ANTI hosted its first Sydney based Salon Business Access Seminar over two days on Sunday March 1 and 2 – imploring salon owners with a collective spirit of leadership and learning while developing a newfound passion and strategy for their craft, writes Cameron Pine.

Going deep on the core values of leadership on the Sunday March 1 kicked off with a group discussion around how salon owners need to build themselves to be the best leader and how setting these goals for yourself are crucial for building a profitable salon business culture.

“The most important part of running a business the way you lead yourself and therefore other people as well as team around you towards the vision you create,” said ANTI Founder and Director Francesco Ruggerino. Also, a salon owner himself, Francesco set the table straight on what it really is that has helped him manifest success through leadership.

Many salon owners shared so many points of commonality and a general morale compass out there when it comes to managing people became the catalyst for the biggest growth among the intimate group of salon owners – where not just ‘like mindedness’ came together but a higher level of success via ANTI’s collective consciousness approach.

“We’ve all got one thing in common and have the same issues. We are all salon owners and I get that the struggle is real. Some triumphs and low points we all share,” Francesco said.

“We create a safe environment where we can open up to ideas – it’s all about being ANTI judgement and really taking the ego out and sharing profoundly. Clients can go to any salon but what makes you special,” he said

After discovering some of the key elements that make a great leader including goal setting, adaptability and agility across all levels of interpersonal communication, day two (Monday March 2) then leveraged how to get the entire salon team on board by understanding personality and how to recognise, reward and align. Discussions came in the form of ‘the 8 top things that make people employable’.

“Within these walls and this salon culture what is your buy in, how can you work with our culture and solve problems yourself. This is often the difference between a professional and an amateur,” said Francesco.

“A good leader of a team also needs to understand the difference between where individuals need praise and where to use recognition collectively,” he said.

This then led into love language, where each guest went through a ‘love language for couples’ test to better understand how they need to communicate based on how we all respond differently to things like praise, acts of kindness, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time and receiving gifts. Understanding how different people respond is crucial to developing lasting partnerships and a strong team culture.

With such a wealth of information to take back to the salon, it was both inspiring and somewhat overwhelming with everyone in attendance already set on making a big difference to how they educate and create a culture in 2020.

“In a nutshell, ANTI Salon Business Access brings us together as salon owners to connect and share our experiences so that we can be better together. A salon revolves around its leader and their ability to lead and that’s why we go deep into this first. From there we then moved onto Salon Culture which is ultimately about transferring that leadership to the team and continuing to build your salon energy,” Francesco said.

With values being one of the most important points of discussion, it was uncovered that this a misunderstood value is not only where a lot of the biggest conflicts arise but when the values aren’t shared, there is a greater potential for mistakes. Emotional intelligence stemmed from here through four main topics of discussion across Self Awareness, Social Awareness, Self-Management, Relationship Management. Many topics across initiative, Optimism, Self Confidence, and Conflict Management are things we often take for granted but always need a refresher – such affirmative points regarding the people in business are quickly becoming the true hallmarks of ANTI’s education as being completely unique in the industry.

“It’s great getting together with salon owners in this kind of way. Make us feel connected. We share our challenges and work on solutions. It’s a bit like therapy for salon owners,” Francesco said.

The layered content really focused on salon owners not being afraid to be true to yourself every day on top of a list of non-negotiables – it’s all very philosophical but what do we do on a day to day basis to achieve this?

“In business there are always times when we say we want to sell this, I want to get out, I hate my staff, what’s going on with my business,” Francesco said.

“This is the time when culture is most important. Where are we going with our business based on the vision we have created as a leader,” he said.

‘Check yourself before you wreck yourself’ is one of Francesco’s most profound company and professional values.  It’s what he likes to remind staff that as a ‘professional value’ you need to continually check our values and your agreement of being with this business so that you behave a certain way. “Sometimes you need to remind them to pull it in and behave in the right way so you can stay part of the this,” he said.

Some of the salons in attendance really confirmed the practical strategies really hit where they needed in terms of taking content back to the salon to really last the year but also on the confirmation and affirmation front.

“Unlike other business courses I’ve done ANTI is giving me things to take and work on and the practical skills to make sure it happens, taking systems to add to my work rather than just give me ideas,” said Phil Galo.

“For me this has really been about starting fresh, looking at our values and seeing how I have become a bit detached from my business. Its shown me how I am going to get the culture strong again while leading powerfully and how to be on a united front in business,” agreed Jodi Nicholson of The New Black.

“I really want to take home this stuff – it really does help with how to avoid being a punching bag to solve other people’s problems,” said Rachael Sibly of Mazi Hair.

Also in attendance was Bixie colour’s Sheree Knobel, Enzo Congiu from Enzo Hair Artisans, Alexandra Kontos and Larissa Bresnehan from Mazi hair, the New Black’s Alison Cappiello and Jodi Nichols and Phil Gallo from crown street’s notorious Gallo Hair.

And the final piece for ANTI Business Seminars? Performance in culture is something that will always be the underlying driver for the ANTI salon network.

“Behaviour is what we do to get where we are going but performance is all the things that really take us there,” Francesco said. “2020 is really about where are we going as a team based on what you’ve set as a leader.”