Key Takeaways

  • Creating a sense of community and belonging among employees is crucial for leaders. Madison Reed has traditions, such as Friday morning coffee meetings and heartwarming shoutouts, to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Leaders should encourage employees to believe in their greatness and pursue their passions, even if it means leaving the company. Madison Reed celebrates when people move on to their next adventure and acknowledges their contributions.
  • Madison Reed salons aim to create a welcoming and empowering environment for women where they can feel confident and on top of the world.
  • Trust, empathy, and self-awareness are crucial for fostering a positive work culture. Open communication, constructive conflict resolution, celebrating success, and maintaining company values are also important.

Executive Summary

Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome back to The Leader Show with Lou Carter. In this episode, Lou interviews Amy Errett, the CEO, and founder of Madison Reed. The speakers discuss Madison Reed’s recognition as a Most Loved Workplace and its commitment to employees and customers.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!    

Leaders Should Find Ways To Foster A Sense Of Community Among Its Employees  

Lou starts the conversation by asking Amy how Madison Reed develops and creates a sense of community within the company. In response, Amy explains that for Madison Reed, community means letting people bring their true and whole selves to work and celebrating that. 

She shares some examples of the company’s traditions, such as Amy having lunch with the entire team every Wednesday and playing the “two truths and a lie” game to get to know each other better. They also have heartwarming shoutouts where employees recognize each other’s accomplishments and values.  

Additionally, Amy mentions that at Madison Reed, they have optional coffee meetings on Friday mornings, where they discuss life questions and conduct listening sessions to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. 

The CEO highlights that Madison Reed is very focused on these traditions, which help create a sense of community and belonging within the company.

Subsequently, Lou asks Amy to share some more details about the programs at Madison Reed. In reply, Amy mentions that in the Friday morning coffee meetings, she poses questions such as the best and worst job people have had, who their mentors are, or what song they would like to play if they were baseball players. 

According to her, this allows employees to reveal their joy, humanity, and quirks, creating an environment where people feel fully seen and valued. This, in turn, helps unleash the best version of themselves. 

Amy strongly believes that the company’s greatest asset is its people, and its job is to create a space where people have the ability to be the best of themselves. She mentions that Madison Reed also has slack channels for various interests, such as dogs, young parents, and bakers, to foster a sense of community and belonging beyond work. 

All in all, the company’s focus on inclusion and belonging creates the perfect circumstances for growing something extraordinary that has a mission and a purpose.

Leaders Should Always Encourage Their Employees To Believe In Their Own Greatness

Moving on, Lou asks Amy to share an example of someone who stood out at Madison Reed. Amy shares the story of a certified, licensed colorist who collaborated with a development team and worked on a sophisticated algorithm to emulate what a stylist would look at in someone’s hair to get the desired result. 

After 18 months, she expressed her desire to shift her career and become a software engineer. Instead of being upset about losing an employee, Madison Reed celebrated her and helped her make the transition to pursue her passion. Amy highlights that this has happened with other employees who have become recruiters or started work in R&D. 

The CEO believes their job at Madison Reed is to open up possibilities for people to believe in their greatness and if they want, move on to their next adventure. She isn’t afraid when people leave because it means they’ve left a positive mark on someone’s life.

Madison Reed Salons Help Women Feel Empowered 

Next, Lou and Amy discuss the culture and environment of Madison Reed salons. Amy explains that they aim to provide a respite for women who are managing various aspects of their lives. She suggests that hair is an important part of a woman’s identity, and Madison Reed salons create an environment where women can feel welcome and empowered. 

The salons are designed to be modern, hip, and welcoming, with natural elements and a sense of inclusivity. The goal is for customers to leave feeling on top of the world and unstoppable, which leads to positive word-of-mouth and repeat business.

A Company Should Focus On Creating A Welcoming And Empowering Environment For Both Customers And Employees  

Amy strongly believes that success of the Madison Reed salons is primarily due to having the right general manager or leader. The company has a unique approach to its business that they are working on teaching to others. They believe that they can teach anyone how to use their products and technology, but having the right people is what makes the difference.

