How To Transition From Team Member To Team Leader

It’s often said that some people are born leaders while others have to develop leadership skills. Even if it is it is something that is innate in you, being a leader requires work, patience and dedication.

Whether you ask to be a leader or you’re thrust into the position, moving from a team member to being a leader of the team in a salon can be tricky.

First off, ask yourself why you? From both sides, why is your owner or manager asking you to lead? Then, ask yourself that same question, why me? Why would I want this? How can I contribute? What could I learn? What are the obstacles I may face?

Being a leader in a salon requires a mix of attributes that, when married together, work to help the business grow. You have to be a great listener, diplomatic, accountable, hold others to account, communicate and follow through. You also have to be organized, a good time manager and an analyzer of people, situations, statistics and performance.


If you decide to accept a position of leadership in your salon or spa take these steps to help you effectively prepare for it.

Understand the expectations. What are the expectations your leader has of you? Are they written? How will you both be able to measure your effectiveness?

What’s the time commitment? How many hours a week will you be given to dedicate yourself to the tasks required of you?

Are there resources needed? What support will you have to perform the job? What will you have to learn? From software programs to dealing with distributor sales consultants, etc., you may have quite the initial learning curve so be clear up front what you’re getting yourself into.

Timeline: How long will you be given to grow in the position to meet expectations? This is critical, especially if you are thrust into the position. Be sure that your owner or manager is not expecting immediate results and brilliant decision making from you. If that is the case, you may want to reconsider the position.

Transition plan: How will you transition from a team member to a leader? How and when will you both announce to the team that this is happening?

Personalities: Think through how your peers may react to you being their leader. This may be the piece that is touchy and requires the most patience.

Education: After you understand what is required of you and how your owner is going to train you it is important to shift your gaze towards other forms of education that can help you grow through the process. Find a mentor and look for classes, articles, books, blogs or seminars you can attend that can help you develop yourself as a leader.

Commitment: This is the last and maybe most important part; make a 100% commitment to being in this position. It really is your choice in the long run so be responsible for it and take it on, or not.

Being a leader is an exciting opportunity to grow and help make a bigger difference and be a bigger part of something great. The lessons and insights you will have about yourself, people and life will be invaluable stepping stones for your future. If you are in this position right now, sit back, reflect on where you have come from to be here, appreciate the moment, and follow the above steps to create a future that is rewarding for you and others.

Oh, and if you don’t have it, grab a copy of my book, Interdependent Leadership. It’s designed to help you grow as a leader, making values based decisions that help the culture, the business and you!

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