As you shaped your company, what have been some of the biggest stumbling blocks?
Trying to stay clearly focused on the customer and knowing that the stylists are the clear link to delivering our brand. It seems like we often stumble when we forget about or lose sight of the most important thing in our business, and that is what happens in the salon between the stylist and customer every day. We’ve often stumbled when we don’t clearly look at the impact something will have on salon operations and the stylists’ ability to really serve the customer well.
How would you describe your management style? What do you think makes you a good leader, and in what areas would you want to improve?
Fluid and intense. Oftentimes I believe I am calm, but even when I am calm I’m perceived as intense. I do think intensity and emotion contributes to me being a good leader though because people know I am truly committed and passionate about the business and my role. I feel I am very collaborative and believe that the best decisions and direction comes from gaining input, listening closely, and engaging all of the right folks. I would like to improve my reaction when things are missed or I perceive that a mistake has been made. I try to react appropriately, but oftentimes that is not the perception. I can be fairly emotional so that appears both on the positive and constructive side and sometimes I need to take more time to react and react calmly.
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?
A lot of the goals I set for myself are beyond the company. The company goals are clearly established and they drive my business performance every day. But I also have very clear personal goals that include business, social, spiritual and family. I try and write down key goals and direction for myself and keep those with me all the time. My belief is that you might as well set 10 goals and get two or three done rather than set three and get one done. I hold myself accountable through commitments to my Vistage peer group, commitments to my family, and commitments to the employees or franchisees in our organization.
Throughout your professional history, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned after making a mistake?
I think the best lesson I’ve learned after making a mistake is to not get defensive. I worked incredibly hard and continue to work hard at not being defensive and feel like disagreements or differences of opinion are not personal. I clearly have learned that getting defensive doesn’t accomplish anything and it often creates a setback. If you can be non-defensive it’s a lot more likely you will achieve your goals and gain support and momentum.