To paraphrase Ralph Nader, the function of a leader is to create more leaders. Knowing how to empower a team lays the groundwork for success, even in your absence. We challenged three team leaders to the following:
“If you had to leave your organization for a year and the only communication with your team was a single paragraph, what would you write?”

Owner, Ira Ludwick Salon Bethesda. Maryland

Dear Team,
In my absence I ask you to just be kind to each other and treat people the way you want to be treated. Please get to work early for the many reasons that you know and have heard me preach about adnauseam. Please keep the salon as impeccably clean as it is now. Prepare for tomorrow by covering the details today. Keep the music changing and happy. Continue to invest in and strive for excellence. All critical contact phone numbers are posted in my office. Ciao for now. —Love, Ira

P.S. Always do the right thing.

President and owner Salon Services Renton, Washington

Dear Team,
I’m reaching out to share with you that I will be taking a year of leave away from Salon Services. I understand that this may come as a shock to you because I live and breathe this company and our industry. We have developed a culture of trust, and I have full confidence in your abilities to uphold our core values and continue to build upon our legacy. I want you to challenge the status quo, serve with purpose and engage in fierce conversations that will inspire change within our industry. Remember that YOU are our most important and valuable resource, and together you create a purposeful force of dedication that speaks to the mission we have envisioned. I believe in each and every one of you, and as you continue to embrace the spirit of camaraderie, I know that our company will thrive under your leadership. The reputation and legacy of Salon Services is in your very capable hands. —Sincerely, Sydney Berry

JIM MARKHAM, Founder and CEO ColorProof Color Care Authority

Dear Team,
Over the years, we have built a steadfast brand of the most advanced, highest-performing color-care products on the market. We have developed a roadmap for future innovation with effective systems and procedures to execute and drive our business forward in the year to come. In my absence, I would advise you to follow our established procedures and protocols to keep innovation and initiatives on track. Abide by our guidelines to only release new products if they far surpass the performance of anything currently on the market. As we look forward to the following year, it is essential we stay abreast of industry trends, the latest developments in ingredient technology and market needs so we can continue to develop clean, innovative products of the highest quality that have come to define our brand. Think ahead, anticipate, work as a team and always act with integrity. —Jim Markham