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Salon/Spa Leadership IS …


Many “business experts” define leadership as a big, long, and complicated, what-to-do list. It’s like you need to become some sort of black-belt leadership ninja to be worthy of being viewed as a leader.

Well, the only connection between leadership and being a ninja is one simple yet profound word. That word is discipline.

You see, like all things in business, becoming a great leader is an outcome. It’s the result of your disciplined thinking and behavior.

When I wrote my book, No-Compromise Leadership, I added the following tagline to the title: “A Higher Level of Leadership Thinking and Behavior.”

While many take a task-driven approach to define leadership, in reality, it’s your thinking and behavior that drive your effectiveness to create the right outcomes.

So, what does the right leadership thinking and behavior look like? Here are my ten No-Compromise Leadership thinking and behavior requirements:

  1. Have absolute clarity on where you’re taking your company: Having absolute clarity on where you’re taking your company is what distinguishes the no-compromise leader from other leaders. Having absolute clarity of objectives, direction, and action plans bring the vision and mission of the company into the highest level of alignment. KEY: Absolute clarity is like business GPS. It sets the where, when, and how.

  2. Values — If you want them, live them: When you admire a business for its uncompromising quality, relentless customer service, and delivering what was promised when it was promised, you’re admiring the culture created and governed by its values. KEY: That level of refined values-based behavior doesn’t just happen; it’s designed and meticulously cared for — and it begins at the top. The structure, discipline, values, and guiding principles are the granite blocks that a company’s culture is built upon.

  3. If it needs to be done, get it done: Call it procrastinating, leadership blockages, lack of knowledge, or whatever — failure to be accountable and do what needs to be done is the ultimate compromise for a leader. It contaminates and sets the behavior standard for the entire company. KEY: Procrastination and avoiding difficult decisions or actions, feeds compromise. Living by requirement number three is non-negotiable for the no-compromise leader. A leader is defined by his or her resolve, tenacity, and courage to get things done.

  1. No excuses when you compromise. Own it: Excuses are an easy way to justify and explain away compromising behavior. The true no-compromise leader openly acknowledges and takes responsibility for his or her compromises. They own it. “I screwed up. It was a bad decision. I was wrong.” KEY: Owning your compromises creates a level of transparency that reveals your human side — that you’re not infallible — that you have no hidden agenda. Just like hitting a pressure release valve, owning your compromises ends the drama and related stress. More importantly, it builds trust.

  2. Don’t destroy from within: If you trace the origin of most business
    challenges, crises, and missed opportunities, you’ll discover they were created internally. Someone wasn’t paying attention or being accountable. That’s when the blame game begins. KEY: Destroying from within contaminates a business culture. Leaders can contaminate their culture through their thinking and behavior or fail to engage at the first sign of contamination. To be a no-compromise leader, you must strengthen, nurture, and protect your business culture from contamination.

  3. Don’t be dictatorial and inflexible: Becoming a no-compromise leader doesn’t mean becoming a messenger of darkness that demands unquestioned and absolute obedience. KEY: No-compromise leadership is NOT dictatorial and inflexible. It is values and purpose-driven. When integrity, trust, compassion, ethics, tenacity, and courage merge, it forms a cultural and leadership framework. That framework would be torn apart if it was incapable of flexing. Everything changes. The no-compromise leader must be open to and ready to embrace change, no matter how fast it comes.

  4. Focus— Avoid office-itis: I use office-itis to describe what happens when leaders lose focus on their company’s vision and objectives. If you have a case of office-itis, you need to give yourself a huge wake-up call and get back in the action. KEY: Office-itis is a compromise. The best prevention for office-itis is to consistently maintain a sense of urgency in the business. Communication, information flow, and accountability must never be compromised.

  1. Manage what’s on your plate: If you had to pick one word to describe your leadership work style, would it be superhero? Do you just love to pile on the work and the projects? Are you juggling a dozen balls at a time? If this sounds like your leadership life, your leadership is compromised. KEY: Many leaders confuse no-compromise leadership with “I must do it all.” Well, you can’t do it all — and when you try, you create a disfunction that throws the rest of your team off balance. Simply put, the superhero leader becomes the disturbance that creates drag rather than lift. Give your company a break — manage what’s on your plate. It’s okay to say, “No.”

  1. Be tenacious and courageous: In business, problems never fix themselves. Staying stuck is a choice. Hope won’t get you through to daylight and back to good times. No-compromise leaders shake off their fears and take action. Likewise, if your business is doing fine, getting stuck in your comfort zone is just as dangerous. KEY: It’s your tenacity and courage that will take you through the tough times. Your courage and tenacity will push your team and company to achieve its full potential. That’s what makes going to work fun. Being tenacious and courageous builds a foundation of success. Being tenacious and courageous sets the thinking and behavior of your entire team to win — and win big.

  1. Lead with passion: All great leaders possess an innate passion that drives all that they do and accomplish. Passion fuels a leader’s higher calling and natural enthusiasm to excel and succeed. So much so that others can sense and capture that same passion. KEY: It’s your passion that attracts and engages those you lead most positively That shared passion lifts the performance of the entire company. No one wants to work for a passionless leader.

Here’s my challenge to you: I call these ten requirements the “Ten Tenets of No-Compromise Leadership. We teach these tenets in our seminars and coach our clients to embrace and live them.

Do not underestimate the transformative impact these ten tenets can have on your leadership, your team, and your company.

Remember, checking off items on a leadership to-do list is one thing. Applying the right leadership thinking and behavior is what brings those task lists to life.


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