Recruit customers and colleagues who value what you do. Fire those who don’t.

Meet Carlo Anichini.

If you're in London and need a haircut complimented with a case study on Brand delivery, he's your man. I don't go anywhere else.

Carlo is an artisan descended from a long line of artisans. His grandfather was a master mason in Florence, a place where they know a thing or two about working with stone. From his mother he inherited an acute eye for design, line and detail.

To this mix, Carlo added his own ingredient of entrepreneurship, and has been a successful barber in London since moving there from Italy a number of years ago.

In addition to being an outstanding barber and a successful entrepreneur, Carlo is also something of a Brand-meister. He is clear on his brand values and executes them clearly, and precisely.

I love what I do

When others of his age have retired, Carlo works (at least six days) at week. He “puts love” into every haircut. Improving others by expressing his skill invigorates him.

I am clear on my Brand

Carlo delivers a product of outstanding technical quality, pleasurably, and in a timely manner. He knows his target audience. 

He speaks knowledgeably (and with direct experience) of art, food, design and cars. He is Italian after all. Time in his chair is an opportunity receive a good haircut and an education. You enjoy a module in a Masters of Culture with each visit.

Carlo respects your time, and expects you to respect his and that of other customers. Don’t turn up late. You will be chastised.

I focus on customers who value my brand. I deselect customers who don’t

Carlo fires customers who don’t support his Brand. He and his customers are busy people and respect for time is a common brand value. People who don’t share this value are made aware of this fact and asked to improve their behaviour. Ask him for examples.

So, what can a large organisation learn from Carlo? Everything.

Be fuelled by confidence, not driven by fear

Large organisations are composed are individuals. We each need to love what we do, enjoy how we do it, and receive feedback that it makes a difference.

When we are unsure of this, confidence is replaced by fear. We become desperate for business, and thus put ourselves and our needs at the centre. As a consequence, we debilitate our employees, dilute our brand, degrade our performance.  

However, if our mindset is concentrated on improving the lives of others—to mutual benefit—our collective psyche, wallets and wellbeing will be much healthier.

As ever, here is the takeaway checklist. Can you say the following: 

  • I am clear on how I make a difference.

  • I believe it. I live it. I love it. 

  • I recruit customers and colleagues who value what I do. I fire those who don’t.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
— Bernard Baruch

True self-development should be holistic and measurable. Most courses favour one over the other. On the Foundry programme, we focus on both. Details can be found here.