How to stop managing your team and start leading


You may be doing a fine job of managing your spa or massage practice team, but are you providing them with the leadership to truly help you move your business to the next level? If you find them depending on you for direction all the time, even when it comes to everyday responsibilities such as managing appointments, restocking products, and keeping marketing activities up to date, then possibly you aren’t empowering them enough. Empowered employees are not only more productive, but they are also more innovative and add value to your business.

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Vineet Nayarm, a business executive and author of “Employees First, Customers Second,” points out differences between managers and leaders. Among them:

  • Leaders create value by enabling team members to handle things—managers, on the other hand, count value. If you ask an employee to report to you when a job is completed, you count value. By asking for a report, you are interfering with someone’s ability to add their own value.
  • Also, managers control a group or set of entities to accomplish a goal. In contrast, leaders influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success—influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.

Become a leader

Anyone can learn to become a good leader when you prioritize and take stock of your interpersonal skills and attitude. You may want to get advice from others who have demonstrated effective leadership. Or you may want to employ a business coach. In the absence of finding a mentor or hiring a coach, here are some steps to take to build your leadership skills.

Set Clear Expectations

Clearly communicate what the goals and deadlines are for a certain project. At times, someone may need more coaching or training to handle a task. If that’s the case, make sure they get the training they need, whether from you, another employee, or by taking a course outside your spa or massage practice.

Be Honest

Being honest with your team earns their respect and trust. If there are issues or problems with your spa or massage practice that your team should know about, share what you feel is appropriate. Also, be honest when you are giving someone feedback. You don’t need to be overly critical, but most people want to do the best they can and value honest feedback.


Listening to your employees demonstrates your concern for their wellbeing. It also can help you grow. Your employees who are dealing with clients and suppliers of your professional and at-home products or running marketing can be a great source of ideas to expand the business.

Give Credit When Due

Give credit for a job well done. Acknowledging good work motivates your team to strive to continue to do better.

Set an example

You can’t expect your employees to act or behave a certain way when you don’t do the same. Inspire your team by setting an example.

You can’t grow your business alone. That’s why you need an inspired and empowered team to help make decisions and bring new ideas to the table. Becoming a leader helps develop that kind of team.

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