Occupation: Trading Company Owner
Hometown: The Former U.S.S.R.
Lenny, 37, originally born in Baku, a city in the former U.S.S.R., he grew up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he served in the Soviet Army for two years. At 24, Lenny left for the United States with his wife and child. Eager to start a successful business of his own - but knowing no English - Lenny built himself up from a janitor to the eventual owner of his own Russian restaurant. Lenny also became a stockbroker and achieved his Series 7 license after being in America for only two years. He now operates his own medical trading company. Lenny resides in New Jersey with his wife and sixteen year old son.
What was your very first job?
My working career began back in Russia. I was 14 years of age, and whenever I aspired for something I worked hard to get it. I saw a pair of shoes that I wanted greatly. Therefore, I began to stock crates for a champagne manufacturer. At the money people were making it would of take me forever to save up for these shoes. However, within 20 days, and all the hard effort I put into my work, I saved up and bought that exact pair of shoes. At the age of 16, I was earning more money than most of the adults, which was a result of my hard work, creativity and leadership.
Who convinced you to try out for The Apprentice and why?
The Apprentice was not an idea of mine. My son awoke one morning and scurried downstairs as I was working, and said to me, "Dad, I had a dream last night, where you became the next Apprentice." I took it as a joke. However, my son was actually serious. It came as a shock to me that he truly wanted me to try out for The Apprentice. From then on, a feeling of consideration had arisen, and his persuasion was giving me thoughts of trying out. I decided that I'll take a shot at it, but I had no intent of actually appearing on the show. My son and I fashioned together a videotape of my current life and dropped it in the mail. A few weeks later, I received a call. My son was ecstatic and I was too. For my son, every time he watches the Apprentice shows, he keeps saying that I'm better than everyone and I deserve to be on the show more than anyone else. For me, it was my child who gave me the confidence, and convinced me that with my skills I have more than just a chance to be an absolute winner.
What did you quit/leave/sacrifice to join The Apprentice?
As I left my house, I was slightly setback; I left behind my job, my wife, and my son. My family is the most important thing in my life, leaving them behind was not simple at all. However, it was my family who motivated me to appear on this show, with not a doubt in their mind that I will be the next Apprentice.
Why do you want to work for Mr. Trump?
Being able to work alongside Donald Trump has been a dream of mine. Mr. Trump is one of the world's greatest businessmen and will soon be one of the greatest in history. I'm confident that my business skills, abilities and experience would provide great deal of benefits to the Trump organization. In addition, working with Mr. Trump, a man of such talents, and be able to learn from him would be a lifetime opportunity.
What's your definition of success?
Success in my mind can only be reached when you're actually delighted with what you are doing and the actual end result. Being successful can be very difficult but with passion, charisma and hard work, success is closer than one could think. To me, I will know I'm successful once my son achieves all his goals. I'll know that I'm successful when I'll celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary. However, these are the long-term goals for success. In the interim, I'll know I'm successful when I come home and say that I'm the new Apprentice.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Being a strong leader is a very difficult task and requires specific set of skills and quality. Not everyone encompass the leadership quality. It goes without saying that good leadership is crucial to any successful business. I, for one, do possess this attribute. I am a strong, hardworking, and passionate leader. I went through difficult predicaments while serving in the Soviet Army, but this is exactly where I started to learn what it takes to be a good leader.
How do you deal with challenges within a group dynamic?
Working within a group doesn't display any problems to me. I am truly a team player and work very well alongside others. Many enjoy working with me and/or for me.
How do you balance creativity and business?
I am a very imaginative person, however, I am also a very talented businessman. Throughout my time I've learned to balance my imagination and creativity with my business needs. My ingenuity and business needs work in conjunction with one another. In my opinion, business depends on the creativity and the newly generated ideas.
What is your philosophy on business?
Try hard, and keep on trying, is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything. Be wise, be happy and never look back. Earn trust and you will get loyalty. You get what you give.
Your favorite (famous) quote?
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." -Voltaire
Why should you be the next Apprentice?
I deserve to be the next Apprentice because I'll strive to reach my goals and I will not leave one goal undone. I know that I should be the next Apprentice because I have accomplished so much in my life that many have yet to accomplish. I came to America at the age of 24, with everyone back in Russia doubting me, but I still had a dream, a dream of accomplishment and success. I arrived in America with a 1-year-old child in my hands, a wife, $105, and no knowledge of the English language. We moved in with my wife's aunt, but we knew we couldn't stay for long. Within a few months, we moved to our first apartment. I had a car salesmen job and my wife was going to school. Few years later, I passed the series 7 exam on the first try and became a stock broker. Within no time I reached a state of happiness by moving to our dream house, for which my wife and I worked so hard. Now I can say that I have accomplished much through my determination. Perseverance is a quality not many of us possess but I am one who has this quality. And I am determined to become the next Apprentice!
Top 5 companies to keep an eye on (stock picks)
Oracle, Microsoft, Exxon, Sanofe-Aventis, Wells Fargo
Lion Feuxtwanger/Spanish Ballade
Favorite TV Shows
Of course Apprentice
Favorite Sports/Sports Teams
Current hobbies/recreational activities
Ski, golf, tennis
Top travel destinations?
Highest Level of Education
Tashkent Polytekhnikal College