The Top 3 Leadership Traits That Tank Your Spa’s Growth

The Top 3 Leadership Traits That Tank Your Spa’s Growth

leadership Feb 23, 2021

Stepping into a new (or stronger!) leadership position in your spa business is exciting. 

Whether you’ve expanded your team, hired one for the first time, or are a solo who is beginning to outsource some of your marketing or admin, this is a huge accomplishment that you should be proud of! It’s a sign that you’ve got the vision, the determination, and the passion to develop your spa biz into a truly impactful part of your niche or community.

With that being said, however, a new or stronger leadership position isn’t without its pitfalls. Stepping into a leadership role can trigger a few ego traps (which I’ve nicknamed “hidden growth destructors”) that can actively work against the growth of your spa business without you even realizing you have a problem… until it’s too late. This is especially relevant as, for the majority of us, we are in serious recovery mode due to it being one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. A serious cash flow crunch and dysfunctional team is the last thing you want on your plate!

In today’s blog (adapted from my weekly Live Spa Business Mastery session, which you can tune into in real-time every Thursday), I will be outlining the three sneaky traits that undermine your trust and authority… and the two hidden factors that are crucial to incorporate into your leadership style. 

The First of the Top 3 Leadership Traits That Tank Your Spa’s Growth: Making Decisions Too Quickly

Before I begin, I want to tackle the elephant in the room: “Kirsten, if I’m a solo spa owner who has just started outsourcing surely I don’t need to take heed of this!”

That’s where you’d be wrong!

In my private spa owners-only Facebook group, Spa Business Mastery, I see these three common “blind spots” come up again and again. Not through intentional actions or malice but simply because, in a leadership position, it is difficult to see our own shortcomings… even though addressing said shortcomings has myriad benefits for both us and our teams!

The most common of these three negative leadership traits is making decisions too quickly. Whether it be about hiring, firing, advertising, general marketing, product launches, new equipment purchases or anything in between, making decisions too fast leads to the inability to follow through because the situation was not thought out ahead of time.

Seeing an opportunity and going, “Wow! I need to do this and I need to do it now,” oftentimes leads directly into overspending, rush-launching, over-promising to clients, and under-delivering resources to staff. The result? A swing-and-a-miss that will not likely be a missed opportunity but also a financial burden.

Instead, think about not only what this opportunity will cost to get off the ground but also:

  • “Do I have the cash flow to both launch and sustain this opportunity?”

  • “What will I be doing to advertise this opportunity?”

  • “Do I or my team need training on this opportunity?”

  • “What marketing will I be doing to sustain interest in this opportunity?”

As the Kirsten Foss Coaching team sees frequently in their digital services clients, because many spa industry leaders do not have formal business training they can get caught in their own sticky web of making decisions too quickly… especially when it comes to launching! Rather than inadvertently tanking your spa’s growth, use the above pointers to think over the opportunity at hand before jumping into any decision-making.

Common Pitfall #2: Abdicating Rather Than Delegating

Abdicating vs. delegating is an issue I see cropping up a lot in my private coaching clientele. Why? Because many spa leaders don’t realize that there is a difference!

  1. Abdicating = Dumping tasks on your staff or outsourcing team without direction (or clear direction!)

  2. Delegating = Divvying up tasks amongst staff or outsourcing team but still being present to provide direction and answer questions as they come up

The difference? While both lift a burden from spa leaders’ shoulders, abdicating oftentimes results in frustration on all sides due to unclear direction… while delegating ensures that your spa biz remains on track! After all, only you have complete control over your spa’s operations and marketing positioning; forfeiting your say over how things are done is only bound to go askew. No one’s a mind reader!

Instead, take a back seat but still be available for training, ongoing coaching, and follow-ups. Your spa business is worth it!

As one of my favourite quotes by Brene Brown goes, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.”

The Worst Leadership Trait You May be Guilty Of: “Do As I Say, Not As I Do!”

Now, if anyone here is a parent as well as a spa leader then you know how many overlaps there are between parenting and leading a spa team. Leading by example and avoiding the whole, “Do as I say, not as I do!” is one major highlight of this.

Leading by example could include:

  • Not wanting staff on their phones during work hours, so you also make a point of not being on your phone during this time unless it is for explicit work purposes

  • Using (or not using) certain language or general behaviour with clients

  • Completely removing gossip or trash-talk (no matter how veiled) from any part of the culture

  • Encouraging others to reference the team handbook by doing so yourself

And this leads into the top two factors that you need to be incorporating into your leadership style:

The Importance of Setting Boundaries and Being Self-Aware

The three negative leadership traits above erode both your trust and your authority… the two most crucial parts of being a spa leader. If your team or clients don’t trust you then your business growth will inevitably tank.

How to stop this? Aside from factoring in careful decision making, delegating rather than abdicating, and leading by example, setting boundaries and being self-aware will both save and grow your spa biz.

Setting boundaries and being self-aware foster:

  • Team and client trust

  • Authority in both your business and your local community

  • Continuous personal growth

  • Opportunities for bettered team and client communication

  • The chance to improve your general business operations and processes

Your spa biz will be the best life coach you could possibly ask for. It will show you where you need to place your attention by throwing hurdles in front of you that you need to overcome. These include the “business growth destructor” traits listed above.

The best thing you can do when things are going sideways in your spa business is ask, “What did I do to contribute to this? Is there anywhere in my leadership, communications, documentation, or positioning that is the impetus of the problem at hand?”

Trust me: you got this. Reach out today for further leadership support and guidance from someone who has been in your shoes!

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