While experience is one of the greatest teachers, regardless of your chosen profession, some people were just born with a career-specific disposition. Facility managers must juggle many moving parts and do so with ease and confidence. It takes a special kind of person to rise to the top in their career as a facilities manager. Facility managers are qualified to lead innovation in the workplace. We have come up with 15 attributes those born to be a facilities management professional possesses. How many of these describe you?
- You could fix things before you could walk. Some people are just born with the mind to “fix.” From your favorite broken toy to a problem-solving exercise, you always confronted the issue head-on and without question.
- You were amazing with Legos. Legos are fun for just about everyone. But those who were born to be a facilities manager took the Lego-building exercise to another level. Whether building kits from instructions or designing your own masterpiece, it doesn’t matter, it’s almost as if Legos were an inherent part of your DNA make-up.
- You always kept your room neat and organized. They say that a creative mind makes for an unorganized space. A large part of your role as the FM is centered around keeping the entire facility organized and on track. Not only do you have to dream up innovative ideas to set you and your organization apart from the rest, it must be done in an orderly fashion for those following up behind you.
- Your family depended on you to hook up the new TV and VCR. Everyone in the house waited for you to get home before even attempting to hook up that new TV or VCR to record their favorite show. Sure, they could figure it out given enough focus and reading but why bother when you could just walk in and make it happen?
- You sometimes pretended to be a superhero. Most of us played pretend or had an imaginary friend when we were little. You loved to play the part of the superhero, defeating the evils of the world. Playing the villain was never an option for you.
- You were the teacher’s pet. Your listening and participation skills often marked you as the teacher’s favorite. This isn’t a role you sought out, it simply evolved naturally for you.
- You didn’t belong to one clique - you were liked by everyone. Perhaps one of the most critical facilities manager skills is interpersonal skills. While everyone else in school limited themselves to just one group of friends, you were a part of them all. You found the good in each individual and recognized there was something valuable to be learned from everyone.
- You focused more on the building’s architecture than the actual game. How many times did you come home from a football game unable to tell your parents who won or what the score was? Who cares who ran down the field with the ball the most and who tackled who the hardest? You were too busy analyzing the building and wondering what was going on behind the scenes.
- You’ve tried “desk” jobs, but found yourself bored and unchallenged. While even a desk job can be fast-paced, this workplace setting just wasn’t for you. You prefer to be out and about, collaborating with your colleagues and solving problems.
- You have always met even the most mundane tasks with great intensity. Regardless of the size of the project, you have always taken your job seriously. FM leaders find excitement in even the smallest tasks, recognizing its value in the overall picture.
- You have a knack for “getting things done.” Like many facility managers, you have always prided yourself in getting the job done. This stems from your knack of finding the value and excitement in the even the most mundane of tasks and the courage to explore uncharted territory.
- Your friends have always known they can count on you. Are you THE person your friends always call when an issue arises? Those who know you well know they can always count on you to tackle an issue head-on and fearlessly. That is a friend you always want to have by your side!
- You have always been the first one up and the last one home. The facility manager’s mind is always at work, constantly dreaming up new, more efficient ways to reach your goals. Whether it was your job as a cashier at the local grocery or your heavy college course load, you always found yourself “on the job” while others were at rest.
- You are a giver by nature. Some humans are simply built for giving. Those that are, often have a difficult time accepting help, gifts, compliments, etc. While there are aspects of your life where this has proven a disadvantage, this personality trait will take you far in the FM profession.
- Basically, you were born for greatness! Now, by no means are we saying possession of these traits makes you perfect. But if this list describes you in detail, you were most certainly destined for great things. For you, failure is not an option. And while every one of us experience setbacks in our lives, failure only comes from the inability to learn from our mistakes.
Communication, strong interpersonal skills, and the drive to get things done no matter what—these are all skills successful FMs must possess to lead their companies to the top of their industry. While many of these attributes can be learned, like understanding workplace technology, some people are just “born with it.” A good facility manager equipped with the right facility management tools can do wonders. What was it about yourself that helped you realize this was the career for you? How many items on this list describe your personality?
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.