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Are You Creating the Very Outcomes You Fear?


As the leader/owner of your salon/spa, the need for “everything” to be done a certain way is micromanaging in its purest form.

  • It means getting involved in everyone’s work to the point where your hands are doing the work.

  • It means taking a project you assigned to an employee and completely redoing it.

  • It means redoing retail displays, refolding towels, organizing employees’ work areas, rewriting promos, training manuals, presentations, and more.

If this describes your approach to leadership … you’re driving your employees, especially your leadership team, crazy.

One day, I received a call from a very upset and concerned Strategies coaching client.

The owner said, “I’m suffocating my managers because I keep obsessing over every little decision, task, or project they do,” she explained. “I don’t even give them a chance to do it right by taking it over or doing it myself.”

When I asked the owner to explain what was causing her behavior, she said, “I remember how bad it was a few years ago. I have so much invested in my company that I’m afraid of falling back into the fiery pit of hell.”

As an owner/entrepreneur myself, I could totally relate.

KEY POINT #1: The owner’s micromanaging behavior to prevent falling into the fiery pit of hell was doing just the opposite. It was forcing her very capable leaders to shut down and stop trying. Should they reach the point of not caring and losing hope … an already damaged culture could collapse completely.

The employee’s perspective

I did a follow-up call with the two managers. Both were seriously frustrated with having everything they do micromanaged and interfered with.

KEY POINT #2: These two managers are just as passionate about the health, wellbeing, and success of this salon/spa as the obsessing owner they work for. But their mounting frustration is causing them to give up and shut down.

KEY POINT #3: When a leadership team member says, “It’s your company … if this is how you want it done … fine,” the company’s culture is broken, and it will only get worse unless corrected.

  • The leader’s micromanaging behavior is saying, “You’re not capable … you don’t care enough … your idea/opinion/approach doesn’t matter.” Ouch!

This scenario plays out in salons/spas every day where owners with the best intentions … but the wrong behaviors … create the very problems they desperately want to avoid.

Here are a few No-Compromise Leadership thoughts to avoid becoming the dreaded micromanaging owner:

  • Leading means letting go: Leadership truly is about letting go of the controls. A salon/spa business cannot grow when the owner’s tentacles are wrapped around every decision, task, and process. It’s even worse when the owner can’t resist the temptation to take over tasks and projects that were delegated to others … especially menial tasks.
    LESSON: The leader’s job is to lead, direct, coach, inspire, and protect the company’s culture. Let go of responsibilities that others can do as well … or better.

  • Leading means keeping the company on course: A leader is the keeper of the vision and ensures forward progress. Great leaders oversee the work of others … they don’t touch it. Leaders manage their people resources through delegation. Yes, when duty calls, great leaders know when to step up and get their hands dirty. That’s leading by example. But they also know that while they’re busy getting their hands dirty … the company can wander off course.
    LESSON: Focus your energy and attention on making progress by creating opportunities for others to step up and experience a sense of ownership in the outcomes.

  • Leading means coaching others to reach their full potential: Today, more than ever, salon/spa owners should be spending time coaching and developing their people. Too many service provider owners, that spend the bulk of their time doing services on clients, are leaving the door wide open for culture, productivity, operational, financial, and employee turnover issues.
    LESSON: A salon/spa cannot effectively be led in between clients. The moment employees sense that their work is being taken for granted because the owner is “too busy” … culture contamination has already spread. What’s more important … servicing your clients or leading your company?

  • Leading means engaging and paying attention: Salons and spas are complicated service businesses with lots of moving parts. It doesn’t take much for things to go sideways.
    LESSON: Be present. Make time for your employees. Pay attention to systems, customer service quality, and cash flow. Most of all, demonstrate through your behavior and deeds that you really care about the success and wellbeing of your employees.

Here’s my challenge to you: It’s so easy to get caught up in “fixing everything” that doesn’t look right. The justification sounds like, “If I want it done right … I’ll just do it myself.” That justification will bog you down in stuff you shouldn’t be touching or dealing with. It drives your employees crazy and spews toxic waste all over your culture.

  • Leading takes time.

  • Constructive coaching conversations take time.

  • Designing, skill certifying, and locking in new systems takes time.

  • Developing your leadership team takes time.

  • Building your brand takes time. Sharing your vision takes time.

  • Seeking out new opportunities takes time.

Micromanaging devours time, minimizes people, and wrecks companies.

Changing your behavior and developing your leadership skills is hard to do on your own.

Talk to a Strategies coach.

Click here to schedule a free Strategies coaching session.


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