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A New Supervisor? Don't PanicTurn change into a positive for your position

January 1, 1998

3 Min Read
A New Supervisor? Don't PanicTurn change into a positive for your position

A New Supervisor? Don't Panic

Turn change into a positive for your position

By Kim Alton

In an increasingly competitive and overgrown market, many self-storage owners take ahard look, not only at their facilities, but also at the team of people who help operatethem. A smart owner will want to utilize the most knowledgeable and experienced personnelto help maximize his investment.

As a facility manager, you may be faced with a new supervisor coming aboard. Eventhough your previous supervisor thought you were golden and creative, and thought youmanaged the facility to peak performance, now is no time to panic. Think about some of thefollowing ideas to make the transition a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Be Open to Change

A new supervisor will bring new ideas, motivations and goals. Let the old supervisorgo. They are physically gone, and dwelling on the previous situation is a waste of time.You may have feelings of your job being in jeopardy and losing the comfort zone of what isexpected of you, but you must remember that people come and go for a reason, and changehas a way of keeping us full of fresh ideas and from becoming complacent.

Show Your Stuff

You know your strengths; capitalize on them and let your talent shine through. Continueto offer marketing ideas, create fliers to hand out, offer brochures, sparkle on yourphone sales and let your new supervisor know by your actions that you will remain animportant part of the management team.

Attitude Is Everything

When you wake up in the morning, your first decision of the day should be that you aregoing to have a positive, productive day. You are in charge of your attitude and how youapproach daily decisions while using your managerial skills. Have you ever tried smilingwhen you answer the phone? Do you raise your voice an octave to project the eagerness toassist a potential tenant on the phone? Keep your attitude in check. It reflects who youare.

A Fresh Look

Look at your site as if it is the first day you took over. Are the files organized andup to date? How about the bathroom--is it sparkling clean? Could your office use a freshcoat of paint? Is your handicap sign cracked and peeling, or could it use a touch up? Whatabout the windows (especially the door windows)? Take a hard look at the first impression.

Get It Done Now

If faced with corrections on a file audit or your new supervisor has suggested newflowers, repainting doors or polishing roll-up doors, complete these job duties first inyour list of priorities. Your new supervisor will really appreciate those who arecooperative from the very beginning. As jobs are completed, you may consider faxing ormailing the completion dates to your supervisor to let them know you are on top of it.


New supervisors have an overwhelming amount of projects to accomplish. They are usuallybombarded with several fires to put out at once. If you are unclear about what is expectedof you, or you feel uncomfortable about your situation, consider a phone meeting or a sitemeeting with your supervisor to discuss any fears or uncertainties you may beexperiencing. Remember that perception is very important. Three people can read the samememo and interpret its meaning in three different ways. It is up to you to perceive changeas a negative or positive and act upon it accordingly.

Working alongside and in the same direction as your supervisor will only produce greatresults for everyone concerned. You will realize that the fears and concerns you many havehad in the beginning will prove to be unfounded. Take this golden opportunity to remainopen-minded and improve your job.

Kim Alton is assistant operations manager and trainer for the C.N. LyonsDevelopment Company based in Newport Beach, Calif. For more information, call (949)752-5000.

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