Leadership is all in the Follow Through!
Featuring Marti Nelson
Business owners rarely open their business without thinking of the “big picture.” They want to make seven figures, have an international brand, or be known for growing the top leaders in the industry. While “thinking big” is part of what makes leaders great, it is in the execution where leaders are likely to encounter many stumbling blocks before reaching the desired goal.
The professional beauty industry is no different. Salon owners in particular are known to be the feeling kind, with big hearts and a caring vision. Finding the way to break down goals for the month, week, and day and to have the courage to follow through on those action plans takes a lot of discipline and perseverance. Summit Salon Consultant Marti Nelson shares how to hone your follow-through skills and how to lead with vision every day.
“Follow through is vital because everyone wants consistency,” Marti explains. “Even though employees may not identify it as such, they view a lack of follow-through as poor leadership. Often this equates to broken promises and consequently breeds a lack of trust. Without trust, it’s difficult to get people to follow you. So, the consistency creates a culture where tasks are accomplished, service providers trust the owner, and there is more unity in the team.”
“Every owner has their own individual strengths and weaknesses,” Marti says. “In my consulting I try to discover those strengths and weaknesses, then I can hone in on the area they need coaching in the most. We all will tend to avoid the things we perceive as our weaknesses and default to the things we feel we do the best. A lot of times this results in very strong consistency in one area with less consistency in other areas. My mission is to help owners find the balance to manage the business in its entirety.”
The biggest obstacles to follow-through are the fear of failure, lack of knowledge, and a lack of value and expectation of the task. “Taking risks is hard!” Marti explains. “When there is lack of follow up, I then know there is something else standing in the way. It is usually fear. Working through the fear takes little baby steps! Additionally, I believe we do what we want to do! If something really has value for us, we will make sure it gets done. I often say, ‘the good is the enemy of the best.’ If our priorities aren’t right, we get busy doing the urgent and neglect the most important!”
“One of the most effective ways to add value is by breaking down the big picture into small bites,” Marti explains. “The big picture is what scares people! Even if a leader is a visionary and sees the big picture, they often don’t have the skills of execution. My responsibility is to discern where they are and help them make a plan of action.”
“It can also be tempting for leaders to feel like they know it all,” Marti explains. “Most of the time people do not realize what they do not know. As a Summit Salon Consultant it is my passion to deliver knowledge and business strategy to these salon owners so that they can feel confident and capable in executing a plan. Once someone feels empowered, there is very little that can stop them—even themselves.”
Want to become stronger in the follow-through? Here are Marti’s top five tips for strengthening that muscle.
- MAKE A LIST
You have to get the big project out of your head and onto paper! Sometimes this is an actual list. If it is about time management I recommend hanging a large calendar on the office wall to write everything down. Without knowing where you are going, you simply cannot know how to get there!
2. WORK ON ONE THING AT A TIME
The number one reason people break New Year’s Resolutions is because they make too many of them! Focusing on one thing at a time will help.
3. “EAT THAT FROG”
I got the following list from Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, and I find it helpful:
- Decide exactly what you want
- Write it down
- Set a deadline on your goal
- Make a list of everything you need to do to achieve your goal
- Organize the list into a plan
- Take action on your plan immediately
- Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal
4. WORK THROUGH “THE DIP”
Anytime we are learning a new skill or creating a habit, we WILL hit a dip. This is where we tend to give up and say, “See, I told you I wasn’t good at that!” I teach leaders to anticipate the dip and simply return to our list, our plan of action, and pick up where we left off. We are not expecting perfection, but we want to be headed in the right direction!
5. CELEBRATE THE WINS
This is so important. As leaders, we have to celebrate when our owners get it right! We, as consultants, model to our owners what it means to be a good leader so they can do the same with their people.
What tips do YOU have for improving follow-through? Let us know!
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