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Leadership Can Prevent Self-Storage Operators From Getting Trapped in the ‘Twilight Zone’

Leadership Can Prevent Self-Storage Operations From Getting Trapped in the ‘Twilight Zone’
It’s been a strange eight months. Despite workplace uncertainties, insightful leadership and industry education can prevent costly fissures from occurring and help self-storage operators maintain a steady course into the unknowns ahead.

Today is Friday the 13th. If you’re like me, you’ve felt like you’ve been stuck in a weird sci-fi flick or episode of the “Twilight Zone” for the past eight months. Every week seems to bring new angst or unexpected events. Work and home life have been in endless upheaval, and with that, it feels as though I’ve never been busier. Every time we put a project to bed, there’s a new one right behind it. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel remains visible, but it never seems to get any closer.

As difficult as it’s been, one of the bright spots has been our corporate lines of communication. From the highest level, we’ve had virtual town halls to discuss how the company would navigate the health crisis and economic turmoil. Emails have helped make policies and direction clear. We’ve had messages of motivation and compassion, discussions with empathy and human dignity. In short, there’s been frankness and transparency.

With so much on the line and a cacophony of clutter in people’s heads, it would be difficult to overstate the importance leadership plays in helping all of us stay grounded, alert, motivated and galvanized as a group. I don’t envy the roles frontline managers and corporate executives have to play during times of stress and uncertainty, but I fully recognize their value. Just as it’s been important during these last several months for companies to engage customers as empathetic marketers, how company leaders engage employees during these times can be critical to maintaining order and common purpose.

When Inside Self-Storage began to assemble the education sessions for the 2020 ISS World Expo, we created a track of leadership-themed seminars, not knowing what crises were around the corner. Though COVID-19 derailed our plans for an in-person event, we pushed forward to record 40 presentations, most of which were part of the lineup we’d initially planned for Las Vegas. All six of the sessions that were initially tapped for the Leadership track are now available for purchase through the ISS Store in on-demand video and DVD formats.

The sessions range from discussions on leadership traits (no matter your work position) and company culture to operational talks on compensation, manager training, employee evaluations and more. The titles include:

Though self-storage has been fortunate to continue operation through the pandemic without too much disruption, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. Continued uncertainty regarding the health crisis and economic downturn means facility managers and staff will be looking to owners, district managers and other leaders for guidance. From implementing new operational procedures to being a steady rudder through turbulent times, leaders can emerge from all corners to be a calming and influential presence.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your self-storage business or elevate your role within it, the 40 sessions we recorded address all aspects of the industry. They’ve been released as either part of the ISS Virtual Event 2020 collection or as part of the ISS Education Video 2020 lineup. Just like our live expo events, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

If the past few month were really a COVID-themed episode of the “Twilight Zone,” Rod Serling would use the virus as a vehicle to expose our inner fears and weaknesses. Industry education, strong corporate governance and insightful leadership are ways to prevent costly fissures from occurring and maintain a steady course into the unknowns ahead.

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