5 Keys to Leadership in Tough Times

Uncertain times demand steadfast leadership and in your business that demand falls on your shoulders. Here are five immutable keys to leadership. Use them and your salon/day spa will undoubtedly prosper.

The old adage "know thyself" has great meaning when it comes to leadership. Accept the premise that a leader is someone who has followers. Add to that the idea that the best leaders have a clear vision of their business and its future. Next, take the hypothesis that most people are uncertain, concerned, or even downright scared about the future. Then it follows that people gravitate to someone leading a business who has an unflappable confidence about what she or he clearly envisions.

This magnet draws others to follow. So how do you find the strength and the confidence to lead? There is a way to do this, but you really have to want to. This may come out of ego or a desire to take on commitments that others are not willing to take on. You must know yourself very well. However, to "know thyself," you have to know what to look for.

Your Values and Beliefs

Values are ideals (like equality), qualities (like kindness), and entities (like education). They are the things that are truly most important to us.

Your beliefs are the things that you have accepted to be true (for example, "most people are lazy" or "people get what they deserve").

Your values affect your beliefs and vice versa. Knowing these will give you insight as to why you do what you do.
Your Assumptions

An assumption is taken to be true, even if it's not known for certain if it is. While beliefs are broad-based, assumptions can be particular to a situation. Your challenge is to be aware that your actions can be based on assumptions. When things are not working, you must dig in and challenge your assumptions.

By doing this, you learn to distinguish the difference between something that you 'know' to be true and something that you 'assume' to be true.

Your Impact on Others

Impact is how you make other people feel and it happens in countless ways. It's the expression on your face, the way you listen, and the way you appear.

To understand the impact you have on others, ask them! You must have established trusting relationships, so people will tell you the truth (as they see it) without fear of retribution. Remember your goal is "to know thyself."

Avoiding Things that are Hard for You

Everyone has things that are hard for him or her. It may be difficult to tell an employee he or she is not performing up to standard, so we offer suggestions or assign them to another position, thinking we're dealing with the situation when we are not.

This behavior prevents us from getting what we want, and we waste a tremendous amount of time and energy. When we lose this awareness, we ultimately give up our ability to choose how we will act.

Embracing the Unknown

No leader that I've ever met has a crystal ball. They allow themselves to feel scared; however, are not paralyzed by it. They have the insight to know they don't have all the answers.

With this knowledge, you can allow others into the conversation. To be vulnerable is to be human. People follow authentic people and a leader knows this. Once leaders come to this understanding of who they are, they don't have to pretend to be strong because they are strong. They know themselves.

By Andrew Finkelstein, The Beauty Resource www.thebeautyresource.com