The self-storage industry is booming. The industry is projected to grow at an unbelievable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 134.79% between 2020-2025. The industry has attracted a lot of investment because of the appetite for self storage containers. The industry has proven resilient during the pandemic. For these reasons, the industry has attracted some of the most ambitious and talented entrepreneurs America has. Standing out among these entrepreneurs and managers is extremely difficult. Being a leader is less about getting a title than about being able to inspire and motivate the people around you to run through walls to achieve some goal. To become a leader, you have to embody certain qualities so that you can have a palpable impact on your organization.
Leaders demand the highest levels of performance from the people they lead, but the person they are most demanding of is themselves. As a leader, you have to embody the lust for excellence, for the very highest levels of performance. Work on getting the most out of your performance potential so your example of excellence can motivate others. You lead first by example and secondly through what you demand of others.
If you have ever seen a great leader in action, one of the things that always strikes you about them is the clarity of their vision. People often do not have clear ideas about the future and what is possible, or how to achieve a goal. That absence of a vision makes people gravitate towards visionaries. Think deeply about the future you want to create and about the steps you and the organization need to take to get there. Share this vision with your co-workers and even if they do not agree with it, they will see you as a leader.
People need to trust their leaders in order to follow them. Trust is built on integrity. It is about knowing that your leaders will act according to the highest ethical standards, and in conformity with the demands they make of others and the vision that they express. As soon as people smell hypocrisy, they lose trust in the leader. Integrity implies that your actions are part of a whole that includes your words. Do not say one thing and do another, and always ensure that what you say or do are the right thing and motivated by the right reasons.
The most decisive quality that a leader must have is that of being a good decision-maker. Your team needs to trust that your decisions are dispassionate, grounded in evidence and consider the many possibilities out there. Although we tend to think of leaders as being led by their gut and being stubborn in holding onto their vision, the very best leaders are flexible, willing to change their minds, think probabilistically rather than instinctually, and have a clear decision-making process. Becoming such a leader takes effort, but if you want to be a good leader, you have to be willing to do the work. Then, when you try and sell or rent out that portable storage container, your team will know that your decisions have a high probability of success.