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Management Practices

The Productivity-Focused Leader

Victoria Wurdinger | July 10, 2011 | 5:13 PM
4MAT Case Study Type 3: The Productivity-Focused Leader
Good trainer; needs to delegate and communicate.

Julia Watt

Director of Salons, Dillards Department Stores

AS A NON-STYLIST who was a Dillards’ manager before moving to the salon area, Julia Watt was all about data, systems and productivity. So, it was no surprise when, three years ago, her testing revealed her as a Type 3 with many Type 2 strengths. The experience and subsequent inyu training helped her analyze her team and recruit better by asking smarter questions, she says.

The Productivity-Focused Leader
Julia Watt discusses leadership styles with her salon team at Dillards.

“It’s not all about ‘I’m a Type 3;’ it’s a journey,” stresses Watt. “Initially, we tested the 4MAT system in five salons and started with huddles comprising all four Types. When you listen, learn and engage, it develops strengths and helps the entire team be more effective. ”

One result: hard numbers are not introduced in meetings until their importance is discussed. After number-sharing, strategies for achieving goals are addressed. Here’s how it worked with prebooking:

Targeting a benchmark of 60 percent for prebooking (the 38 Dillard’s salons’ average was 33 percent), Watt began determining how to reach her goal.

“We used the 4MAT model of addressing learning styles to help each manager see why prebooking was important. Then we developed a system that let managers teach the service providers. First, we asked our service providers why they got in the business in the first place. Most said to be creative, give others confidence and make them feel good. So, we evolved a mission statement around that and then asked, ‘What do you need to be that type of provider?’ We shared what numbers told us, and ways to practice what they needed to do.”

Stylists were given a rebooking script that acted as a starting point. If the intent was to prebook to keep guests looking great and feeling confident, then customizing the script was crucial. For instance, if a woman with fine hair needed to retain a certain shape in her cut, prebooking within a specific timeframe would meet her needs, and this was explained in a way that involved her own appearance goals.

By customizing scripts, stylists have boosted the salons’ prebooking average by 48 percent. And, they were happy to do it, because it related to their self-described reason for becoming salon professionals.

“Once you know what type of leader you are, you can either grow personally or surround yourself with those who have different strengths,” says Watt. “If you do the latter, don’t just delegate—give them the backing, tools and authority to do the job.”


In the same series:
What's Your Leadership Style?
The People-Focused Leader
The Process-Focused Leader
The Productivity-Focused Leader
The Possibility-Focused Leader

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