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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professional problem or struggle. Then, do what you can to make that go away. I've never met a boss or employer who devalued problem-solvers. Stop Labeling Yourself Don't let your job title define and cage you. In my career, I've met many people who were above me in professional hierarchy, and yet I believed I and other junior associates were more qualified to do their job. As such, I've grown to view titles as labels that limit growth and creativity. During the review with my facility manager, his main concern was he was somehow unable to initiate or try new things because of his junior status. That label was affecting his personal growth. There's little difference from if he had been labeled fat or anorexic, liberal or conservative. Labels are for files not people. This is a life lesson it took me years to learn. Achieving a certain label was important to me. My ambition turned negative and self-serving. Rather than look out for the interest of others, I was only in it for myself. My great grandfather used to say, "You meet the same people going up the ladder as you do coming down." I eventually learned that little is gained by seeking titles. Instead, much is gained in seeking relationships and serving others with no expectation of reward. If my manager chooses to add value to the company and help others, greater compensation and advancement is a natural next step. Whether he's a junior or senior manager makes no difference. Keep Striving As our conversation unfolded, I asked my manager what prevented him from pursuing some of the things he wanted to do and embracing his development. He said: "I did say something one time, but someone didn't like the idea." This was a great learning moment. For whatever reason, he made the conscious decision to allow that incident to change the way he voiced his opinion. I showed him how that decision had a lasting effect on the course of his career. Because he took that moment as someone not valuing and listening to his opinion, he applied that viewpoint to other aspects of his job. Within a company culture that values innovation and people taking charge of projects, a mindset like his can have extremely negative results. In the ideal work world, every employee would have an amazing, customized development plan to help in personal and professional improvements. Everyone would say things in the most constructive, edifying manner. Life would be nothing but rainbows and puppy dogs. However, we know the truth. If you want good career development, much of the legwork needs to be done by you. Talk to your supervisor and let him know you're interested in growing your skillset. Do more than what your job description requires. Expand the learning in your field to other areas. If you try new things, you'll find value in yourself as well as your job. When value is found, it'll be returned to you. Keep trying. Rick Beal is vice president of development and management for Easy Storage Solutions, where he spearheads the consulting and third-party management division. His goal is to help a historically slow-changing industry embrace new, more profitable ideas. His motto is, "Storage is a business of inches not miles." To contact him, e-mail or stay up-to-date with all his publications and speaking engagements at 30 ISS I April 2019

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