A Leadership Strategy for Your Pool & Spa Business

A Leadership Strategy for Your Pool & Spa Business
Leadership strategy helps people climb a mountain

As a business owner, you likely face challenges within your teams related to management and leadership. Pool and spa businesses usually have several teams to manage, including sales teams, installation teams, service and maintenance route crews, and often other specialized teams. Understanding different types of leadership strategies and when to apply them in your pool and spa business helps you build and maintain strong teams across the organization. 

Hersey/Blanchard Model of Situational Leadership
Hersey/Blanchard Model of Situational Leadership
(Blanchard et al, 1993, p.26)

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Model of Leadership and How to Apply It in the Pool & Spa Industry

The pool and spa businesses work with generally have complex teams with a variety of skill levels, motivation levels, and life goals. The Hersey-Blanchard Model is flexible enough to allow you and your managers to lead all of these people. This model doesn’t focus on specific leadership styles (Autocratic, Authoritative, Democratic, etc.) but instead adjusts your leadership style to the individual.

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Model of Leadership divides employees into three categories:

  1. High Maturity – These workers are capable, but just need a push of confidence from their managers.
  2. Moderate Maturity — These workers have the confidence to do the job, but lack the motivation to do it without supervision.
  3. Low Maturity – These workers do not yet possess much skill, but are highly motivated and enthusiastic about learning and working.

How an Effective Leader Works

An effective leader understands which workers are in which category and utilizes that knowledge to manage each most effectively. Great managers learn to match the tasks of each job to the maturity level of their workers. For example, the high maturity salesperson gets frequent praise from their manager, but not a lot of oversight. They perform well, because they know what to do but need inspiration to get it done.

Conversely, the low maturity employee may be super excited to run his own pool service route. But at this point of his training, he needs to ride along with a supervisor. In time, his enthusiasm helps him develop the skills he needs to eventually run his own pool maintenance route. And perhaps someday become a supervisor himself!

Job maturity is the capacity or ability of the individual to do the job based on their education or experience, while psychological maturity is the motivational state of the person, influenced by the individual’s confidence and self-esteem. You can easily see how this plays out in being an effective leader in the pool and spa business.

How to Find the Right Leadership Style for Each of Your Employees

Using the diagrams above, determine which quadrant your worker falls into. Then apply the corresponding leadership strategy.  For example, you can approach working with employees in D2 (Low Competence/Low Commitment) by adopting a coaching style of leadership, such as being highly specific about the way tasks needed to be completed, checking the work more often, and working with the employee to improve their skills.

It Actually Works!

Studies find that employees tend to be more satisfied and display higher levels of morale when managers match their leadership style to the employees’ development level. Everyone recognizes that it’s not fair to manage every employee the same way. By matching your leadership style to the specific workers in your pool and spa business, you can become a more effective leader for all.


The Get Smart Group isn’t just a marketing agency. We are literal business partners to our pool and spa clients. We offer business consulting as part of our services, helping our clients with everything from gaining buy-in for your CRM system among your sales staff to making it easier to manage your route services with online schedulers that connect directly to your POS. How can we help your pool and spa business?

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