The Price We Pay To Be the BEST

Steps to a Great Performance

I had the pleasure to attend the All County Band performance last weekend. What a great experience!    I got to watch my son Charlie, who is 13, play the Tuba in the band with all his musically talented friends.  We watched 7th & 8th, 9th & 10th and the 11th & 12th graders - 3 separate bands.  They were the best of the best!  The auditorium was packed with proud parents, friends and school band directors from all over Central Florida to enjoy their student’s hard work and excellent performances.

It was my first time attending an All County performance. As I sat there enjoying the great music and watching the young talented musicians, one thing stuck out: the role of the band director.

I thought, I can’t imagine the band without this person. What would they sound like if no one was directing?  Sometimes I can’t turn off my business brain, I started thinking how important this role is and how it resembles the role of a spa/salon director.

The band director is responsible for the band members and delivering a great performance or experience.  Just like you!  Then, I thought of all the things a band director goes through to prepare these young students to deliver a great experience for their audience.  I reviewed what Charlie had to do to deliver a great performance and came up with 7 Steps.  These Steps are very similar to what your team members need to go through to deliver a great guest experience.

Band Students                                                                                       Spa/Salon Professionals

  1. Learn the music                                                                            Learn the treatments and products

  2. Practice the music                                                                       Practice the delivery

  3. Be a good listener & follow leader direction                     Follow protocols and manager direction

  4. Play his part                                                                                   Perform their part

  5. Practice – role play                                                                      Practice - role play

  6. Be a good tuba section team player                                       Be a good team player

  7. Deliver a great performance                                                     Deliver a great experience


Then I thought, how can a band director take a group of 13 year olds from several area schools and in one week teach them 5 new music pieces and deliver an outstanding, memorable performance in front of hundreds of people?  Here’s how we can apply that same success formula.

Band Director                                                                                Spa Director

  1. Teach them the music                                                          Teach them your experience

  2. Give them direction                                                              Provide training and direction

  3. Listen to how they sound                                                    Listen to the team’s communication

  4. Watch band’s performance                                                Watch team behaviors and conduct

  5. Set expectations                                                                     Set targets and expectations

  6. Assess performance                                                              Assess and measure performance

  7. Correct or make adjustments                                            Make adjustments

  8. Hours of additional practice, encouragement           Role play, practice, encouragement

  9. Measure performance                                                          Measure performance - often

  10. Deliver a great performance                                              Deliver a great experience

  11. Applause & recognition from audience & director    Recognize them for a job well done


If they can do that in one week with 13 year olds, why can’t we do that with adult professionals?  You can!  You just need a plan and do it!

Go ahead; rate yourself as a band/spa director of your team.  Are you practicing the above steps to deliver great guest experiences?  If you are, Congratulations! You must be enjoying a good retention rate, rave reviews and plenty of referrals.  If you are not, what can you do to improve performance?

You see for Charlie to be chosen as an All County player, he had to practice and perform better than most of his friends and peers who play Tuba, and so did all the other student musicians who were in the    All County Band.  How much practicing is taking place in your spa/salon?  Do you have a training curriculum? Is the schedule posted?  One of my biggest pet peeves is how most team members react when asked to attend training.  The first question I hear from spa professionals is they want to know if they are going to get paid for it!  That is such a terrible culture… if someone is going to train me and I don’t have to pay for it, I would be so excited, asking when and where!  We need to make a shift to where teams love training and emphasize the importance of practice and training in order to be excellent at what we do.

The second point I like to make is “role play”.  Charlie had to go for one week to role play for this performance.  They had to sit in their seats and play the music over and over until they go it.  He had to do this after school.  He didn’t whine about it, he just did it.  How much role playing is taking place in your spa/salon?  For example; how often do you tell your team to recommend home care so you can increase retail sales or make treatment upgrades so you can increase the volume per guest?  Do they do it?  In most cases no.  Yet, you tolerate it over and over.  Suppose you were a band director and your tell one of your students to play the music this way and they keep playing it their own way. How long do you think they will be in the band?  Not long.  Are they helping you play your tune and playing it well?  Or are they playing their own tune while delivering poor performance?

Now is the time to be excellent at what you do!  Be the outstanding director you know you can be and prepare your team to deliver memorable and great performances!

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