The company focuses on culture and creating a welcoming and empowering environment for customers and employees. She also highlights the importance of celebrating success and finding joy in work, and creating a 50-50 partnership with employees. 

All in all, Madison Reed’s values include love, fairness, and joy, and the company strives to uphold these values in all aspects of its business.

Trust, Empathy, And Self-awareness Are Crucial To Foster A Positive Work Culture

Next, Amy highlights the importance of trust, empathy, and self-awareness in fostering a positive work culture. She emphasizes the need for open communication and the willingness to address conflicts and mistakes constructively. 

Additionally, she mentions the importance of celebrating success and maintaining the company’s values as it grows. 

The CEO concludes that a company’s success is closely tied to how it manages its culture and growth. She mentions that the company aims to provide women with a welcoming and empowering environment where they can feel awesome and leave with a renewed sense of confidence.

Thank you for listening!


Lou Carter : Great to be here today with Amy Errett from Madison Reed. She's the CEO and founder, phenomenal entrepreneur, and just wonderful to have her here today. Amy, welcome to the Leader Show on Newsweek.

Amy Errett : Thank you so much, Louis. I'm very excited to be here.

LC : Well, congratulations on becoming a Most loved Workplace. You know, it shows just your commitment to your employees, to your community, to the way that you connect to people and to your consumers, really this way that you've become part of just this overarching movement to love your customers and your employees. It's really very inspiring and I can't wait to hear more of it today and for all of us here to learn more about it.

AE : Thank you.

LC : So Amy, let's start out, tell me more, you've talked a lot about community before and how you develop and create community. What kinds of things do you do at Madison Reed to develop and create community?

From Lunch Rituals to DEIB Cohorts: How Madison Reed Prioritizes Inclusion and Belonging [1:31] 

AE : Yeah, so first of all, you know, for some companies, communities, this word that you bounce around and I don't know, you know, beer pong or something like that I guess. But for us, it really means letting people bring their whole self to work and then celebrating that. And, you know, we have so many rituals in the company that we had prior to COVID and now have accelerated those during Covid. And I think it's around what I would call the traditions. And so a couple of examples of them, I have lunch with the entire company every Wednesday. Every Wednesday, no matter where I am, you know, unless there's a crisis, I'm there. And you know, Zoom has helped us, right? So there's lunch, it's at either 12 or 12:15, depending on the week. There are rituals. Every new person gets announced, their background has balloons, and it's, people go crazy.

We do two truths and a lie. So, you kind of get to know people. I announce what's going on in the company, you know, in full transparency. Like, here's what's happening, here's what you can expect. Here's what, here's what we did in the board meeting, here's what we talked about. And then at the end, there are these very heartwarming shoutouts that people put in sort of a central system every week.

And it's usually a shoutout from a person to another person many times, not even in their same work group. And it's about one of the values that we have. And what did they do to demonstrate that? And I read them out and people go crazy. So, you know, that's one little thing. Friday mornings, nine o'clock, no matter where I am in the world, I have it. It's an optional coffee where I pose a question, has nothing to do with, has to do with life.

And I get 30, 40, 50, 60 people on it. And you know, we all go around and answer. And it's more getting to know you. There's often tears that's not that, that is not engineered that way. It's because people are revealing something, you know? And there can be times where it's just hysterically funny. We've made playlists, you know, all sorts of stuff. You know, the company is very focused on these traditions. You know, one-on-ones with people that are happening every single week listening circles.

So, we have a monthly listening circles. We have a whole diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging cohort. A group that by themselves gets organized for a six month period of time, of which we actually pay people for it. We've come to realize that asking people to do DEIB work on their spare time doesn't seem fair.

So, we compensate people for that time. And the stuff that they've come up with has just been amazing for the company to celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. So there's a lot at Madison Reed, I just gave you sort of highlights of that.

