Happy Leaders | Polly Rose

July 12, 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 lives 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. Over the next few instalments, I will be helping you to become a happy leader…

Have you fallen out of love with your salon?  I know how debilitating this can be because I’ve been there! For several years, my husband and I had been living with the stress of staff relationship issues within our salon. We had many members of staff leave early, several months after they had joined, due to –in their words –“being driven out by other staff”.

It was causing us a lot of stress, both at work and at home, and making the salon a miserable place to work. Attempting to resolve it by having one-to-ones to try and address the issues was just not working. I was mentally drained and tired of people coming to me and saying they were leaving, not because of us, but because of the toxic environment. We started to consider selling our business.

It made me so angry. Here we were, considering walking away from our business because of someone else –a very successful business that we had worked hard on for many years! I know it was affecting other members of the team too, and they wanted us to stand up to it. I remember thinking to myself, if I die tomorrow, they’ll say “she was lovely, but not strong enough to run a salon”, I was not having that! I said to myself, I’m not going to let one individual do that –I’m taking back the control!

Looking for guidance. I started researching leadership through reading books, taking courses and listening to podcasts. I saw an Instagram post by Karren Brady, explaining that in business you would face certain challenges and that you needed to “grow a backbone”. This was a defining moment for me. I had two choices –do nothing and in two years’ time still be in the same situation, taking the same old crap, or grow a backbone and take the power back. I had been the victim for so long, hiding away scared of the consequences. I had to take action; remaining in the same situation, hating my job, was not an option.

Instead, I imagined what it could be like, a happy salon for all, with a great culture where everyone was kind to one another. This motivated me to make the changes I had to make. Scary as it was, I remained firm and followed through. The atmosphere in the salon changed for the better overnight and I vowed to the team we would never tolerate toxic behaviour again. As challenging and debilitating as this whole experience was for me, it was the beginning of a new leadership story, not the end. I had grown my backbone and you can too!

Does my story resonate with you? Do you have a situation in your business that you are ignoring? Remember, a problem ignored will only escalate.There are many reasons why we don’t address such problems. Just like me, you may be afraid of the consequences; you may dread confrontation or think you can’t communicate effectively. But whatever the reason, it is your job as a leader to acknowledge the issue and act to resolve it.

So, ask yourself: if I do nothing, where will I be in a year’s time?


In next month’s edition, I am going to help you:

● Recognise any issues you are experiencing.

● Explore the cause and determine the steps you need to take.

● Move closer towards your dream life.


Until then x

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