Management Practices

The Possibility-Focused leader

Victoria Wurdinger | July 10, 2011 | 5:13 PM
4MAT Case Study Type 4: The Possibility-Focused Leader
Creates exciting vision; needs structure.

Dreama Kees

Owner of two Ivy Salon and Spas, Greenville, South Carolina area.

EVEN HER NAME SPEAKS of possibilities. "It's like Type 4 was written using a description of me," says Dreama Kees, whose vision was to create a salon where no one ever burns out. "I work from creativity, and I'm attracted to people who are like me; Type 2s are downers!"

The Possibility-Focused leader
Dreama Kees (left) and Ivy's General Manager Jessica Hoshall, put their heads together to make the salon
profitable and fun for everyone.

Made drowsy by details, Kees realized she needed help with analytics. So, three years into ownership, she hired a General Manager, Jessica Hoshall, who viewed numbers dispassionately-as behavior indicators. (She was hired for her test results as an extreme Type 2.) Hoshall created lists, schedules, structures, HR manuals and situational scripts. She also began using the salon's software to create reports. "Before hiring Jessica, the computerized desk was a fancy cash register to me," admits Kees.

As a result, both salons increased business in the past two economically challenging years. From June '09 to June '10, the two locations' average increase was 12 percent. Clients also became so salon-loyal, that at least 60 percent thought nothing of switching service providers. Given her touchy-feely focus, you'd think it would take a crowbar to get clients out of Kees' chair but she says even her own clients are happy to switch. Here's how that happened:

First, Hoshall created a scripting manual for the desk that included what to say when callers couldn't get the appointment they wanted with "their" stylists. The caller was assured that database record keeping and identical education allowed great service-delivery from anyone in the salon. A similar dialogue took place during prebooking, when the client could actually meet different stylists. (It's always explained why clients should rebook within a certain timeframe and that they are considered Ivy Salon clients.) As a double bonus, because of a two-year effort to prebook, the salon has seen no decline on returns-clients still come back every six weeks on average.

"We all use the same language, and there is no staff animosity or client resistance to switching stylists," says Kees. "Clients are always told they are Ivy Salon clients. I wanted brand loyalty, not loyalty to one stylist. Now, by stressing the brand, I can keep everyone busy and even build new stylists faster." Which, in turn, makes the staff just as loyal to Ivy Salon and Spa as the clients are.

In the same series:
What's Your Leadership Style?
The People-Focused Leader
The Process-Focused Leader
The Productivity-Focused Leader
The Possibility-Focused Leader

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