LC : Wow! So, listening circles, so you host events, DEI programs. I wanna hear about these three things, you know, even more, the listening circle you said, brought to tears and, and crack up. So tell me more, like what does, how does that manifest? Tell me.

The Role of Inclusion and Belonging in Madison Reed's Company Culture [4:37]

AE : Yeah. Well that, you know, what I talked about then was in my Friday morning coffees, I pose a question and the questions are typically like, what's the best job you ever had? What's the worst job you've ever had? Who's been a mentor in your life that when you look back, there was somebody that made a difference in why, what did you learn from a mistake you made in your life? And it's just extraordinary. You know, things even, you know, up to, if you're a baseball player and you're coming up to bat, what song do you want them to play? Like it's funny, things like that.

So, people just get to reveal their joy, their humanity, who they are. And this is my basic premise. Like we spend so much time in work, like, you know, for me it's disproportionate to anything else. Why would I not want to set up an environment where people feel like they're fully seen for their contributions, they're known for, if it's quirkiness, whatever that is.

And they start to realize that when you're, you realize as a person, when you're seen and when you're valued, it is an automatic valve that gets released about your genius coming out. And our job is to create this container where people have the ability to be the best of themselves. If we do that, we're unleashing, you know, the greatest asset of the company has as their team is their people. Full stop. Always will be, always has been.

And so for us, these are vehicles for people to feel comfortable to get to know each other. You know, there are slack channels that you can, you know, slack channel dogs, slack young parents, slack channel bakers, and people bake together and you know, and so our job in community is to set what I call the Petri dish for the growing of this thing that is extraordinary, that is greater than work. It's a sense of belonging to something that has a mission and a purpose.

LC : You had said belonging and DEIB, which I thought was terrific. And I think that B, the belonging. Inclusion and belonging. That's so important. And you had mentioned also sort of this Petri dish and I'll and how when the genius bell goes off, that's recognized. You know, I love that too. Is there something where you, you'd say, you know, you remember when something like that happened or somebody who does stand out. Is there a description of that sort of an when you kind of think back or reflect when something that was special to you or to others.

Empowering Career Shifts and Personal Growth at Madison Reed [7:08]

AE : Yeah. So this is an odd story, but it's a story that people can sort of, you know, relate to. I have a gazillion, but you know, we had a woman that joined us in our call center who was a certified license colorist, cuz everyone we hired that either works in our hair color bars that applies our color on a customer's head is a certified licensed colorist in the state, meaning they had to go to cosmetology school. And our call center's the same because we're doing video consultations and helping people. And we had a young woman that joined us and we've built a very sophisticated algorithm.

So, when you go on our site, you answer 18 questions in what looks like just a kind of, you know, fun little quiz. And what we're doing is we're emulating what a stylist would look at in your hair to get you to the desired result.

So, what would be the questions that somebody would look at? And this woman was involved in the early process of how to set up that quiz. And then if you answered this way, what color would that be? If you answered that way, what color would it be? And she worked with us for about 18 months and then she came to me, we were a smaller company one day, and she said, I know this is crazy, but I've worked so closely with the engineers, I want to go into Devon Engineering.

So, I've decided to leave the company and I'm gonna go get my degree in computer science now [laugh], you know, most companies would be like, oh my God, you can't leave. This company was celebrating the fact that we turned something on in someone who completely made a career shift. And what a delight, what, what a wonderful thing to have done in the world.

We have that same crew of people that have become recruiters for other cosmetologists who are now going to Italy and making our product as R&D people, right? Our job, you know, we've done a good job at Madison Reed if we have opened the possibility for people to believe their greatness.

And once you figure that out, I mean, that's life's journey, right? Once you figure that out and if your workplace can help you, that's why I say, this sounds really weird. I don't get freaked out when people leave because it's really saying that it's time to move on to the next adventure. And hopefully along the way we had some, so we left a mark on somebody's life in a positive way.

LC : I like how you described that because you're saying you've stimulated someone's interest and you've nurtured them and them moving on is a celebration because typically they come back to the family.

