Celebrating Black Excellence: A Conversation with Our Leaders

Sep 7, 2023 / Public Storage

This week Public Storage hosted a fireside chat to celebrate Black History Month. The panel discussion is part of our ongoing commitment to building and promoting a more inclusive and diverse culture at the company.

The event, which was livestreamed to all our employees, brought together several leaders from across the organization to share their unique pathways and journey to leadership during their Public Storage careers.

The panel was moderated by Roger Clark, our vice president of continuous improvement, and featured Robbie Williams, vice president of asset management; Tony Gradford, divisional vice president; and Dawn Sino-Cruz, district manager.

Below are a few insights and observations shared during the inaugural leadership chat:

headshots of public storage leaders that participated in a leadership panel for Black History Month

How Would You Describe Your Leadership Style?

“I believe in leading by recognizing whatever that individual needs at that time. I believe in clear communication, achievable goals, focusing on people’s strengths and letting them succeed with those strengths. That will help them with every aspect of their job. I also want to be the leader they need at the time. So if I could change one thing about my leadership style that is going to help this individual be more successful, then I will make that happen,” –Dawn Sino-Cruz

How Do You Create a Positive and Inclusive Work Environment?

“It really starts for me with recognition—recognizing progress is important. We all set goals for ourselves, and you can’t set a goal today and accomplish it by tomorrow. It is not only about being able to recognize and celebrate once you get to the finish line, but how you enjoy the journey and make progress along the way that is also really important.

Inclusion really starts with the people you surround yourself with. I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career at Public Storage where individuals have invested in my career. What I’ve seen in my time with the organization is if you can do the job and excel in the role—that’s all that really matters. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to bring on some really great leaders on my team and it’s a very diverse team. We all have unique personalities and our differences make us unique. The best teams that I’ve actually worked on are really made from different backgrounds and different perspectives.” –Tony Gradford

What Advice Would You Give Someone Looking to Grow as a Leader?

“I would say you have to be authentic. I had to learn this younger in my career when I was trying to be someone else and trying to do what they did. I think you just have to be authentic. What served me well was being curious and being a continuous learner. I also think self-awareness is always great, but I would say to invest in yourself. You can have mentors formal and informal but what you always need, the most consistent person you need, is a truth-teller. Someone that you know is giving you great feedback and they are always going to challenge you when you need it.” –Robbie Williams

We value the great knowledge shared by our leaders and look forward to our next discussion.

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