*This article was repurposed with permission from L'Oreal USA.

 -

Investing in leadership development is crucial for any business owner, but for salon owners, it'sespecially vital. Salon Companies are driven by the shared values and culture of the stylists,associates and front desk professionals who show up to work every week. The internalrelationships that we establish with our salon team is in many ways more important than therelationships we build with our salon guests. How can we find the bandwidth to invest in ourown leadership when there are so many operational items on your to-do list?

The Importance of Leadership Development

Leadership development transcends the basic premise of team management. It encompassesthe capacity to inspire and energize employees, to nurture an atmosphere where positivityflourishes, and to articulate a compelling vision for the company's trajectory. A salon owner,equipped with robust leadership acumen, is not merely overseeing operations but is cultivatinga culture of excellence and commitment to bettering one's best.

In the beauty industry, where client expectations and staff expectations shift like the winds, avisionary leader has to anticipate changes and strategize accordingly. Strong leadership is oftencharacterized by an ability to adapt and pivot, ensuring the salon remains relevant to allstakeholders, empowering their team to achieve their goals. Staff retention has been a growingconcern among team-based salons, with employment opportunities in our industry outpacingmany other occupations. Effective leaders understand that their team is their most valuableasset, and they invest time in understanding the aspirations and needs of their employees.

It is not just enough to have a clear vision for our salon company's culture and brand, we alsohave to walk the walk and lead by example. We must set a standard for customer service,creative excellence, and professional development leading by example. By doing so, we instillconfidence in our team, encouraging them to take ownership of their roles and to push theboundaries of their creativity and expertise.

Building Your Salon’s Leadership Bench

Have you ever heard of a "back room leader?" Whether or not you anoint additional leaders inyour company, there are always employees who act as leaders by default. It is in their DNA -and they have influence over their teammates. If it happens to be that their influence andleadership is stronger than yours - then by no fault of their own, they are calling a lot of theshots in your company. Cultivating a strong leadership bench is critical to essential to scalingany salon company, and ensuring that the core values that drive the businesses are consistentand deeply felt by others. Leadership development within the salon team requires a dual focus:honing the owner's leadership skills while identifying those team members who show promiseas future leaders. This dual approach ensures a continuous flow of innovation and leadershiptalent, aligned with the salon's mission and ethos.

Building your salon's leadership bench begins with a commitment to professional growth, notjust at the individual level but across the organization. By investing in effective, salon-focusedtraining and development programs, we can set the stage for team members to advance theirskills and leadership potential. Training should be tailored to echo the salon's unique cultureand values, creating a uniform vision for the operation of the company. Identifying potentialleaders within the team is a strategic process. Salon owners should be curious and consistent,recognizing employees who exhibit leadership qualities such as initiative, positive influence,and a willingness to embrace additional responsibilities. These are the individuals who naturallyinspire their colleagues and elevate the team's performance.

Encouraging such emerging leaders to step into more prominent roles does more than fill ahierarchical need; it invigorates the salon with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, whileempowering those who are most willing and eager to advance. In fact - it's all about investing inyour team by giving them the tools and opportunities to flourish in their career. When weneglect to do this, we end up losing talented team members because they don't feel like thereis anywhere for the to advance within the company. When we commit to building a strongleadership bench, we not only strengthen our business but we also contribute to the personaland professional growth of our team. This approach ensures that the salon is not reliant on anysingle leader but is a robust, collective endeavor where leadership is a shared and celebrated.

Building a leadership bench is not a one-time effort but an ongoing strategy that requirescommitment, foresight, and a deep understanding of individual team members' capabilities andaspirations. It is an investment that pays dividends in the form of a resilient, forward-thinking,and adaptable business ready to meet the ever-changing demands of our industry.

 

 -

Implementing Leadership Development in Your Salon

There are many ways we can engage in leadership development activities in the salon. Youdon't have to do it all by yourself. Consider the following:

Staff retreats are an effective way to impact your salon's culture positively. These retreatsprovide an opportunity for team building, professional development, and strategic planning in asetting away from the daily demands of the salon. Retreats can also be a platform forintroducing leadership development activities, fostering a sense of unity and shared purposeamong your staff.

The Enneagram is a powerful tool for leadership development. This personality typing systemcan help salon owners understand their own strengths and weaknesses as leaders and can alsobe used to gain insights into their team members' motivations and working styles.Understanding the different Enneagram types can aid in better communication, conflictresolution, and team dynamics. For a deeper understanding of the Enneagram, considerSummit Salon Business Center's Leadership Division. They have taken The Enneagram andcustomized the experience specifically for salon leadership.

Networking with other salon owners and industry professionals can provide valuable insightsand opportunities for collaboration. Participate in community events and industry forums tobuild your network and learn from the experiences of others.

Investing in your own leadership development is essential for the success and growth of yoursalon. By building a strong leadership bench, identifying new leaders within your company, andutilizing tools like the Staff Retreats and The Enneagram, you can create a positive andproductive work environment for all. A culture of leadership development makes ourbusinesses places where employees feel valued and motivated to contribute to their success.Remember, great leaders are always learning and adapting, so embrace the journey of personaland professional growth - you will be glad you did.

If you are looking for a place to start, download Summit Salon Business Center's Top 5Leadership Skills that every salon owner needs - and consider scheduling a 30-minute discoverycall with one of our salon success experts. We would love to hear more about your vision foryour company and discuss ways Summit can meet you where you are, and guide you to the top.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.