Normalizing Goodbyes: The Power of Positive Closure and Mentorship at Madison Reed [9:50]

AE : Yeah, and in fact, in my lunches, not only do I introduce new people, but if people are leaving, I say, so-and-so has decided to move on. And 10 out of 10, that person says to me on Slack or the chat, Amy, can I say something? And what you're doing is you're normalizing, you're creating the possibility that people can tell the truth rather than sweeping it under the carpet and making it awful and everyone getting freaked out.

You're actually saying, please join me in, in telling this person about the contributions they've made and wishing them the best. Because just like life, I have this saying that we stand on each other's shoulders. We, you know, change does not happen for human beings because they're isolated and all by themselves. It happens because they're taking cues of life and they're looking at what works for them and then they're moving in a positive direction. And I know in my life there have been so many mentors that on the surface didn't look like they would be people that touched me in certain ways, but they did and they changed my trajectory and I wanna do that and I want the company to do that for every team member.

LC : I think that's wonderful. And I think about your over 60 locations now, is that right, Amy?

AE : Yes, 62, I think.

LC : 62 locations. Yeah. And they're all throughout the United States, is that right?

AE : Yes. Yeah, they're in, you know, if you're, if you're a sports fan, and I am, they're kind of in NFL cities, I think that's the best way to put it. But not, not Green Bay, we're really sorry about the one or Minneapolis, but most of the others. And, you know, we've clustered them in hubs where we also have a significant amount of online business. And that has been a very successful strategy.

LC : That's very cool. So you've, you've mixed the online business with the real-time retail stores as a business strategy and a brilliant one at that, because more people can see of course of what's happening now. One of the things I'm also curious about is what is it like in the stores? What's the culture like and how, what do customers expect? What do employees expect? What does it feel like to be an employee at one of your stores?

How Madison Reed is Revolutionizing the Salon Industry by Prioritizing Employee Well-Being [12:02]

AE : Yeah, thank you for asking that question. This is where I think we can win and where we're making a big difference. So, the average stylist in the US, as I mentioned, they go to cosmetology school, typically they're leaving about 22 to $23,000 in debt. So I want people to just anchor on that fact, right? And then they get outta cosmetology school. And for the most part, most people are making 20 to $22 an hour.

So, just to set the stage, 50% of women, actually 52% of women do their hair at home and 48% go to salons. So, if we just anchor on that, when people ask me about why we have locations, it's because 50% of the market has no intention of doing their own hair. So, that has created a very big business opportunity.

So, when I started studying this business, I became as interested in changing the career paths of the stylist who have $22,000 in debt and are making $22 an hour.

If you- you don't have to be a finance major to be able to know that those numbers are very challenging, that's a lifetime of student debt, right? So, we entered into the business paying a much higher, both hourly rate and wage, and we pay people benefits even if they're part-time, they're medical benefits because we felt as if we needed to stand above everyone else in the industry to recruit great people and give them career opportunities. So that was a set the stage. So what's it like to work there? First of all, these don't look like classic salons. They are very empowering. They have a manifesto of what we stand for in many of them. When you're, you're, you're getting your hair washed and you're looking up, it says things like, you're a badass, go get it. It's all about personal empowerment for our people.

And this is important and our customers, because the deep belief I have is this isn't about just, it is pleasing your customers, but your customers know whether your team loves it or not. Like it's abundantly clear. This is what most companies don't figure out. They talk about great values and happiness, but the people aren't so happy. So what we entered into the saying, if we can surprise and delight our team members, the rest is they know how to apply hair color. They know how to blow someone's hair dry. They know how to make the magic because what people don't understand is most stylists go into the industry because they're really about making somebody else feel beautiful. They are as much therapists, [laugh], relationship builders as they are artists. And so what's it like to work there? The biggest startling factor when somebody starts is they've typically never been part of a team.

They've been independent contractors, you know, renting a chair. So, this team environment, this, we're gonna get it, we're in it together, we have each other's, you know, and for some people that's not what they want. And so it's very important for us to create a recruiting mechanism, which we're getting back. You know, we have close to 700 people, high sixes and we'll hire another 850 this year.

