People leadership and people management are two very different beasts. The old-fashioned management style of carrot and stick is dead and gone. It’s based on an ancient analogy of a donkey. If you dangle a carrot in front of your donkey, he’ll move forward. You have a stick ready to whip him up if he slows down.
It’s all about reward and consequence but it simply doesn’t work in the modern world, and definitely not in a salon, clinic or spa setting. Here’s why. Eventually, your donkey will work out that the carrot is never within reach. And as your donkey gets conditioned to the whipping, you’ll need to flog harder and harder to keep him moving.
And, obviously, your team members are not donkeys! They’re real people with professional skills, emotions and opinions. Why would you crush their spirit and drive with a tired old carrot and stick framework?
Let’s get something clear: effective people leadership is a simple concept. It’ll eventually develop and feel more natural. You just need to learn the principles, then hone and polish your people leadership every day.
Here I share my go-to leadership qualities, based on the leadership versus management principle. When you choose to lead your salon, clinic or spa team from the top down (rather than manage them from the side), you’ll see incredible improvement in team engagement and motivation.
REWARDS VERSUS CARROTS
My coach David has always told me: find out what they want, go and get it and give it to them! So simple, yet we miss it.
Carrots aren’t going to cut it. Money is only one way to reward your team. Finding out what motivates your team – and knowing it might differ for every individual – is your job. How? They leave clues and when you switch on your radar with a leadership mindset, you’ll soon pick-up on what tickles their fancy.
REALLY COMMUNICATING VERSUS RADIO SILENCE
Communication is the response you get. If you’re not having weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member to check in, you’re not giving yourself the best chance to grow. I’m not talking about a quick chat during a rushed lunch break or over the reception counter. Schedule private sit-down one-on-one meetings to discuss last week and the week coming. Solve their problems and shine on them.
PLANNING VERSUS FREE RANGING
Gen Ys and millennials want to be a part of your plan. They need direction and will thrive when you give them and endpoint to work towards. Firstly, you need to have a plan and goals yourself. You’re the mothership and should be painting the picture of where you’re going in business. Share your vision. If you don’t have a plan yet, involve your team in the direction and decision-making process. When they help come up with solutions, they own the future with you.
ACCOUNTABILITY VERSUS LETTING THEM FLY SOLO
Almost everyone has a gym membership but not everyone goes. But if you had set days to meet your friends at gym, you’d probably turn up! Because no one wants to intentionally let others down. This is accountability. It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance and if no one else is in on your plan, chances are you’ll slip.
Keeping your team accountable earns your respect and gets results.
SERVING UP FEEDBACK VERSUS RELYING ON GUESSWORK
Feedback is fertiliser and the sooner you get used to giving it out, the sooner your team will thrive receiving it. In the past, I’ve employed team members who don’t even like receiving positive feedback! It makes them blush and feel uncomfortable. Get them used to it. Get you used to giving it. Our younger workforce needs more feedback then ever and your job is to dish it out more often than you think!
RESOLUTION VERSUS CONFLICT
We’re not all cut from the same cloth. We each have different values and beliefs and this can be a recipe for butting heads. One of your roles within your team is resolving conflict. Prevention is better than cure.