We are excited to announce the addition of Philip Wilfong to our leadership team, following the recent merger between Extra Space Storage and Life Storage. Philip, with his impressive 15-year tenure in the industry, started his journey at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, which subsequently became Life Storage. Now responsible for overseeing operations across several Southeast states—including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and more—Philip is not just a leader on paper, he genuinely enjoys the hands-on challenges and opportunities his role presents.
We recently asked Philip to share his background and insights on building a successful career and having a meaningful impact.
Q: How long have you been with Extra Space?
A: Prior to recently joining Extra Space as part of the Life Storage merger, I was in my 16th year with Life Storage. I’m looking forward to being part of the Extra Space team!
Q: How did your career path lead you to Extra Space?
A: I spent 20 years in the retail drug industry, with 10 years each at Rite Aid and CVS, before joining Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. Around 2015, Uncle Bob’s rebranded to Life Storage.
Q: What do you like most about your current position?
A: What I appreciate most about my current position is personally meeting and interacting with our store teams. They have a significant impact on our results. I value witnessing the differences firsthand and guiding them to adopt best practices at every opportunity.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: Always be humble and kind, prioritizing your team and placing their needs above your own. Begin with active listening, ensuring you listen to understand, not just to hear and respond.
Q: Which experiences in your career influenced who you are today?
A: Every experience in my career and personal life has shaped me into who I am today. No single event or even a handful of experiences can define a person. It’s the collective impact of these experiences that molds our style, and being open to learning and adapting is crucial.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
A: Finding a balance between home and work-life is challenging for a salaried overachiever like myself. Without a set clock-in or clock-out time, it’s easy to find oneself working sporadically day or night, eventually leading to being “always on.” Over the years, I’ve learned to navigate this and find more balance.
Q: What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your career?
A: The most rewarding aspect of my current position is witnessing individuals attain their career and professional growth goals, and knowing I played a small part in helping them along their journey.
Q: What advice would you give to future leaders?
A: Embrace feedback and be thoughtful about your communication, especially in writing. Treat each piece of feedback like a gold nugget and adjust your style based on that feedback whenever possible. Also, much of our communication happens electronically in this digital age, where meanings can easily be misconstrued. Before sending any message, read it as if you were another team member on the receiving end. More often than not, you’ll find yourself making changes to ensure clarity and understanding.
This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) leaders. Interested in a career with Extra Space? Visit our careers page to learn more about our culture and current job openings.