Community associations are unique entities, and the Boards that lead community associations fill unique roles.
Does Your Community Association Board Have What It Takes To Succeed?
Successful Community Associations
- have boards that consist of officials elected to represent and protect the best interests of their constituents.
- are corporate entities whose board members must maintain the value of jointly owned assets.
- are social entities that are expected to preserve or improve the quality of common ground living in their neighborhoods.
Qualities of a Good Board Member
A Strong Board Member Exhibits:
- Good character
- Strong integrity
- Calm judgment
- Willingness to serve
- Committed to the best interests of the community as a whole
- Relevant experience or background
- Previous volunteer service
- Strong “people skills”
Warning Signs of Weak Board Members
- A Dictator who is unable to put the welfare of the community first
- Works behind the board to run things his or her way
- Impulsive or quick tempered
- Has a personal or hidden agenda
- Puts individual interests first
- Little or no experience in management, leadership, or service and is unable to work with others for the common good.
Sadly, weak board members are all too common. Our list is just a quick overview of the topic of the less than ideal Board Member. For more, read our article about what to do if you have a dictator for a Board President.
How To Succeed as a Community Association Board Member
You might be wondering with all of this responsibility, how you can possibly succeed with such a challenging assignment?
Personal Preference – You can start by putting your personal preferences and circumstances aside. When you make decisions as a board member, you have an obligation to work in the best interest of the entire community, regardless of how they affect you personally. Don’t allow personality differences to interfere with the work of the board. Be cooperative, positive, and make every effort to stay focused on the needs of the community.
Education – Educating yourself should be a high priority. Part of learning how to be a good board member will come from trial and error; but, you can reduce the errors and the time it takes you to get up to speed by attending seminars, reading books, networking with community association board members, asking questions of your manager, accountant, or attorney, downloading free materials from the web, and much more.
Process – Knowing, understanding and applying the differences between the roles of the board members and the managers is imperative. Boards set policy and make policy decisions. Managers implement the board’s directives and take care of operations.
Stand United – Once the board makes a decision, stand behind it and make every effort to see it succeed—even if you voted against it.
Be Reasonable – Although boards have a big responsibility, they needn’t be overzealous or inflexible to fulfill it. Avoid snap decisions, act rather than react, and deal with real problems, not nuisance situations.
Boards vary in size, but most are comprised of five to seven elected homeowners from the community. Among themselves, they appoint officers. There are typically three primary positions on the Board… President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Decisions are made by the board as a group, not by individuals or by just the officers.
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”
— Steve Jobs