Living Our Core Values: A Roundtable Discussion with Extra Space Storage Leaders

Extra Space Storage is built on five core values: Integrity, Excellence, Passion, Teamwork, and Innovation. These values are fundamental to our company, guiding our actions and decisions and shaping our interactions with customers, colleagues, and the community.

In a recent roundtable discussion, Whitney Harper, Sr. Vice President of People at Extra Space, emphasized the importance of shared values within the organization. Leaders shared their favorite values and discussed how these values impact their work and Extra Space’s daily operations.

Joining Whitney in this discussion were:

  • Anna Davis, Division Learning Manager
  • William Mann, Division Vice President
  • Brett Nelson, Vice President of Legal
  • Monica Ruedas, Sr. Director of the National Solutions Center

Below are highlights and a video of the conversation.

Let’s start with introductions.

Mann: I’m Will Man, Division Vice President based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. I oversee all of North Carolina, some of South Carolina, and Southern Virginia as well. I’ve been with the company a little over four years.

Davis: Hi, I’m Anna Davis. I’m the Division Learning Manager for the Davis Division out in Southern California, and I’ve been with Extra Space for about 12 years.

Nelson: Hey everyone, glad to be part of this discussion today. My name is Brett Nelson. I have worked for Extra Space for a little over 12 years. I currently work in Salt Lake City at the SSC, and I am in the legal department and act as one of the company’s attorneys.

Ruedas: My name is Monica Redas. I’m the Senior Director at the National Solutions Center, and I’m based out of Salt Lake City as well. I’ve been with the company for 16 years now, so it’s been a great ride.

Why are shared values important?

Nelson: Simply put, our values are critical. As an organization, values provide employees with direction, they unify employees, and overall they help us know what is important and where we’re going as a company.

Davis: Absolutely. I think our values really set us apart from any other organization. They guide us to our success, and they really help attract people to our teams that embody those values.

Mann: I’d say that when you grow as much as we do as a company, you need these underlying value systems that keep the train on the track, so to speak. So, regardless of any new technology, processes, or people, the company is still held together by those values.

Ruedas: I agree with everybody, and I would just add that having shared values is super important because it can really help act as our guiding compass. It can help us figure out how to make decisions and execute our judgment, and within a team, it helps build trust.

What’s your favorite value?

Davis: It’s really difficult for me to pick because all the values work so well together. But if I had to choose, I’d say Integrity. I feel lucky to work in an environment where honesty and transparency are fostered and promoted on every level, and I’ve seen how the integrity value has created a safe and positive learning environment for our team members.

Ruedas: Passion is my favorite value. My biggest satisfaction is leaving work knowing that I’ve been able to help at least one person every day. I follow this H.O.P.E. model, which stands for helping one person every day.

Nelson: It’s tough to choose, but the one that really stands out to me is Excellence. It gives employees at Extra Space a standard to shoot for. A quote that I’ve always liked is that no one ever wakes up wanting to be mediocre. It gives me great satisfaction working for a great organization such as Extra Space, where we all join in the effort to do quality work and make excellence our standard.

Mann: Maybe this is the sports background in me, but I’d go with Teamwork. I think you get the most out of an organization when you have a bunch of different skill sets and all working together toward a common goal or set of goals. And it keeps you from a one-size-fits-all approach. The example I always use is, I think of Tom Brady as, regardless of what you think of him, one of the best football players of all time. Yet if you had an offense full of Tom Bradys, it probably wouldn’t function very well.

How does one live the Extra Space values?

Ruedas: I think that a good way to live your values is by incorporating them into your personal brand. Being able to utilize them in how you make decisions and execute your judgment. If you do that every day, it’s really going to show everybody who you are and what you stand for.

Mann: I think when things are going well, it’s a lot easier to live our values. It’s more natural to do that in good times. I think where we really get tested is when we have times of change or stressful times, and that puts us to the test where we have to step outside our comfort zone. So if you find yourself in one of those moments, which inevitably you’re going to at some point, my general advice is don’t lose yourself in the moment. Don’t lose focus on the bigger picture. Instead, detach, back up a little bit to get some perspective, and look to things like our values for guidance.

Nelson: I can give a recent example of when I’ve seen our values in action. What comes to mind for me is the transaction we just closed—Life Storage. It was a huge transaction that required a ton of work and still requires a ton of work. It really took all five values as employees of this company to make that transaction happen. I’m just proud to work for an organization where we all came together and did something great.

Davis: I just want to take this moment to recognize one of our District Managers out in El Paso. I first met her when we were District Team Leads. I was out in Hawaii, she was in California, and we were both working toward our development. I got assigned a new stretch project, and without hesitation, she reached out. She helped guide me through that project with all the experience she had. That day, I felt our Teamwork value from thousands of miles away in the middle of the ocean. Now, if we fast forward to the present day, she is leading her team through our values with her high level of integrity and excellence that has strengthened the El Paso market. Being able to partner with her as her District Learning Manager has been one of the highlights of my career.

Come join us! Learn more about our company values, culture, and current job opportunities on our careers page.

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