So, recruiting becomes this thing that's not just, you know, a sidebar, it's everything. And how do you recruit people in what I call the Madison Reed Way? What is it about us that separates that thing, which is you wanna be part of a team and you wanna be part of this growing company and you have your teammates backs and you're part of a community. That's the differentiation. And we have found just extraordinary people.

I go into stores and the first thing that happens is every team member runs up and hugs me. And, you know, we do apologize if they're in the middle of doing someone's hair. We say we're really sorry. And then I sit down and actually talk to every customer that wants to talk and every customer wants to talk. So, there is a feeling here that is some magic that is about the fact that our ingredients are amazing.

So, that's the other thing that goes on. They are not standing behind the chair inhaling toxic fumes for 10 hours. Our ingredients are amazing. I mean, people don't understand that what you do in a salon is you don't feel well at the end of the day in your classic salon. For us, it smells great. There's, you know, we've taken out the harsh chemicals, people's hair look amazing. Women are just on top of the world. So, it's a very empowering, fun place to work. It's hard work.

And sure there are always what there are problems, right? There are things that happen and you have to learn how to work through that and have empathy for your team members and customers. But I think we're pretty good at it. We're getting better.

LC : This whole concept of all of us have been so sort of solopreneurs, right? We've always been independent and we haven't really done much with people or Cate community for two years or so. And even before then, we were on this race to be independent [laugh]. And now. So I think it's safe to assume now people do really want community. They want to come back together, help each other. They know how important it is. We know how important it is to work with each other rather than against each other.

Leading With Love And Fairness In The Workplace [17:19]

AE : Absolutely. One thing, you know, the greatest healing factor in the world is this thing called love. And we all, no matter who you are, we are all more the same than different. We all desire to love people. We also desire to be beloved and validated. So, I think when you sprinkle that in the workplace, it's one of our values. I think when you lead from love, from your real heart, from fairness, not just dollars, but fairness, human beings know it. Human beings can sense it and they wanna be part of it.

LC : So true. Obviously we're Most loved Workplace, right? Love is one of your values. And it's true. It's the most pure yes. Way to lead and to speak with others. People can, can sense it. They know that fairness is there when it happens. And I love what you're saying too. You're growing, so you're getting even more, you said 600 more employees. Are you getting even bigger? So these 600 new employees, you know, I'm sure there's a lot of people who wanna do this. What is it that, you know, kind of were to tell them? What should we tell them? Is it, you know, because think about this. I'm have in my mind you were mentioning a customer looking up and saying, I'm a badass, you know, [laugh] and uh, and this, you know, cool thing in the top. And it's kind of this, you know, chic awesome boutique environment that's lots of fun to go to. Natural products, you know, organic products.

AE : Great music…

LC : Great music. [laugh], you know, a lot of fun friends, you know, exactly. This is the sense I'm getting there. I've never even been in one and yet I still sense it talk, just talking to you. So, I would think when you founded it, you had this in mind.

How Madison Reed's Salon Environment Welcomes and Empowers Women [19:04]

I had in mind that… So, I'll go into what I think is happening, which is, I think women in particular, from a gender standpoint, at a certain point in life and maybe all of life, but certainly the majority of our customers are 30 plus, let's say. And as you one gets more gray hair, it tends to be in the late thirties. So let's just anchor on that.

And most people at this point are like, they got a family and they're running around and they're managing and they are working and they have friendships and they have aging parents and all the things in the trajectory of what happens in most people's lives. And so imagine a situation where a company can provide you a respite for what I just said, A place where you're welcome. A place where you leave and your hair, which by the way is incredibly emotional.

