The drive to improve
In my adult years, my father has become a bit of a mystery to me. Growing up, he always talked to me about the value of being a leader. This past weekend, my wife and I were at savers when I saw a book that called out to me. I looked at Hailie and said, "I'm going to figure him out."
The first chapter of the U.S. Army Ranger Handbook is entitled "Principles of Leadership."
When the man who raised you was given the country's most intense course on leadership, some of those qualities rub off on you. My brother is one of the best coaches and leaders I've known in my life, and he and I both take on some of the better parts of our dad when it comes to helping others succeed.
I've spent the better part of a decade working out a practical understanding of what a leader should look like in the workforce.
A good leader:
Never asks something they wouldn't be willing to do themselves.
Leads by example and doesn't shy away from the dirty work.
Listens to feedback from his team and finds way to implement changes.
Actively pursues the growth of the team and project over the notoriety of the individual.
Holds themselves to the same level of accountability they hold others.
Strives to find ways to constantly improve.
The Barber Story as a barbershop is a project of constant improvement. I don't want to be a manager because I don't want to be that guy that tells somebody to do something just because I said to do it. I've personally had bosses like that and they traditionally suck as people, and I've been known to take ex-lax brownies to their team potlucks (I'm looking at you Terri). As a small business owner, I simply want to have fun with people who want to have fun, and I think one of the best ways ensuring others are having fun is to ask them. I've found the best way to find out others goals are to ask them, and that helps eliminate confusion.
Chairs and lighting need to get fixed, let's fix that. We first need money, and then we need a solution. The shop has been open for five months, we have a little bit of money, and now we know what we need to accomplish with lighting, there's our solution. There's a difference between talking about doing it and just getting it done. Chairs delivered on 4/16. Lights installed on 4/17.
Chairs are in place, the additional lights are installed on the ceiling, now we just need to hide the cables.
One thing has changed in two areas. I now have consistency in my chairs and my lighting. While it is not revolutionary, it is a world of difference when you physically walk into the shop. I never would have made these changes if I didn't have a team that pushed me to improve my first shop. When this project is finished, it will be the standard to improve off of so I'm excited to see we're setting a pretty high bar to start with.
I hope to see you in the shop or in the Best of Boise.