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Team work makes the dream work

Seeing the way the England team performed during the Euros has not only given us hope for the World Cup next year, but actually got us thinking about team work. What can you and your salon team learn from our sporting heroes? Something that stood out to us during the four weeks of the competition was Gareth Southgate’s cool, calm and collective aura. Even as he stood at the sideline on Sunday, not once did we see him show any emotion to imply he would be furious with his team if they did not win… unlike the opposing team (no wonder they got so many yellow cards).

We think Gareth’s leadership is winning, even if England didn’t actually scoop the Euro title. We’ve also spoken to marketing and management expert Kate Woods, owner of Salondipity. She agrees that there’s certainly something to learn from Southgate and the boys and shares this insight with us:

You don’t need the best individuals to have the best team

We grew up when the England team was made up of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ which included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Frank Lampard; who had the best managers. “Best” being translated as the most expensive managers the FA could buy. And what did they achieve? Nothing.

The team was very cliquey because of their club loyalties. You may remember the James Corden sketch for Comic Relief when he tells the team to play ‘as if they like each other’. There was no common goal and no manager was able to bring out the best of them as a team!

Kate Woods says “When you look at the class of ’21, I reckon Harry Kane is the only one who you’d take player for player over the team that I recall. So, what do we learn from this?”

People perform better when they’re having fun

Kate comments on how we saw the England squad jumping in a pool on blow up unicorns before their final match. Encouraging your team to have fun creates a tighter bond, which encourages them to work harder on the pitch (salon floor). As the saying goes – work hard, play hard. Kate tells us: “If you want to get the best out of your team, foster an enjoyable working environment and find some ways to all have fun together outside of the salon.

Nice guys don’t come last

Next point from Kate: We’re finally in an era of ‘it’s cool to be kind.’ There is no longer a need to misbehave or act ruthless to get to where you want to be.

When you’re ‘nice’ people go out of their way for you too. They want good things to happen to you. They talk to you when things go wrong. And generally, they’re not going to disappear the moment they don’t get the exact hairstyle that they had in mind,” says Kate.

Success breeds success

Moving on… Kate continues with a great point: The whole nation came together and got behind the England team, because quite frankly it was the giant pick-me-up the country needed after 18 months of doom and gloom. Having a support network improves confidence, performance and results. It may not have came home, but it was the furthest England had reached in a tournament in over 50 years and we think that’s a huge success to be proud of.

Kate suggests: “To take your salon team along with you, you’ll need a shared goal that you break down into little steps. As soon as you start to see the little wins, you’ll unite people and then those little victories snowball into bigger wins. That could be as simple as a plan to grow your social media, introduce a new service, win an award.

The right manager brings out the best in individuals

Would City fans want Southgate over Guardiola? God no! Liverpool fans take him over Klopp? No way! And if you gave us the choice of Southgate over Arteta – even after the struggles of the last year – We’d still take the latter. Do we want Southgate to be England Manager at the next World Cup? 100% YES!

Because you don’t need to be the best person out there to be the best person for the job. You do need to know what your goal is and how to take your team along with you by bringing out the best in them.

“It’s not uncommon for salons to promote and promote their best performing team members until you have your most senior stylist as your salon manager, but management is a whole different skillset, so are you really playing to their strengths?” – Some excellent food for thought.

Best results when people can express themselves

There’s so much intriguing in what Kate sees. How about this: There was a time where we wondered why footballers didn’t know how to speak? Were they taught to mumble with no emotion? There was something so refreshing about the post-match interviews where the England players were able to say how they feel (or come across as if it was their genuine thoughts).

Kate says,”When people have to hold back on what they say in one aspect of their role, they start to do things with the brakes on, which is why fostering an attitude of honesty and openness is always going to create a happier, more productive salon environment.

Step up

We LOVE Saka! Young, sweet Saka. His incredible confidence and the way he believes he can do anything is something to admire, however sometimes you need to protect you younger staff members.

I still see lots of salons who get their younger members to manage the social media because they ‘get social’. It scares me. Why would you let an inexperienced member of your team play such a key role in defining your business? If you don’t have time to do it for yourself, find a senior member of the team, who really understands the brand, your clients and the pressure to step up.”  – just another note from Kate to get you thinking…

THANKS to Kate Woods at Salondipity for analysing and sharing the lessons we can learn from the football [who knew that would ever be something hairdressers could say?!]. Find Kate at @salondipity and

Now let’s smash out the team work and start looking forward to the 2022 World Cup!


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