Staying inspired is key to being a successful leader.01/17/2019
| 4 Min Read |
We recently sat down with one of our faves, and old high school friend, Mario Silvestri. Mario is a super successful, very unique co-owner of Junior & Hatter and Junior & Hatter Gents in Miami, Florida.
Mario has spent his life completely immersed in the beauty space. I vividly remember him cutting my hair in his parent’s kitchen and even then he took his craft very seriously. He was so precise with every cut and with each stroke of his comb. It’s probably why I’m so picky with who cuts my hair these days.
Since his days in his parent’s kitchen, Mario has worked with some of the most iconic brands in beauty, including Toni&Guy, Bumble and Bumble, Matrix and Living Proof, to name a few. Today, Mario is Co-owner of a super successful salon in Miami, Junior & Hatter, and most recently a barbershop, Junior & Hatter Gents. Mario also dedicates his time each week cutting hair for the homeless at Lotus House.
As we caught up with Mario on all things leadership, we were super inspired; here was one of our high school friends who built a highly successful salon in the heart of Miami from nothing, but it was more than those accomplishments that really inspired us. He had a vision and took action by moving to Miami and following his dreams – a very scary move for most. As we chatted with Mario we couldn’t help but notice a familiar trend about what he was saying – it was like a familiar tune that resonates across almost every single conversation we have with high impact, highly successful leaders.
It was Mario’s mindset and level of emotional intelligence that was attracting success – yes, of course, his skills have a lot to do with it, however, Mario’s ability to not only be a great artist but to be a mindful leader was a recipe for major success. His high level of EQ (emotional intelligence) guided him to make better personal & professional decisions, thus making him the best version of himself and the inspirational leader that his team craves.
Check out his very humble, aware and compassionate answers to our questions below.
CR: Where in life do you look for inspiration personally and/or professionally?
Mario: For me, inspiration isn’t something I seek, it’s something that happens organically if you are listening. We need to start seeking gratitude a little more. I seek inspiration from new ideas and people around me that are considered “crazy.” LOL. I travel often too. Usually, by motorcycle and usually, I am alone. I go to unique places and see things that would humble most people. So gratitude is what I always land on. I am often reminded that there are many people in this world that suffer from their own quality of life by working jobs that suck their soul out of them. It reminds me that I truly love what I do – I CUT HAIR and it makes my bullshit seem so trivial. I believe that life isn’t something to figure out, rather it’s something to explore.
CR: How do you regularly inspire or motivate your employees? Do you find that different employees/personalities require different methods to stay motivated?
Mario: So, the thing with my team is simple. They are all driven for different reasons. In this rapidly changing world, salon owners cannot take the old school mentality of, “this is my salon,” because it’s not your salon. It’s more your staffs than yours. As an owner, my job isn’t to make money. My job is to grow each person individually and help them reach their highest potential. Their highest potential isn’t the same as mine. I’ve had team members leave, then come back. I’ve had team members leave, then fail. I’ve had team members leave, then be better than I could have imagined.
As an owner, you have to guide the future for your team. That means meeting with them every week to discuss their, performance first, then their personal life. If I have a teammate that got cheated on? That stylist is allowed to have a bad quarter. But it’s MY responsibility to coach them through it. When times are great, it’s MY responsibility to celebrate their achievements.
CR: Can you share some of your top methods for creating a positive environment for your staff?
Mario: Setting goals and celebrating OUT LOUD!!!! There is nothing more satisfying to me and my partner than acknowledging individual team members for their achievements. Whether it be a level jump or a record sales week. The entire team and even salon guests should know of everyone’s accomplishments 🙂
CR: You’re a multi-location salon owner, you’re behind the chair, and you have a deep love for motorcycles. How do you continue to live your best life and provide the time needed to support your businesses and staff?
Mario: There needs to be some “separation of church and state!” Church being the salon and state is my sanity! Lol. I was told once by an amazing salon owner that you need one full month every year, and every six years you’ll need three consecutive months to yourself. Although I’m not there yet, I’m still very young to be a successful salon owner so I’m working towards giving myself that time away to refocus.
CR: Tell us how you stay true to yourself and in alignment with your vision?
Mario: Honestly, that’s a tough thing to achieve. It’s easy for an owner to be deflated from their original vision of why they open their Salon, to begin with. But what helps me is putting my life in perspective each morning and being truly grateful for what I have; having a camp that reps your vision; having a crew that cares about the brand, and having a deep appreciation for how far I’ve come as a leader. You can’t deny your own self-worth 🙂
More About Mario:
Junior & Hatter: http://juniorandhatter.com/
Mario Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/literallymario/