I have been interviewing people from different backgrounds, who have started their own businesses and who are actually descendent from outside of the US. I visited a local hair dressing salon that is owned by a Lebanese descendent, Abdul Jabbar. I have been to this salon several times before and I have found the staff very welcoming. I had a feeling that the owner/leader of this salon has got to be someone who is well aware of the importance of customer dealing and care. So I decided to find out about the success of the salon from the owner himself.
Jabbar is a smart person whose age is around 45 according to him. First I wanted to know about the history behind him ending owning a salon here in the US. He said that his father immigrated to the US. At that time Jabbar was 15 years old. His father was a hair dresser himself but in the US he never owned a salon. Instead he worked on salary at other salons. Jabbar did not get an opportunity to get an education above high school. He started to work at the same salon where his father worked. Jabbar said that he always thought that he didn’t want to work just like his father for other people. He was interested in owning his own business. He didn’t know what it would be at first but as he progressed working as hair dresser, he developed a keen interest in the skill and quickly learned the different dimensions of owning his own salon. He used to discuss this idea with his father but he did not agree for almost four years. Jabbar said that after trying hard he convinced his father. His father agreed to financially support Jabbar. His father opted to remain at his older job and asked Jabbar to start and run the new salon on his own.
Jabbar said that he felt happy inside when his father chose not to join the new business. He said that his father was a really nice person but he was not able to build a meaningful and healthy son and father relation with him. I asked why he did not have a good relation with his father. Jabbar said that he would not blame his father. His father was from Lebanon. In Lebanon, relations with parents is of love but from a distance. His father had the same mindset. He loved Jabbar as he was his only son but was not loud about it and kept a certain distance.
I asked Jabbar about his relations with his customers and staff. He said that since he has started his business, he has been attending training involving customer dealing. He said that he has learned a lot about the importance of how to make the customers happy. He said that he enjoys a good relation with his staff and pays them good money. He said that he has always reminded his staff about how they should deal with the customers. He said that as his staff is happy because he pays them goo money and provides them with a peaceful working environment, they are always happy to follow his instructions.
It was not hard for me to form an opinion about the leadership capabilities of Jabbar. I think he is a good leader and is able to earn the trust of his staff. He started his own business out of his own believe about himself. He had seen that his father had worked for others all his life and this could have given him an impression not to start his own business but he did not hesitate to take the risk. He took the risk and was successful. He was consistent as it took him a long time to convince his father. Consistency is another leadership quality that he possesses. I wish him and his salon a great future.
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