Only an effective leader can truly unify these elements to create a cohesive environment that allows the salon to operate as a whole and realize its financial goals. To maximize effective leadership, you should implement concepts that are demonstrated by leaders in successful salons, such as:

Understand your employees. Recognize their strengths and opportunities. By understanding the characteristics of each individual employee, you can guide each hire to a better performance-and motivate and reward them in ways that are meaningful to them. Effective leaders are able to align employees goals with company objectives, creating a natural synergy that advances what's important to the salon-and to employees at the same time.

Clearly communicate goals and commit to them. Communication of business and management goals is crucial, as is demonstrating a full commitment to these objectives. A new report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) finds that "making sure employees can see how their jobs relate to an organization's overall mission is an important part of successful human resources management." Be clear and concise in establishing what is important to your business. By doing so, everyone understands key priorities and has a framework to make individual decisions based on what's important to the organization.

Demonstrate integrity. Being consistently ethical, fair and honest-in all situations, with each vendor and with all employees-creates the respect that is critical to being an effective leader. The Academy of Management Executives cites that "the single, most important determinant in effective leadership is the observation by employees of characteristics they respect." Make sure your employees form the respect and opinions of you that are important, by consistently demonstrating high values.

Empower your employees. Research indicates that employees who perceive having an influence on organizational decision-making are more content and less likely to leave. In fact, one study by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management shows that employees who are continually allowed to make decisions are 93 percent more likely to assign "high" or "very high" ratings of satisfaction about their managers. As a top goal of any leader should be to recruit-and retain-talent that best fits the needs of the organization, the objective should be to "hire the best" and then to trust each employee to make good decisions.

The dynamics of salons and spas are challenging and can be quite complex by their very nature. Competent leadership that can unify dissimilar elements, therefore, is essential in making sure the organization will not only survive, but thrive in these economic times. Following in the footsteps of other leaders-and their successful qualities-will help your salon reach its goals. 

Click here to visit to better understand your employees, increase their performance, build your leadership qualitites and improve communications with your staff.

Click here to access Spoor's first blog in the series, How to Build an Effective Team.

How to be an Effective LeaderCheryl Spoor is committed to raising the bar for salon professionals. She has more than 30 years of experience as an educator and in salon management and ownership, and has spent her entire career developing solutions for the hiring and managing challenges with which all salons are presented. Spoor has developed and is using a hiring and managing tool specifically designed for the salon and spa industry. For more information, go to

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