Are you a Manager or a Leader?
Managers get the work done yet Leaders decide what work is important enough to do. The difference is that a manager typically administers tasks, checking things off a list while focusing on follow-up vs. a leader who leads by example and inspiration while developing and growing a team as well as the other business.
How much time do you spend each day on tasks or administrative related details versus inspiring your team? Tasks are important, don’t get me wrong. They keep the machine running smoothly and streamline communication on a daily basis. However, they do little to get your team stretching themselves to their next level. It is the daily or weekly “touch base” and inspiring conversations that will get them reaching for their place next to you. Daily meetings or powwows are imperative to the operations of your spa, but the other meetings and conversations are also just as vital to the success of your spa or salon.
First of all, regularly, even weekly, hold staff meetings. They are important to gauge the team’s needs and performance. Use these meetings to put issues on the table, exchange ideas and focus on solutions- then make a plan. From there the ideas and empowerment trickle down to the rest of your staff. When the spa employees feel that their leader is taking an invested interest in their role and not just the bottom line of the business, they tend to become more involved in its success.
Secondly, look for the potential in a few special employees that stand out. Then, find ways to nurture their professional growth. If they succeed, they will pay it forward to others. These efforts will continue to multiply and create a change in your cultural climate. You must be able to see potential in people to become an inspired leader. Reading that last sentence, you may consider what I propose to have a mystical tone to it. But, believe me, when I say it is as easy as logging into your computer each day. Listen to people’s passion; hear the challenges that get in their way of achieving their goals. From there, put on your leader hat using your experience and influence to guide them to the solutions or opportunities. We’ve all had a moment where our ideas needed a sounding board, a cheerleader or a shining light to make them a reality. You simply have to listen and observe to become a great leader.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of taking the old saying ”Business is business; don’t take it personally” too seriously. For strong leaders and those who are extremely passionate about what they do~ it is personal. Taking a personal interest in mentoring an employee to the next level of their career is personal for them, too. Some of the strongest alliances are made between mentors and mentees. In my experience, the MOST rewarding thing has been to propel a great talent or employee towards their goals even beyond where they believed they could go in their career.
I believe you can be successful in your career and still be human. Knowing their pet’s name or their children’s ages and interests will not stop you from being a successful leader. However, losing focus on what you are trying to accomplish at work will. Boundaries are important because they allow you to maintain focus on your common goal. In our society right now, we can feel a bit disconnected from one another, so a personal touch at work is often welcomed as long as it’s within the appropriate boundaries. People work for people. Therefore, as a leader you must take a specific interest in the growth of the individuals on your team not just the team as a whole. So, if you care for your people outside of their performance at work, your chance of building a long-term professional relationship is much more likely.
So it comes down to three simple things to turn your management skills into leadership skills:
• Create opportunities for your team to share ideas or challenges.
• Listen & offer guidance
• Care about the outcome.
It truly is this simple. As a leader, we often confuse our role with the weight of the outcome held upon our shoulders. But, by managing tasks while empowering people you will get more done, better results and feel more positive yourself. The rest is just practicing these skills daily and being open to the possibilities.