What does it take to achieve greatness? What does it take to be an awesome leader? If you're like most people, you probably think all of those things lie within you, and you’d be right…to an extent. Most people see themselves as great, but that’s just the beginning. I’ve spent many years of my life in leadership roles at many different companies, and I’d like to share a few things with you on how to achieve true greatness as a leader.
FACT: You need to realize that being the leader doesn’t mean that you know everything.
It’s important to be honest with yourself about your knowledge and abilities. A great leader is knowledgeable, but they don’t have ALL of the answers. No one does. Being great doesn't mean knowing everything, it means having the tools, good sense, and resources to FIND the answers. We all know the beauty industry is constantly evolving, and this alone makes it impossible to know ALL THE ANSWERS ALL THE TIME! So, where do you go to find them?
I usually go to my fellow stylists. The people standing at the chair right next to you are there for a reason. You may like them, you may not, but they are standing next to you in the salon because they know what they are doing. Do you think you're better than they are? If so, that attitude doesn't portray greatness, it portrays poor leadership skills and an unwillingness to learn. Swallow your pride and ask. They may have taken different advanced education than you, and asking teammates is a fast and easy way to get an answer to a question. In addition to fostering relationships, it gets everyone’s creative juices flowing and lets your coworkers know that you value them as a stylist. That their opinions and knowledge are important to you. If you’re in a leadership role, this is a great way to make your employees think you're a great leader.
Delegation is one of the biggest key points that most leaders miss.
Getting other people involved brings us to the next point in building greatness: delegation and communication. Great leaders can’t possibly do everything themselves. Trusting people to do things correctly and holding them accountable to expectations makes you a great leader. Delegation is one of the biggest key points that most leaders miss. Sometimes it’s easier to just do things yourself, but you are in the position you are in because you already know how to do these things. Being a great leader is about development, not only for yourself, but for your team. There are three basic principles to delegation, and they are:
- Explain- Explain to your team member how something should be done. Make sure your explanation includes your clear expectations, and show them how to do it if necessary.
- Check for understanding- Have your team member explain the process back to you. Make sure they hit on the key points and clearly understand your expectations.
- Accountability- Now that you have explained your expectations, and had them explained back to you, you can count on the fact your team member knows what they are supposed to do. Now that they know that, you can hold them accountable. This is an important step to this process. Holding them accountable doesn't have to mean only pointing out when something is done incorrectly, it can also be showing appreciation for something that is done the right way!
The two points I mentioned in this article are the most important steps to achieving greatness. Being a great leader isn't about doing everything yourself or thinking you know it all. That’s not leading and in fact, is counter productive to greatness. If you want to be a truly great leader, you have to promote greatness to everyone else. You have to be able to rely on your teammates and make sure they know how much you value their work. If you can master these two things, I guarantee you will have a healthier and happier work environment, and that’s just GREAT.