My first job after finishing my post-grad at Uni was writing for Sky Sports online. Yep, they actually paid me to talk about sport all day!
If we’ve ever had a conversation, you’ll know I’m at my most passionate when I’m talking football (especially Arsenal!).
So, it goes without saying that I have loved watching England do so well at the Euros.
While we didn’t get the final result we were all hoping for in the final, but I couldn’t help but notice that there are so many lessons we can learn from Gareth Southgate and his team.
Here’s what your salon can learn from team England.
Lesson one: You don’t need the best individuals to have the best team
I grew up on the so-called Golden generation with stars like Ferdinand and Campbell at the back, Beckham, Scholes, Gerrard and Lampard and Michael Owen up top.
They had the ‘best’ (for that read most expensive) managers the FA could buy. And what did they achieve? Nothing.
They didn’t share a common goal, their club loyalties created cliques, and no one really found a formation that brought out the best in them.
When you look at the class of ’21, I reckon Harry Kane is the only one who you’d take player for player over the team that I recall. So, what do we learn from this?
‘It’s the team work that does the dream work’. It’s such a cliché. It’s so true.
Lesson two: People perform better when they’re having fun!
Aside from some of the best moments on the pitch, one of the lasting memories of the Euros is a bunch of 20-something guys messing about on blow-up unicorns in a pool.
The fall out of previous tournaments has always been about boredom, but this camp look like it was defined by a ‘work hard, play hard attitude’.
They were encouraged to have fun, which creates a tighter bond, which makes them all work harder for each other.
So, if you want to get the best out of your team, foster an enjoyable working environment and find some ways to all have fun together outside of the salon.
Lesson three: Nice guys don’t come last
This is one I’ve definitely noticed at the BHBAs over the last few years too!
In an era of ‘It’s Cool to be Kind’, you no longer have to be ruthless to get on.
When you’re ‘nice’, people go out of their way for you too. They want good things to happen to you. They talk to you when things go wrong. And generally, they’re not going to disappear the moment they don’t get the exact hairstyle that they had in mind.
Lesson four: Success breeds success
When you think about how behind the team we all were at the start of the tournament, to the end (racist idiots aside), it’s easy to see how far they’ve come in confidence, stature and results.
To take your salon team along with you, you’ll need a shared goal that you break down into little steps. As soon as you start to see the little wins, you’ll unite people and then those little victories snowball into bigger wins.
That could be as simple as a plan to grow your social media, introduce a new service, win an award.
The best way to achieve things is to have a big vision, get your team’s buy in, then find the right person to manage the goals by breaking them down into achievable chunks, which leads us nicely onto…
Lesson five: The right manager brings out the best in the individuals
Would City fans want Southgate over Guardiola? God no! Liverpool fans take him over Klopp? No way! And if you gave me the choice of Southgate over Arteta – even after the struggles of the last year – I’d still take the latter.
Do I want Southgate to be England Manager at the next World Cup? 100%!
Because you don’t need to be the best person out there to be the best person for the job. You do need to know what your goal is and how to take your team along with you by bringing out the best in them.
It’s not uncommon for salons to promote and promote their best performing team members until you have your most senior stylist as your salon manager, but management is a whole different skillset, so are you really playing to their strengths?
Lesson six: You get the best results when people are able to express themselves
Remember those boring ‘we’re taking each day as it comes’ interviews of yesteryear. There’s been something so refreshing about watching post-match interviews and press conferences where England players were able to say what they really feel (or at least come across like it).
When people have to hold back on what they say in one aspect of their role, they start to do things with the brakes on, which is why fostering an attitude of honesty and openness is always going to create a happier, more productive salon environment.
Lesson seven: Sometimes your senior team members have to step up.
I LOVE Saka! I love his energy. I love his confidence. I love that he clearly believes he can do anything.
But sometimes you need to protect your younger members of the team.
So, what does this mean to your salon? Well even now, I still see lots of salons who get their younger members to manage the social media because they ‘get social’. It scares me. Why would you let an inexperienced member of your team play such a key role in defining your business?
If you don’t have time to do it for yourself, find a senior member of the team, who really understands the brand, your clients and the pressure, to step up.