The difference between strong leadership and effective management is often overlooked. A manager coordinates the day to day running of a business, but a leader is able to motivate a team into creating ongoing success. Great leaders and managers are both very important. A lack of leadership may result in stagnation, and a lack of management may result in big dreams with no follow through. Often, salon, spa and clinic owners will focus on the management side of things, because they need to ensure their business is profitable right now. But when you’re planning for ongoing future success, business growth and building a strong team to help get you there – what you need is a great leader.
So what is the difference?
Leaders are responsible for creating a vision for the future. But the real value comes from communicating this vision to the team, showing them how they can help bring it to life, and motivating them to succeed. In a business environment, having a team who are committed to your vision means they’ll be passionate about the direction you‘re heading in and help you achieve your goals.
In comparison, managers are task-orientated people that get the job done, they check, implement, organise and see tasks through to the end – a role that is essential in any business.
Either way, you may be lucky enough to have one person who is both a great leader and a manager, or you may have different individuals fill each role.
How can you be a good leader?
It’s clear that having a leader is important to the success of your business. However becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. So we’ve put together a list of essential traits that leaders have, so you can begin actively practicing these in your salon, spa or clinic.
Encourage personal development
Your team member’s goals are just as important as the businesses goals. In an industry where people are the focus, it can be easy to focus on your clients first and your employees second. Encouraging your team to have a clear direction for their career, and providing them with training opportunities shows that you’re invested in helping them grow. Achieving personal career goals helps motivate your employees, and when you’re supporting them to move forward in their career, they’re more likely to become an amazing stylist or therapist for your business.
Know your team
The easiest way to implement change and be a leader is to understand what matters to the individuals in your team. So you’ll need to spend some time getting to know them. It’s as easy as taking a moment to stop and chat and being genuinely interested in their lives. Arrange regular one-on-one meetings to give your team members a chance to raise anything private that they may not want others to hear. Spending time with your team outside the salon, spa or clinic is also helpful for building stronger relationships.
Lead from the front
Lead by example, and your team will follow. Great leaders happily complete all tasks, no matter how annoying or mundane, and they do them properly. The easiest way to set a high standard for your team is to make sure you’re maintaining one 24/7. When you’re training a new team member, show them how things are done, instead of just telling them. This makes them more likely to complete the task properly in the future.
It has been scientifically proven that emotions are contagious, so as a leader it’s important to learn to regulate your own emotions. A positive mood equals increased energy and therefore higher productivity, which can lead to a much more successful business. If something negative happens, you don’t need to fake optimism, but being realistic and focusing on the positives can help keep your team motivated. To help you get into the habit of doing this, simply ask yourself – How’s your mood today? How will your current mood affect your team? Being more aware of these answers can help you keep yourself in check.
Create a culture of honesty, so that as a leader you can be open and transparent with everyone about the business and their performance. Make your team feel as though they can come to you with anything or speak up if they have ideas. This will help reinforce the team environment, as after all, you can’t run a business alone.
Prioritising managerial tasks is often the focus when growing a business, so it’s easy to forget the importance of leadership. Remember that both are crucial and having a good leader in a team will help make your business future focused. So make a commitment to being a better leader and use these tips to make small, incremental changes to become the best leader you can be.
For more tips on getting the best from your staff, check out our blog on shaping an amazing salon team.