything unkind in front of co-workers. One of them could be the cousin of a big client or a neighbor of the CEO. 

4. Showmances are a bad idea

And so are office romances.  It might be exciting while Its new, but what happens when the romance goes sour and you still have to work together? Even if it’s a love that will never die, office romances, like showmances, make it awkward for everyone else. If, by chance, you are married to a co-worker, remember that office is a no PDA zone

5. Team work is everything

Big Brother contestants often go in with an “every man for himself” attitude but they quickly learn that team work is essential if they want to win.

In this week’s challenge, four team members had to hold ropes leading to a platform with a growing soda can tower balanced in the center.  On each turn, one member had to hand off the support rope to a team mate so they could then cross the lake and collect another can.

The blue team agreed on a low-hanging strategy in order to prevent arm fatigue. it worked for them and they won the challenge. The other two teams had members who wanted to do it their own way and it cost them. Both red and yellow spilled their towers and had to start over again.

In the office, it’s good to gather input and opinions, but in the end, everyone has to agree on a single path. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time, money, and energy and that always results in bad feelings all around.

Just remember, like the contestants in the Big Brother house, you and your co-workers are in this together. You don’t have to become best friends, but you do have to get along if you want to survive to play another day.

What Do You Think?

If you had to spend a weekend locked in a house with only your co-workers, would you come out alright on Monday morning? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Photo courtesy of CBS

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