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Salon/Spa Owners: Is This Your Best Work?


Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, was an obsessive perfectionist.

There’s a well-documented story of a speech Kissinger asked Ambassador Winston Lord to write. Lord, a seriously talented speechwriter, worked on it for days and handed it to Kissinger.

After giving it to Kissinger, he got it back with the notation “Is this the best you can do?”

Lord rewrote and polished and finally resubmitted it. Again, it came back it came with the same question.

After redrafting it one more time — and once again getting the same question from Kissinger, Lord snapped, “Damn it, yes, it’s the best I can do.”

Kissinger replied: “Fine, then I guess I’ll read it this time.”

Was Kissinger being over-demanding of Lord? Absolutely not. Kissinger wanted Lord to reach into his reservoir of untapped potential. He wanted Lord’s best work.

FACT: As an owner/leader, you have untapped potential. Every member of your team has untapped potential. Your salon/spa has untapped potential.

Here’s another way to answer the question, “Is this your best work?”

When you ask your team to give 110% effort, do you get that 110% … or do you get 100%, 80%, or less?

When you tell an employee, “Do your best,” are you setting yourself up for disappointment?

When you say, “I’ll do my best,” are you really saying, “I’ll give it 80% of my 100%?”

Ever wonder why a salon/spa struggles to hit goal, is always tight for cash, or has excessive employee turnover? Simple. It has an 80% of his/her 100% leader in charge.

Employees and teams never give 100% effort to an 80% leader because the leader has set the perceived effort level at 80%.

  • Do you normally give 80% of your 100% best effort to your work? If yes, what’s holding you back?

  • Do you have employees that give 80% of their 100%? If yes, as the leader, what are you doing to inspire and tap that 20% of unused potential?

  • Even worse, do you have employees that give 60% of their 100% effort to their work? Yikes … why do you keep paying anyone full pay for 60% effort?

When owners dig in, they do their best work and get amazing results. They believe in their vision for their salon/spa, and their work, commitment, and discipline inspires those they lead.

People follow leaders that stand for something beyond just hitting numbers. Tapping into that extra 20% requires trust, clarity, appreciation, open communication, fairness, and a whole lot of integrity.

Too many leaders look in the opposite direction, trying to find better consequences to use as a stick when a simple carrot will do.

Dynamic teams and cultures aren’t beaten via consequences into delivering extraordinary results … they are nurtured, inspired, trained, and coached to greatness.

The same goes for employees. Some are eager to learn, master new skills, and contribute to their own and team growth.

Others say they want to succeed, but just don’t do their best work. They’re standing in their own way. These employees must be weeded out to prevent their negativity from spreading.

So … is the work you’re doing truly your best work? If not, why not? What’s holding you back?

The simple answer is nothing is holding you back except you.

  • Maybe it’s procrastination.

  • Maybe it’s poor time management.

  • Maybe it’s bad work habits.

  • And maybe … just maybe … it’s fear of stepping out of your comfort zone.

Here’s my challenge to you: You are a better leader than you realize. You are far more capable of achieving amazing levels of success than you realize.

Challenge One: Purge “good is good enough” from your thinking and behavior. Why? Because good is good enough allows performance and growth opportunities to slip through the cracks.

  • To succeed, Good is good enough falls seriously short.

  • Good is good enough doesn’t make you stretch and grow.

  • Good is good enough is “live in your comfort zone” mentality.

Challenge Two: Challenge everything you do with, “Is this your best work?”

Challenge Three: Give 100% of your 100%.

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