While I don’t think it’s harder being a woman in business, I do know it’s different. The Beth Minardi brand group is fair and open to all. Our general manager, Sara Jones is a woman, and so are many of the members of senior management. So, the glass ceiling doesn’t exist where I am.
When I first came to corporate New York, I learned so much and worked very hard, but by and large, the beauty business was male dominated. While women tried to not view this as a stumbling block, it rather was. Guys would sometimes let us know they thought we were less feminine because we were interested in business.
How would you describe your management style? What do you think makes you a good leader, and in what areas would you to improve?
I think my management style is nurturing, but extremely straight-forward. I’m quick to reward talent and to praise great effort, but am also very honest when I see that someone isn’t marching in my parade! I am so proud of the fact that many of the people working with me have been with me for years. This is one of my greatest accomplishments.
I lead by example. I still wash hair. I still dye out swatches, I still get tea or water for a client. I still pre-do models and work WITH my team. I see clients and I stand behind the chair.
At shows, I am there every step of the way. I am part of the team, and I feel everyone on the team is of great value. I also spend time with those who work with me and attempt to know them as whole people. I am emotional—that is my shortcoming, and, like Austin Powers, I sometimes have trouble controlling the volume of my voice.
I always think about how to put more money in the bank, and how to sell and develop and promote more. Once the money is in the bank I do not want to manage the money, I want someone else to do that—and that has caused me trouble. Managing money bores me. Making money by elevating hair color to an art form is my joy and my passion!
How do you set goals for yourself? For example, do you prefer more small accomplishable goals or fewer large goals? How do you hold yourself accountable?
I set goals for myself every day. Whether it’s managing my time at the salon, teaching a class, working with the lab, writing technical materials or presenting to a large group, I decide what is important for that activity to succeed, and I am pretty single-minded about it. I am not good at multi-tasking. I can do one thing AFTER another, but I’m not good at doing several things at once—it makes me feel like the guy on the Ed Sullivan Show who had the plates on the sticks trying to keep them all spinning at the same time. For example, doing a model call while I am seeing clients makes me very anxious. Talking on the phone to an editor while a client needs me simply does not work. If I am answering color questions at an educational program, I am focused on that, not posing for pictures or attending a meeting at that time. I set goals based on how well I can do something rather than on how much I can do in a given day. I have learned to know my limits.