December 2009

Shannon Wells

Better Business | by Neil Ducoff


Your Passion for Business and Leadership Will See You Through

There is a dividing line that separates leaders from no-compromise leaders.

On one side, leader is something that describes a title or job. It’s simply the work you do. This leader says, I lead.

On the other side of the dividing line is an inherent and unmistakable emotional intensity radiating from the no-compromise leader. It’s like a gravitational pull to higher calling that converges on the vision and greater purpose of the salon. It’s intense passion and it’s impossible to be a no-compromise leader without it.

Why? If you don’t have passion for what you do, it’s just too easy to give up – to compromise. The no-compromise leader says, “We’re going to make the world a better place for all,” and believes this with every fiber of his or her being.

Passion fuels a higher calling and a natural enthusiasm to all that you do. So much so that others can sense and capture that same passion. The no-compromise leader’s passion attracts and engages others in the most positive way. That shared passion then lifts the performance of the entire company. Consider any great leader in history, business or otherwise, and you will find an innate passion as the driving force behind his accomplishments.

Here are a few no-compromise strategies to ensure that your passion is shining bright:

Flip your switch from reactive to proactive: It’s hard to keep your passion for business and leadership burning bright when you’re stuck reacting to situations. Going proactive puts you on the offensive. Going proactive lifts you up so you can lift your team up. Going proactive means innovative new strategies and 100 percent execution.

If you have the fire in your gut to achieve your dreams against all odds, you have passion. If you get excited and light up when you tell others about your work, you have passion. When you hear your employees talking about their work and the salon with the same passion as you — your passion for success has created a company-wide mojo that’s virtually unstoppable.

Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies, a business training and coaching company specializing in the salon and spa industry. He’s author of Fast Forward, and a new book, No-Compromise Leadership, published by DC Press and is available at For more information go to You can email Neil at