Good leaders should have a clear vision, strong communication skills and stay calm in a crisis. The effect leaders have on their team is so important, it’s all about empowering others and helping them to succeed. Trust, tough love and strategy are all the things you need to create a great culture.
Building trust means our language needs to be authentic, logical & with empathy. Your team need to know it’s the ‘real me’ that is talking to you, and not just part of me. Authenticity enhances the performance of other people and helps them to feel safe, to be themselves and not try to be someone else. Team members need to feel welcome, celebrated and cherished for their differences, this way you get better decisions and more commitment when people feel inclusive.
It is hard to be authentic when you’re reading a script that is why good presenters & actors do so well. For example Chris Evans, Virgin Breakfast Radio presenter (love or hate him, he is a bit like marmite, I love both) you would never know he is reading when he presents, it’s the authenticity that he uses that draws you in to everything he presents, its practice and having your own style, when you listen to other presenters, it often comes across as reading.
It’s all about the way you come across, not necessarily what you say, its more about style than substance.
Great leaders have empathy, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, as most of us act and react on feelings. Being present when communicating is so important, If I am in your presence but checking email or texting, I am not present to you, If I am self-distracted or multi-tasking with myself it becomes about me and not about you.
In difficult times such as now, everyone at some time is going to be self-distracted, but as a leader when you are building trust, you have a choice of being self-distracted or being present and in the room, you cannot do both at the same time.
If you find yourself having to work on crisis management or in a stressed situation, if you do this in front of others you are not leading or building trust, put yourself less in front of others but be fully present when you are.
When setting targets and goals for your team, set high standards for them with detailed plans. What is expected for their success, our job is to bring the best out in people, when they believe you are doing this in an authentic way, they understand it is for their success, not for yours. If they believe it is all for you, the commitment level changes.
Your team need to thrive in your absence, we all want to achieve, if someone is not thriving, they may be doing ‘just good enough’ it is a leader’s job to empower people to thrive. The more you are devoted to them the more they will develop. Discover how to bring out the best in someone, then reward them.
Strategy needs to be clear, when strategy is clear in the minds of everyone it becomes silent, that is when it becomes culture. Culture is how you describe how things are really done around your salon. Culture is the only thing a leader has, when they are leading, and not around.
If you need to change your culture, change has to happen quickly, or it does not happen at all. If you are on a 5-year journey for culture change, I would suggest you stop and use your efforts to plan a longer-term strategy with vision on growing the team, client numbers and profit.
What we have learned from lockdown is that change can happen quickly, meaningful change happens quickly otherwise you will be sending mixed messages, If you want to fundamentally change something, understand exactly what needs to change, communicate it stick to it and know the change it will make.
- Be very clear of what you want to change
- Why you are changing or reinventing
- Communicate it
- Stick to it
Why do we sometimes need to change culture? often we are not living up to what are mission statement or promise says about us and if I did not change that culture, the business may not survive or be what we set out for it to be. Culture is about people and we need to look at the problem and fix it, often it is our own fear about change that stops us.
As a team it is often good to write down all your values (how things are done around here)
listening to what works really well for all, and what is not working so well. Great ideas often come from the team and do not forget to listen. We want great ideas to be surfaced and create opportunity for all. Celebrate the good and discuss the not so good, how as a team what changes we can implement for the good for them, the client the whole team and the business.
New ideas that are talked about as a team often get adopted quickly, so can change a culture overnight.