Salon Leadership and the Eight Drivers



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If you had to describe what the work of “leadership” really means, what would you say?

Clearly, it’s about vision, inspiring people, achieving excellence, creating profit and more extremely worthy elements. But what exactly is the work of being a leader? If you were training a new member of your leadership team, what would you train them to do?

The work of leadership, even in its most basic application, is massively complex because it is perpetually changing. If your business is struggling financially, the work of leadership needs to be specifically applied to identify and fix the problem to regain cash flow and profit.

If your business is strong and growing, the work of leadership needs to be specifically applied to developing new and better systems to support its growth.

If your business suffers from employee turnover, which is a major problem in the salon/spa industry, the work of leadership needs to be reengineered to allow a new culture to emerge that is free of toxic waste.

It’s been about ten years since my No-Compromise Leadership book was published. My intent for writing the book was to truly define the work of leadership in a way that any business owner or leader could understand.

In its simplest form, leadership is about creating the right outcomes in four specific areas: The Four Business Outcomes:

Productivity: Efficient use of time, people, money

Profitability: Disciplined revenue, expense and cash-flow management

Staff Retention: Culture, employee engagement, career growth

Customer Loyalty: Client retention, consistency, brand superiority

Each of The Four Business Outcomes is bound to one another. If one weakens, it instantly impacts the other three. So, if leadership is about driving these four outcomes, what are the drivers? There are eight drivers that work in a specific sequence that begins with Culture and ends with Accountability. The Eight Drivers:

Culture: The collective behavior of the company

Sense of urgency: The energy that drives performance and growth

Critical numbers: Numbers/measurements that have a profound impact on company performance

Information flow: Everyone on the same page. Everyone knows the score

Teamwork: Everyone is responsible

Innovation: Stay out of the box. Do it better, faster, more efficiently

Systems: The procedures and structure to produce the right results

Accountability: Delivering what was promised — when it is promised

The Eight Drivers encompass the true work of leadership. The Eight Drivers apply to each of the Four Business Outcomes. Any deficiency or lack of attention to one or more of the drivers will negatively impact the Outcomes. As the leader, or when training new leaders, applying and mastering the Eight Drivers is a non-negotiable.

Taking one of the Four Business Outcomes at a time, using a scale of zero percent to 100 percent, how would you grade your company’s performance for each driver?

In the diagram above, you see how one owner scored their salon/spa for Productivity Business Outcome. They would then do the same exercise using the wheel to score Profitability, Staff Retention and Customer Loyalty.

It is easy to identify that Sense of Urgency, Critical Numbers, Information Flow, Innovation and Accountability need immediate and thorough attention. The other drivers cannot improve until these drivers are addressed and improved.

Next, have each member of your leadership team, or employees, plot where they feel the salon/spa is at in each driver for each of the Four Business Outcomes.


Doing the work of leadership means working on the Eight Drivers to create the right Outcomes. That’s why the Four Business Outcomes and Eight Drivers are an integral part of Strategies Coaching.