Leadership in the Rearview Mirror
Leadership in the Rearview Mirror

How many of us felt the pains of a suffering business last year?

It sounds like the majority of salons went through a very tough season. It feels like things are heading in a positive direction and thus we should all take a breath—a moment—to reflect. What have we learned?

Reflect & Document

Do you get into history? I love watching American history—it’s incredible to watch how America has evolved. It’s also humbling when you really allow history to sink in. When you really understand our past, you understand how much time, effort, learning-lessons, and endurance it has taken to build a nation. We aren’t directly involved in building a nation, but the point here is, we too have taken a lot of time, energy, and learning lessons in building a salon business—and are enduring the Covid crisis. What will we take with us into the future? How will our leadership evolve throughout the coming years?

The saying goes, those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. I think we could all agree that we don’t want 2020 to repeat itself anytime soon—or ever for that matter. But if we’re not mindful, we may unconsciously or subconsciously revert back to poor leadership decisions that could make enduring future challenges impossible to overcome.

What if we sat down for an hour and documented the major takeaways we had in 2020?

It might look something like this.

  • Those who begin with you may not end with you.
  • A crisis doesn’t cause cultural or financial problems—it reveals them.
  • If I don’t create the culture, always, it will become unrecognizable.
  • Let the people go that aren’t willing to grow, change, and do new, better things.
  • Pay the best people for the job the best salaries.
  • If you don’t take care of yourself as a leader—physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually—you’ll never be able to give your best in taking care of others.
  • Things typically get worse before they get better.
  • Trust your gut and never avoid the hard and painful truths that reveal themselves.
  • Perseverance is a choice.
  • Change is going to happen whether you’re ready for it or not.
  • Remove the distractions that take up valuable real estate in your brain.
  • What you don’t see can kill your business.
  • Keep the main thing, the main thing.

If we don’t acknowledge, document, and reflect on what we’ve learned, we may not see sustainability or the level of success we desire for ourselves and our companies going into this year and years beyond. What have you learned? How will this forever change the way you lead your team and company?

Move Forward

Thankfully, a lot of the Covid challenges feel like they’re in the rearview mirror. It’s time to move forward. We can, and we already are. This year is going to be the start of the best years in business we’ve ever had. I believe it!

May we be the leaders our industry deserves. May we lead with courage, positivity, strength, and hope. And may we never forget that we’ve been a part of history—we’ve endured, learned, and are ultimately better for it.

Leadership in the Rearview Mirror
Leadership in the Rearview Mirror

About the Author: Kati Whitledge is the founder of Meet Your StylistTMa fun, easy, and accurate match-making survey that converts your website visitors into lifetime clients. She’s the founder of Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and she’s also the host and founder of the Beyond The Technique podcast. Her mission is to change the way salon owners are supported in their business.

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