Inside Self-Storage

APR 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Managing Your Way to the Top Peer-to-peer career advice for facility operators By Rick Beal D uring a recent monthly review with one of my self-storage facility managers, the conversation drifted toward the topic of pay and his opportunity for advancement. Since he was "low man on the totem pole," his concerns were valid and timely. Over the next hour, the discussion revolved around two primary topics. The first was how to be a value creator, and the second was how job titles are labels that inhibit growth and creativity. Both concepts are applicable to pretty much any position. If you fully understand them, not only will you advance your career, you'll find fulfillment in your work life. If your professional goal is to get ahead, you'll never get there by being mediocre. The only way to gain footing is to create more value for your employer than your role requires. The typical storage manager has several basic responsibilities: answering phones, giving facility tours, collecting rent, serving customers, maintaining the property, etc. (The key word here is "typical." The term "manager" could be replaced with the role you hold, whether that's district manager, associate or whatever your position may be.) While the typical manager might do a good job, does he create more value than the role requires? Generally, no. At the end of the day, your career is a concept of your mind and its development is yours to own. Unless you have a great mentor, supervisor or role model, chances are you're going to have to put on your grown-up pants and take control. Create Value Everyone within a company has a certain role. Most self-storage managers look at the roles and guides others have placed upon them and accept them as hard, unchanging truths. If you think that way, you're running on an old operating system, which can hold you back. If you want to get ahead, it's time to upgrade your thinking. Why can't you rewrite the definition of what a facility manager does? If your corporate policy manual states that a facility manager does A, B and C, that's fine. You go and do A, B and C, as well as E, F and G. By doing so, you'll add company value in three ways: • You're making new things happen. • You're creating value within yourself, setting yourself apart from what's "typical." • You've begun down a path on which many start but few stay the course. You're doing something more with your station in life. People frequently live on autopilot because it's comfortable and ea sy. If you stick to moving beyond the status quo, it'll positively impact your professional and personal life. You'll want to become better, and you'll rewrite the roles life has written for you. Start small. On average, companies today provide employees with 32 learning hours per year. Where does your company stack up? If you're with a small company, what can you do to help provide 15 hours per year? This is how you create value and forge a path to advancement—not because you have to but because you want to. Ask the person above you about his biggest LEARN MORE Learn more about industry career advancement in the seminar, "Climbing the Ladder of Self-Storage Success: Career Advice for Facility Managers," which will be presented by expert Pamela Alton at the ISS World Expo in Las Vegas, April 1-4. Get details and register at issworldexpo.com. 28 ISS I April 2019 www.insideselfstorage.com

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