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From Atlanta (July 2010)

June 30, 2015 | News

Recently a friend of mine confided that she had found the perfect facial at AYA, an Atlanta-based spa with locations in Buckhead (Phipps Plaza) and Sandy Springs, Georgia. “They’re amazing,” she said, “everyone there is so good at what they do. They really know their craft.” That’s interesting, I thought out loud. Usually when someone describes a service they talk about the effect of the service (i.e. the softness of their skin, the whiteness of their teeth, the style of their hair). After raving about how talented everyone was, she did go on to say how much they did for her complexion, but again she attributed it to how skilled and knowledgeable they were. Convinced they were worth a try, I called and made the appointment. I started my visit with eyebrow sculpting, something I’d never tried before. I was ushered to a comfortable room where the esthetician went to work immediately, measuring and marking and measuring again. Turns out she has always worked within the beauty industry and even trained with Anastasia in L.A. (of Oprah brow-sculpting fame). “Brows are my passion,” she said. When she finally handed me the mirror I was impressed. Next was microdermabrasion and after speaking with this esthetician, I was intrigued that she too was committed to a career in the beauty world. When I asked her how she decided to get into esthetics she answered, “It began with a personal decision to live a healthier life, inside and out.” Both professionals were deeply committed to being the best and it really showed in their enthusiasm, service and the results they gave. Years ago I attended the Disney Institute when they hosted a world class conference for service marketers. At one point in the conference they had their Chief Marketing Office (who had some neat Disney-esque name like Chief Imagineer or something like that) present the secret to their service success. “You can’t train excellence,” they repeated again and again, “you have to hire it.” Hiring is largely a misunderstood practice. As business owners and managers often aren’t educated as to how to hire well, they typically look at hiring as something that ought to be an innate skill like networking or writing. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a client say that they’ll “just know it when they meet the right candidate.” But often they don’t.