The Blog

Fess up…are you a leader or a Spazilla?

Spa Manager,Spa leader, Salon manager

How ‘not’ to lead your Spa staff!!

I am sure most of you reading this probably think “I am a leader in my Spa, my girls listen to me, and they respect my authority”.  But the question I want to put out there to some of you is  “How do you know, that you are a good leader? Do you lead by fear? Do you lead by constantly wanting to be in control of each and every situation that comes up and don’t listen to your staff as you think you always know better?”

In my 10 or so years of being in the beauty industry, I have, as you can imagine come across some great leaders who knew how to balance their private life with their leadership business role and I have also come across some Spazilla’s who in some perverted, twisted way got satisfaction from knowing that their staff are afraid of them.
Personally, I have never been afraid of anybody who plays out the Spazilla role (maybe its an age thing and I don’t get intimidated easily) but more importantly I have learnt from this type of Spazilla….how ‘not’ to be as a leader in my company.  The latter as you can imagine are the weakest of the two examples and they truly lead by their own insecurities as opposed to leading from strength and intelligence.
I once heard a quote, which resonated so well with me, and which was also the inspiration for me to write this blog on it.

A person seldom leaves the company, but is more likely to leave because of the manager.
I once worked in a Salon, where the owner greeted us each day with a huge smile on her face. She used to sing away to the music pounding out in the Salon and she was generally excited to see us when we walked in the door at 9am. We felt that she was happy to have us as her employees. We were not just ‘beings’ that empowered her in to being in control in her empire….this made my employment there so much easier and I didn’t dread the Sunday evening feeling of having to go into work the next day.  Not once in my time working for her which was approximately 2 years did I see her bring PMS into the Salon, or throw her toys out of the pram because somebody didn’t follow her rules. She was in control of her Salon, but not in a control freak manner. She enforced certain rules and for the most part all employees adhered to them.  Staff turnover was low, clients seemed happy, overall the Salon was buzzing with high energy and lots of laughter.  She created this.  It starts from the top and trickles down.

I also once worked in a Salon, where very rarely did you get so much as a glance from the owner. You might have got a grunt from somewhere behind the desk with a reluctant ‘hello’, or you may have been hit with a “Gosh ,I feel terrible with this awful cold”. PMS was stamped on her forehead 24/7.  Monthly reviews were always ending with an employee in tears or just merely scratching their head and wondering “Is there anything I am doing right?” Our weakness’s were always pointed out and very rarely our strengths.  It was a constant beat down of self esteem.  Staff turnover was high, clients commented on the different but fantastic atmosphere in the Salon on the owners day off. Overall when the owner was there the energy was suppressed. She created this.  It starts from the top and trickles down.

So I ask you again, do you feel that you are a leader or a Spazilla?
Have you ever thought about being super brave and asking your staff to type anonymously (so as to not see handwriting styles) constructive criticism, things that they would like to see changed in your leadership style? I would only encourage you to do this, if you are willing to changes aspects of your leadership style to really grow your business and keep your employees happy.

Maybe you get a glowing report, I sincerely hope that you do. But if you find that over 50% of the anonymous comments are pretty much all the same, and are of a negative nature,  this is detrimental to your business…Maybe it’s time to seek out a business coach or mentor.  These professionals will help you with your strengths and maybe encourage you to delegate certain areas of your business to others that may be more suited to the task at hand.

Something for you to chew on instead of gum!

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