Hair is an identity. What do most women say when you don't? We're meeting 'em somewhere. I'm gonna be the redhead standing at blank, right? [laugh], I'm the blonde. But right. So hair is a great identifier, it's a great equalizer. So, we create this environment where we want you to feel awesome and we want you to be awesome. And, you know, thank goodness some things are happening where mask are optional now. And that lets us see people's faces. And you could see some of our faces. And also, you know, we cut out water, espresso, these little tiny winks as I call them. So when I started this, I thought to myself, well what is it the environment that I'd want to go to? Many women walk into a new salon intimidated. And that is not this. So when we designed the these, and I worked with our store design people, I said, I want people to walk in and I want it to be modern, hip, and welcoming.

I want it to feel like it's not so elitist. It is for everyone. And so they look that way. We've added lots of natural elements. Most of them have walls of moss. That's a, that's live, right? Like there's cool things and we're getting smarter about what I call the winks. There's more to come. But what we want is for you to leave feeling on top of the world and unstoppable. What we understand is if you do that, you're gonna tell your friends, you're gonna come back. It is only upside for us.

LC : Absolutely. It's all upside. And I, what I was imagining as you were saying it was that you walk in and you're fully appreciated for all that you are. That's the true commodity. It's hard to come by. It's kind of like you walk into this room of love.

Fostering Trust and Celebrating Success [21:42] 

AE : Well, we've trained our people, we gotta get better out of consistency. But you know, when you see it, those stores overperform, when the team is in that zone, it's not even close. It is actually startling. And it always comes down to people. People say, well, maybe it's the location. I'm like, no, no, it's not the, I mean maybe the parking's a little harder, maybe it's a little bit the location. But when you get the right team and it's primarily the right general manager, the right leader, the rest just follows. And so there is a Madison Reed way, we are learning how to translate that. Like we can teach anybody how to color a cosmetologist. They can use our product. Like that's not the issue, right? The issue, they can color match, they can use our technology. They each have an iPad, right? There's a lot of technology that we have built to help people.

But the secret sauce is in, you know, the intent of the heart, right? The secret sauce is: can we find people who trust? Cuz the number one thing that happens is people come in and they're hearing these words, Louis, like they're hearing the words and they're thinking, what is happening here? Like, can I really lean into this? Right? This is so weird that I'm wondering like, is this real?

And that happens for HQ people too because most people have worked in environments where you're supposed to be a different person at work than you are in the rest of your life. And that creates a sense of a…what I call the plexiglass sort of boundary, right? There's just a shield to the up and that shield just gets put in its place. And frankly, there are many people who want it that way.

And that's awesome. Then they shouldn't work for us, they shouldn't work with us. And here's the other thing about culture. Culture is guardrails. What I try to explain to people is when you develop your culture, you're really saying, this is what we're vetting for. Do what we have speak to you? It's an equal partnership. This notion of the power base is all within the company is just a crazy notion in this day and age, right? Like the power of this is a 50-50 deal where we're both sharing responsibility and upside, right?

So, you gotta get people to trust, you have to have systems, you have to be able to reward people, you have to have feedback loops. You, you know, and you have to be able to do this. One thing that I've had to learn over my life, cuz I'm hard driving, is you have to stop and breathe and celebrate.

LC : Oh yeah, that's a, that's a big one.

AE : Well, joy is also one of our values. And so when is enough enough? When can we stop in life, look around and say, wow, look where we've come, you know, good on us. It's very interesting, as you run a company, you know, we'll be eight years old in terms of in market. We founded in '13, but we took us a year to get to market.

So, we'll be eight years this summer in July. And it feels like it's a long time. But in the history of iconic brands, [laugh], you know, we're just getting started.

LC : You are just getting started. There's so many wonderful things about your company. And I, when you were saying the stop and breathe, I thought to myself and, and celebrate and have joy, I thought to myself, how difficult is that for most people? And I say for even myself, my, I was brought, my culture is one that you never stop to celebrate. You always keep going. You constantly doing, keep going, keep going. And you know, I've had to break that cycle. It's not easy. And what you're doing for Madison Reed is you're saying, we're gonna break the cycle with you. And with each other in our community. And you are right. That's right. What you said, you said, this is going to be a very extraordinary experience so that it's, it's so palpable, right? That people can't believe it, that it's actually happening. And that lead, that manager has to believe in it truly and take responsibility for coaching everyone to ensure that that culture is part of it.

