May 15, 2019 4:00 am Published by

Episode 6: Intentional Greatness In Salon Franchise Leadership, with Rhoda Olsen

Rhoda Olsen joined the team at Great Clips in 1984 and became a part of its corporate team in 1987, early in the company’s life when it was a regional chain with just 180 salons. Rhoda became

On the Intentional Greatness Podcast female CEO Sue Hawkes interviews Rhoda Olsen, prior CEO of Great Clips about women in business and women in leadership.

President of the company in 1998 and later was named CEO in 2011. During her leadership, she helped grow Great Clips from one thousand salons to over 4,200 by the time she stepped down as CEO and became Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.

Rhoda is also a cancer survivor and philanthropist. She is especially passionate about her work fundraising for Phakamani, a South African nonprofit that works to teach women finance management and provide them with tools and opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty. Rhoda’s passion, courage, heart, and more than 30 years of executive leadership in various positions throughout Great Clips have given her a great depth of experience in what makes an exceptional female leader and what drives a truly successful organization.


What You Will Learn:

  • Rhoda describes her ascent through Great Clips, from the chaotic early days through leading the company to become a billion-dollar business. She shares how her background in HR and training was a perfect fit for the company.
  • Rhoda shares why listening, deeply caring, and being consistent have been cornerstones for her personal success and for the overall success of the Great Clips brand. She explains why real, authentic caring is irreplaceable.
  • Rhoda explains why values and accountability are important for helping to build the brand and grow the business, and she shares how the company helps to expand franchisees’ sense of values and accountability.
  • Rhoda shares why Great Clips is and has always been a data-driven company, and she discusses how that data is shared with the franchisees. She explains the importance of having a shared, common language and sparking engagement.
  • Rhoda explains why she believes that female leaders have different challenges to face than male leaders, and she discusses why the differences in challenges and backgrounds can be an opportunity
  • Rhoda discusses her cancer diagnosis and subsequent health battle. She shares the important lessons she learned going through that difficult time, and why she feels that cancer patients are treated differently than patients of other diseases.
  • Rhonda talks about her work with Phakamani, a microfinance nonprofit organization based in South Africa that works to help lift women out of a life of poverty. Rhoda discusses her work raising funds for the organization.




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