The future belongs to companies that can actually create change in their favor—and hopefully in a direction that’s good for others. That requires a business model in which there simply are no sharply defined leaders and followers. Without a doubt, the old “daycare” employment model is obsolete. It’s no longer acceptable for people to enter the office looking to be told what to do next. And yet, many skin care facilities simply paint a “new economy” façade on a rigid old top-down hierarchy paradigm and expect people to thrive. Guess what? They won’t.
So let’s say you are a leader who recognizes the need to transform your facility. How do you break the self-destructive cycle and change the unhealthy employer/employee dynamic that is crippling everyone? Quite simply, you start by transforming yourself.
1. Admit you have a mojo dysfunction. Your spa has been operating in survival mode for a while now, and that’s not good for anyone. But before you can reignite others, you must reignite yourself. That means admitting that you have a problem, that you have been running on empty for a while now, and that it’s time to rediscover your basic leadership beliefs and leverage them into a new beginning.
2. Realize that you, personally, have to change. Business transformation begins with personal transformation. Recycling your usual skills only recycles your past. Only by getting back to your basic beliefs and rediscovering your passion in light of a new reality can you transform yourself and your company.
3. Find your competency. Acknowledge to yourself and others what you’re good at and not so good at. Don’t be bashful: Vulnerability helps people connect to you and makes you a better leader. But this is only a starting point. To be a great leader, you need to know what you’re great at. This is the skill set around which you will package yourself inside your business.
4. Translate that competency into value. Ask yourself: “How can I put my competency to work inside my spa? How can I use it to provide value differently?”
5. Create a solid platform for work. The skeleton of your platform was constructed a long time ago; it is made up of your skills, your experience, the knowledge that defines you. But are there missing planks? Knowing what you want to do and where the holes are that will hinder your ability to execute and innovate is very valuable. Figure out how to fill in the holes with new skills, new experiences, new knowledge. Do this now.
6. Awaken your cause. Find the one thing inside your skin care facility that you feel passionate about. If you can’t find a cause, you may as well forget being a leader! Maybe it’s customer service, mentoring or service innovation. Whatever your cause may be, make it your mantra. Let it drive everything you do.
7. Commit to servant leadership. Gandhi was not capable of being a good lawyer. In fact, he was laughed out of his first case. Eventually, he realized he was at his best when he was serving others. Being successful in professional skin care today means bringing back your leadership in service to a greater good.
8. Find and leverage momentum. Momentum is a unique way to view the market. Skin care facilities that don’t understand it will miss the drivers that indicate where momentum is going. Those that do will get there first with products and services designed to be hot sellers.
These are exciting times. What a wonderful privilege to live and work in an age where the marketplace rewards the best of humanity—the desire to create, to innovate, to take risks and fly without a net, and to serve the needs of others. You have the opportunity to make a living by realizing your higher selves and bringing out the higher selves of those around you.
Mohan Nair is chief innovation officer of a health plan in the Northwest/Mountain region. He is currently a member of the executive leadership team for the American Heart Association, and a board member for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association Columbia Northwest. Nair is also the author of Strategic Business Transformation: The 7 Deadly Sins to Overcome (Wiley, 2011).