Tribe Series: Your Tribe

Working with salons we always talk about the team. My question every time is what do you call your team? Are they your employees, your staff, your team, or your tribe?
I move through the levels then, if you have employees or staff wouldn’t you rather have a team? If you have a team wouldn’t you rather have a tribe?
An employee or staff are exactly that,¬† you dictate everything to them. You tell them what hours they work, you tell them what you pay them, you tell them what to do and there’s generally nothing inspiring about being an employee.

A team, which is what most of us have, will help you with your business. You welcome their ideas, you work together for their schedule, pay and what they want. You help each other and work together and have goals. They will be inspired and have passion but they may not be 100% in sync with you and the salon. They could disagree with things that are happening in the salon or don’t get along with other team members.

A tribe should be your ultimate goal. A tribe works together for the same mission they have the same values and similar vision. There’s an understanding, they want what you want. These are the people that will give you their Blood, Sweat and Tears and they will work with passion, love and drive. A tribe will continuously look for inspiration and motivation, they will bring ideas and help execute them. They will be loyal to a fault and your guests will comment on the salon atmosphere, ‘you all get along so well, it’s always a pleasure to visit ‘ They will all get along and bring their best selves everyday.
A tribe will make it easier to have a culture, to be branded and to make money.

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Education is also a big role in these types of people. ¬†Employees will take education if it’s paid for and may not even show up the whole time. A team will want some education and want to improve, especially on a technical level. A tribe will be constantly taking education, growing themselves, the salon and eachother. They will take any education to improve themselves, technical, business and personal growth.

So what do you have? I know a lot of you will say you have a few of these, a mixture of two or even three. I’ve experienced all three as well, but here’s what I know, they will never reach a tribe status if there are others in the mix. An employee, over time will pull the team down, a team member, over time will pull the tribe down. It is very hard to juggle a mixed culture and usually the people you are grateful for become less inspired and less passionate. You get further away from tribe every day.


I am not saying give up on your people, but we do need to take a hard look at what is best for the tribe, offer them a chance to change and do what is necessary to help them. As long as there is growth from them you know you are heading in the direction of tribe, if there is still resistance then perhaps the best thing, for the both of you, is for them to move on because, let me tell you, they are not happy in that situation either.

How can you achieve tribe? This is what a tribe wants: equality, leadership, structure, loyalty, honesty and direction. You can have rules but they must be for everyone, you must treat everyone without judgment and from a kind and loving place. (Insert your values here) Competition should always be with oneself and there should always be goals to reach. (Professionally and personally) A tribe wants to belong together and grow together. A tribe is unstoppable!


I hope you are working towards having a tribe. Life will infinitely change at the salon, tasks become easier, happiness will be present and guests will be attracted to the salon when you achieve tribe status.



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