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Attitude Adjustment

Tabatha Coffey explains why leadership is key, and friendship comes second

By Tabatha Coffey

I really didn't want to like Martino, his behavior in the salon was so unprofessional and school-boyish, but he is a charming guy. He has a great staff, but Martino had spent so much time being the class clown and good guy he had never been a boss or leader, and when he tried his staff laughed at him. It was interesting to me that he was afraid to step up and tell his staff what his expectations were because he thought they wouldn't like him. He was trying to run a business, but Martino was more interested in the staff's friendship. I worked a lot with the staff, especially the assistants. They were so hungry for education, because they weren't getting any, and they were like sponges soaking everything up. I was very impressed with Dana - she knew what she was doing and kept Martino on track. I knew that she would be a great leader for the assistants.

The way to keep staff motivated is by encouraging and leading them. It amazed me that Martino thought his staff wouldn't step up and sell retail. All they needed were the right tools and some basic instruction so that they'd feel comfortable making sales. For a salon the size of Martino's, retail is important not only to increase revenue, but to service his clients properly and make sure their needs are met. During the reopening the staff did an amazing job of selling retail and I'm happy to say they have really followed through with it.

I implemented a board in the staff room to track sales and keep everyone motivated, and Martino has kept it going. I gave Martino a copy of my salon's policy and procedure manual and I was really impressed that when I went back to check in, he had written his own manual, organized meetings, and implemented rules (a far cry from the unorganized play boy I met!)

Giovanni and Pileggi has a fun group of hairdressers. Nancy is like the mother hen of the group - all the staff respect and look up to her. Donny had a ton of attitude, but I also knew it was his defense mechanism. He is a good hairdresser, so I was really happy he dropped the attitude and stopped playing the salon bitch. I'm really confident this group will keep up the good work - the staff really stepped up, and Martino has grown. He is finally looking at his salon as a business.

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