The Partner

Self-made millionaire: Why it can be crucial to challenge your boss

Learning to form and articulate a clear opinion, and to support it when challenged, is crucial in business.

The five remaining candidates on CNBC's "The Partner," airing Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET, have to learn that the hard way.

As the candidates compete for the chance to help Marcus Lemonis oversee dozens of small businesses, they are presented with two potential investments and tasked with arguing their merits and shortcomings.

The catch? Both businesses are fake and both are built on inherently faulty concepts. Lemonis simply wants to see whether anyone will be brave enough to say that outright.

Marcus Lemonis during the season premiere of CNBC's "The Partner."
Tim Hiatt | CNBC
Marcus Lemonis during the season premiere of CNBC's "The Partner."

"What I'm ultimately looking to see is who, actually, is going to stand up and tell me it's a bad idea and have a conviction about it," he says. "Best case scenario? Someone looks me in the face and says, 'These are all terrible.'"

The two businesses are a restaurant called "Splurge" that serves 6,000-calorie meals and a social ratings site that aims to be Yelp for people.

Though each candidates voices concerns, no one takes an active stance against either idea. Instead, they raise questions about additional market research.

Buffie Purselle, known for her candor and confidence, comes down clearly in favor of Splurge, highlighting the potential for a social media campaign, and saying it's a clear concept that she could support.

"Tell me it's a bad idea and have a conviction about it." -Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC's "The Partner"

Even when Lemonis says he's not going to invest in a restaurant that encourages overeating, she persists.

"I'm sick and tired of people always trying to tell me what I should do with my body or where I should eat," says Purselle. "I don't need anybody on this table, or Marcus Lemonis, telling me that's wrong."

Despite the fact that he disagrees with her and would not invest in a real version of the company, Lemonis holds up Purselle's argument as the kind he's seeking from a partner.

Her honesty prompts a more frank conversation among the candidates, who finally address the reasons the two companies wouldn't work for Lemonis' portfolio.

"I want to change, I need to get better," says Lemonis. "I don't have all the answers. That's what a partner's all about."

Watch CNBC's "The Partner," Tuesday 10 PM Eastern

Video by Brandon Ancil