The Importance of Trust and Open Communication in Fostering Authenticity [25:45]

AE : And it starts from the staffing, right? It starts from who do you choose to be on your squad, as I call it, right? Like in the lifeboat, you know, when I worked at big companies, I used to think this through all the time, and this is something to do with how you are vetting, you know beloved places to work. Many companies are run by allowing the culture to be mandated through what I call the water cooler effect, right? The discourse, which then becomes the piece of this that is hypocritical, right? That culture can really go, I've seen it, they can go downhill really quickly if the company doesn't have the ability to teach people that it's okay to talk about conflict. That it's okay to work stuff out because everything I've told you is, you know, sunshine and roses.

Well, what I'm also telling you is these things are hard. So how do we respect each other and get to know each other? So I've had people in the company who have come up to me or slacked me, Hey, do you have a minute? And told me that something I said really offended them.

Awesome, awesome, please. And I learned and I opened my eyes and I apologized. And I was like, whoa, okay. That's when the culture's working, right? The culture's working where, when it is honest and authentic and real. So that's hard because we all come with our steamer trunk of stuff from our life. And so the trust factor is the biggest piece initially.

LC : Because typically we think to ourselves, well, I, I go to the boss and I tell them how I feel and that's it…

AE :  Yeah. It's all over.

LC : I'm, it's all over. In this case, it's the very opposite. You welcome it and you've found it to be really a triumph when something like that occurs.

The Importance of Self-Awareness and Empathy in Great Leadership [27:38]

AE : Great leadership possesses two things. Self-awareness, being able to understand that you as a leader are part of the dynamic and you own your things and you're human, right? And then the other part of this is empathy. And so once you can have empathy for the other person's experience and be self-aware enough to own your stuff, the magic can work because then it also mirrors for the other person, geez, if the CEO could apologize to me, I have the capacity that I got to be seen. And now maybe I can spread that to somebody else, right? So, you know, look, these are lifelong situations, you know, growing companies and you know, it's easy when there's four of you and then eight of you and then 23 of you, it gets a little harder at 50 and then a hundred is a classic sort of breaking point.

And then you get to 200. And then most people, lots of people I know are like, whoa, horses are out of the barn and let it go, right? If you as the leader let the horses get out of the barn, you won't be able to get it back. And it is the X factor. I am going to make this statement to you. This is a hard business we run. I hope and believe that the brand has crossed a certain recognition point, but our success will live or or fail because of how we manage our culture and growth. And if we pay attention to that one, the rest will follow.

LC : Well, I'm certain that you have this culture category taken care of, and you are wonderful leader of culture. You could tell you are a genuine, authentic person and that that just flows through you. And I certainly know what it's like to be a CEO, who says I'm sorry on a daily basis and let go and realize my faults. And I tell you really do understand that. And I talk to a lot of CEOs, I could tell you, and I know that they don't all understand that truly. And I'm confident that you, thank you. You're really running and fostering, sustaining a most loved workplace.

The Power of Self-Work and Curiosity [29:49]

AE : That means a lot to me. Cuz I know how many CEOs, and you're a great author and just an expert on this. So that means a lot to me. This is a journey of self-awareness. I have an executive coach. I practice presence every day. You know, I do a lot, I try to do as much work on myself because, you know, we go around a whole whiny circle Lewis, and here's what it comes down to. Life is an inside job.

And once we, once we figure that out, then we have the capacity to be curious. And once you have curiosity capacity rather than being right capacity things, you know, the sky looks bluer, right? The grass looks greener.

LC : Beautiful. That's, that's beautiful. I love it. Amy. Amy Errett at Madison Reeds, CEO and founder, extraordinary leader of culture and an incredible creator of an enduring brand that'll be sustainable for many lifetimes to come. Thanks for joining us, Amy.

AE : Louis, it's been my pleasure. Thank you.