Happy Leaders | Polly Grace

October 23, 2023

Grace Salon Leadership was founded in 2019 by me, Polly Rose, a multi-salon owner for over 35 years!

My mission is to inspire salon leaders to live their happiest life and to lead with kindness to create a great salon culture and successful business where everybody feels they can be their best selves. I believe people do their best work by thriving in an environment that recognises, accepts and celebrates the differences within the team. In this series, I want to help you to become a happy leader…

Leadership is an ongoing journey; you never stop learning and you’ll never be finished. This month, I’m going to give some examples of leadership styles I’ve observed and illuminate the disparity between the results they achieve…

You have some people who consider themselves managers and will do absolutely that – ‘manage people’. It’s a‘do as I say’ situation – their way or the highway! They often regard themselves as being
smarter than everyone else and pay no attention to the team or their opinions. People work for them, not with them. This is a very outdated form of leadership and usually results in a very high employee turnover.

Alternatively, many people are not comfortable in a position of leadership. These people avoid conflict; they bury their head when action needs to be taken. At first, these types of leaders are regarded as really nice people to work for, but resentment soon builds, and when team members see them ignoring bad behaviour, their respect is soon lost.

Others have a good relationship with their people. As leaders, they meet their objectives and are happy to leave it at that. They have no desire to reach for the next level or encourage those they lead to explore their full potential. This leads to team members never feeling fulfilled and, as a result, they are eager to leave when a better career opportunity comes along.

I have also come across leaders who are so driven that they never take their foot off the pedal. They set goals and aim for perfection. They push their team to get results and – often under immense pressure – the team delivers. However, this form of leadership can often lead to stress and burnout; in the long term, it is not sustainable for the team or their leader.

Finally, there are those leaders who really care for those they lead. They take it upon themselves to offer opportunities for growth and development and can see the potential in everyone; they are totally selfless and want everyone working with them to feel fulfilled. They lead with courage and an open heart, admitting to feeling fearful and permitting their people to feel vulnerable at times, too. This type of leadership undeniably builds trust and promotes a healthy salon culture where creativity and productivity grow.

Do you recognise your leadership style in any of the above? One thing I do know, is that the leaders who put their people first are usually the most admired and respected. These leaders have the edge, the ability to create harmony and strong relationships within the team. The most revered leaders are those who recognise that their behaviour can have a huge impact on the lives of the people they lead. Our role as leaders will never be finished; it is not a destination but a journey. Take time to consider how you can advance your leadership style and become the very best you can be. Let your actions encourage the team to engage and express themselves, rather than disengage and defend themselves.

What traits do you wish to practice as part of your leadership style?

In next month’s edition, I’m going to talk about:

●  How trust has to be a top priority for any leader.

●  How to build trust within a team.

Until then x

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