Reflections on the Storage Industry: Economics, Commitments, Patriotism and More

Jim Chiswell Comments
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Making a List, Checking It Twice

I'm a big believer in making lists and then following them to completion. When you commit things to a list and responsibilities are conveyed to everyone, the subjective measurement of importance is eliminated. At the end of a shift, either an item has been completed and checked off the list or it is yet to be done.

Many owners are blessed with team members who’ve been with them for a long time. Unfortunately, sometimes people can become a bit lazy. They may work on a “when I get around to it” mindset, or maybe things happen because “that’s always the way we’ve done it.”

Not everything in our day-to-day operations—like cleaning up the grounds or pulling out the weeds—can be converted into a simple checkmark. Plus, one person’s idea of clean and complete may not be the same as another’s.

Creating a list forces you, as the owner or lead manager, to justify why an item is on the list at all. The frequency of the task should be seriously considered, not applied randomly by slipping it into the daily, weekly or monthly column. Make sure all staff members understand the importance of each item so they can appreciate the responsibility involved in completing it. Never give the reason: “Because I say so and I sign your check.” It’s a bad answer and surefire way to spoil relations with employees.

Lists also eliminate the “I’m not a mind-reader” response from employees when you ask why specific things have not been accomplished. Jointly developing an operational checklist, with the entire management team having input, produces an attitude that this is “Our List of Things to Be Accomplished” instead of the “Boss’ List of Things We Need to Do.” The approach and final product are much better when you work as a team.

Proud To Be an American

“Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land ... God bless the U.S.A.” These words of composer Lee Greenwood put into simple perspective the sentiments of most Americans no matter what their politics. So please remember our service members when working on delinquencies and auction processing. Is it possible a tenant is currently severing in the U.S. Military or National Guard? Don’t end up being the facility on TV news because you auctioned off the belongings of military person overseas.

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