Expert Advice

Getting Everyone Rowing in The Same Direction

Patrick McIvor | December 19, 2014 | 8:30 AM

Friends have been asking me what I am looking for in the team members that will be part of our new salon experience and what it takes to be part of our team. The most important aspect for long-term success is our team, and making sure everyone understands what it takes to be part of the team is the first step in creating that success.


When you’re trying to get a team to achieve a goal, it’s always good to make sure everyone is shooting at the same target first! Success is a sport, it’s not like winning the lottery, everyday you have to get up, work hard and move “the ball” closer to success. But what if you were playing soccer or basketball and you had a team member that kept shooting at your own basket instead of trying to get it in the opponent’s goal and scoring points for your team? It can sometimes feel this way, as an owner when the team does what it thinks is right for them.  Heck, it is always easier to score in your own goal, because either your goalie or another team member wasn't expecting you to shoot at them or run in the wrong direction for a goal. Unfortunately for many of us today, because of things like reality TV, scoring a goal (even for the other team) seems to be more important than scoring the right goal that would actually help.  I think of it as the “Snookie Syndrome.”  So how do you get everyone shooting at the same goal and have a championship team?  Let people know what’s important to the team and success, celebrate achievements and empower them to take responsibility as a team.


Mission Statement

A mission statement is both for the team and for your guests and lets everyone know the purpose, reason for existing, and most importantly the WHY for your business. The mission statement shares the actions, goals, ethics and culture, providing a path for norms and guides for decision-making.


Code Of Honor

A code of honor establishes a set of principles based on ideals that constitutes what honorable and acceptable behavior is for a team. This is something that academic systems, military academies, secret societies, organizations and sports teams have used to create championship results. A code of honor spells out what it takes to be part of a team and if not followed can get you kicked off the team.



Branding many times is what separates big successful companies from many independent businesses. With branding you are buying them first before you are buying what they have. Here are 3 examples of branding success: Walmart, Starbucks and - within our own industry - Vidal Sassoon Salons. In all 3 of these examples, to the consumer, the brand is more important and better defined than the actual goods or services. Think about it, you are not shopping or food shopping, you are, “Going to Walmart.” You’re not getting a coffee, you are “Going to Starbucks.” And for someone who is getting their haircut, they are not going to a salon, they are “Going to Vidal Sassoon.” For this, I use 5 “touchstones” of culture to make sure our brand evolves seasonally without getting lost.  I also have 5 “abstract/sensory based” questions to make sure the brand knows who they are when coaching salons and stylist.



Everyone has a job and it’s not just doing hair. Each team member has outside responsibilities to be part of our team and those responsibilities can be changed at anytime. Having a challenge with the front desk?   You can be the Director of Guest Reception!  Are your retail sales low? You can be the next Director of Retail! From Director of Associates, to Director of Guest Experiences, Housekeeping, Education, Inventory and more, with outside responsibilities we can all win together, faster when everyone helps.


30 Second Elevator Test

At 101 E. Center Salon, we create beautiful, sexy, believable hair in an intimate studio environment that uses technology, including digital consultations, and take home lessons for styling hair that make the guest the center of our TechniCulture Salon Experience.


We are excited to bring the next revolution in our industry to our community, creating an experience we can share with other salon professionals that can join us in the TechniCulture Revolution.  101 E. Center Salon, opening early 2015 for guests, is accepting applications for team members now and sharing how to create the TechniCulture Experience with other salon professionals in an immersive learning environment starting in spring 2015.


To keep up with everything I’m doing in 2015, follow my professional page on Facebook.


See you next year!   



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