Seiche Sanders' portraitReality TV, as we well know, has few limits. Its newest excursion is into the cutthroat world of business. NBC’s new show, “The Apprentice,” documents the efforts of 16 young go-getters as they compete for a high-up position at one of Donald Trump’s companies — and the $250,000-a-year salary that goes with it. Aptly billed “the ultimate job interview,” it’s “Survivor” in a business suit.

By assigning a series of business-related tasks, Trump measures contestants’ abilities and weaknesses, then rewards those who show the greatest entrepreneurial potential. The group shrinks each week as one person from the losing team (it’s men vs. women) is fired at the end of the show.

Challenges such as selling lemonade on the streets of Manhattan, or negotiating the best deal on golf clubs and leg waxings exhaust a contestant’s business acumen and persuasive skills.

The show’s lesson: “winners” come from diverse backgrounds. Not every “boy-or-girl wonder” has an MBA or a storied resume. As you go about targeting people for possible advancement in your own organization, remember the Trump doctrine: entrepreneurial genius and job enthusiasm sometimes “trump” years of experience and formal education. Is there a diamond in the rough — an apprentice quietly making things happen in your organization?

This issue features our annual Buyer’s Guide to goods and services in the jan/san industry. The guide also lists the manufacturers and suppliers who bring their products to you. We hope you find it valuable year-round.