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Aisha had a vision and a brand she wanted to build for her business. I love a good plan, but she had totally lost her way and was definitely not leading by example. The vision was "high end" yet there was no reception area, a VIP lounge that looked like a hospital room (in fact I take that back, I've seen nicer hospital rooms), clients left waiting for hours and being burned by assistants, and staff and owner screaming across the salon. High end? I think not.
All the staff felt that Aisha was hostile, angry, and moody. She set the tone of the salon, which according to them was erratic and unprofessional, and as Monica said "boughetto." As the owner, Aisha didn't realize she set the tone, and she wanted to blame her staff for all that was wrong in her salon. The staff also felt that Aisha had not taken time for herself after her mother's death and that the business and her wellbeing had suffered because of it. They were also incredibly confused about what the "Beyond brand" was, and some of them didn't even know there was one.
I had a really hard time getting through to Aisha, and because she was so resistant to me, I invited past and present clients to a focus group to explain to her what changes they had seen happen to Aisha and her business. I understood that Aisha felt overwhelmed, but sometimes the most important person to take care of is yourself, and that's what Aisha needed to do. She needed to face what was happening in her personal life to tackle what was happening in her professional life, I know that from firsthand experience. It's extremely hard to separate personal and professional life at times, and Aisha had basically buried her head in the sand and didn't want to face any of it. But until she did, she wouldn't be able to move forward.
The focus group was a real wakeup call for Aisha. Going to the cancer center not only showed her she didn't need to face it alone, but also that her staff was willing to support her. I saw a total change in Aisha during my takeover, and I was so impressed when I went back six weeks later to find a woman that had made the necessary staff changes to her business. She was in charge, proud, and focused.
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