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Are You Really Empowering Your Managers?

Mar 01, 2013
by Holly Barr, Administrative and Education Assistant
Recently in our family, we have been talking quite a bit about empowerment. I have a teenaged son who wants to be empowered to make his own choices and mistakes. I, as his mother, am struggling with this concept because I think he should just listen and follow directions!

My husband is much better with the concept of empowerment than I am. For example, his approach is that if you do not get up in the morning on time, you do not get a ride to school, whereas I will make sure my son gets up even if it makes me late.

Guess what happens? My son tends to sleep in on my days to take him to school, yet gets up just fine on my husband’s days.  Interesting, huh? We are learning as a family how to give and take, and I am starting to realize that my letting go can be great for me too, because as I do, I am able to have more freedom to do things I want. I am learning to “check in” without “dictating” all the details.  I have given him the proper tools to make good decisions; it is now up to him to use them. Ultimately, things are much more peaceful these days (most of the time, at least; he is still an adolescent after all).

This whole concept of empowerment makes me think about how providing people with the tools and letting them shine (or make mistakes) can change all of us. I think we all want to be empowered, whether it be from our jobs, families, or friends.

I find myself wondering how many of you self-storage owners out there are empowering your managers to make decisions and allowing them to experience professional growth with your company. You may be surprised at how much this can help you, as an owner, empower yourself too. The more freedom you give your manager to make decisions (after training them properly), the more time you will have to improve your golf or tennis game, tp travel, to grow other business ventures, to find time to help in your community, or to sign up for a class for yourself that you've been putting off, etc.

I encourage you in 2013 to sign up yourself, your facility manager—or better yet, both of you—for a Legal Seminar, and there is one remaining this year, in Dallas on March 28.

Also, if you have not spent time looking at the TSSA website in a while, you are missing many valuable resources such as our archived webinars, podcasts, and magazine articles. Especially now that our webinars and podcasts are free to members. Sadly, we still hear from a number of managers that they have no access to the Internet at the facility, either because the owner does not trust them to use it wisely or does not want to pay for it.  Yes, this is hard to believe in 2013, but that is still the case for some.

Facility owners, you might find yourself surprised at what your managers are capable of, once you’ve empowered them, AND what you can accomplish when you allow yourself a bit of free time. In the meantime, I am going to keep working on my struggles with empowering my son, letting go, trusting him, and accepting some mistakes, albeit with frequent check-ins. I am excited to see what the rest of 2013 brings for all of us as we push our boundaries!


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