The Dynamics of an Association Board

November 21, 2011 — HOA Management Solutions | Edit

How the Board of Directors (BOD) members  interact says a lot about the state of a condominium or homeowners association.

Leadership is the ability to do things by encouraging and channeling the contributions of others, take a position on and address the issues, and acting as a catalyst for change and continuous improvement.

Yesterday’s leaders in for-profit businesses could demand performance.  Today we face a more educated workforce that is democratically oriented. In a volunteer organization, as a condominium or homeowners association BOD, problems and opportunities can be even more complex and challenging. As a result, today’s BoD must promote and implement the contributions of all members, both individually and in groups.

Here are some ways in which members of  the BoD can initiate effective and ineffective actions:

Ineffective teams: People shield those in power from unpleasant facts, fearful of penalties and criticism for shining light on the rough realities

Effective teams: People bring forth grim facts—”Come here and look — this is ugly”—to be discussed; leaders never criticize those who bring forth harsh realities

Ineffective teams: People assert strong opinions without providing data, evidence, or a solid argument

Effective teams: People bring data, evidence, logic, and solid arguments to the discussion

Ineffective teams: The BoD president has a very low questions-to-statements ratio, avoiding critical input and/or allowing sloppy reasoning and unsupported opinions

Effective teams: The BoD president employs a Socratic style, using a high questions-to-statements ratio, challenging people, and pushing for penetrating insights

Ineffective teams: Team members acquiesce to a decision but don’t unify to make the decision successful—or worse, undermine it after the fact

Effective teams: Board members unify behind a decision once made, and then work to make the decision succeed, even if they vigorously disagreed with it

Ineffective teams: Team members seek as much credit as possible for themselves, yet do not enjoy the confidence and admiration of their peers

Effective teams: Each Board member credits other people for success, yet enjoys the confidence and admiration of his or her peers

Ineffective teams: Team members argue to look smart or to further their own interests rather than argue to find the best answers to support the overall cause

Effective teams: Team members argue and debate, not to improve their personal position but to find the best answers to support the overall cause

Ineffective teams: The team conducts “autopsies with blame,” seeking culprits rather than wisdom

Effective teams: The team conducts “autopsies without blame,” mining wisdom from painful experiences

Ineffective teams: Team members often fail to deliver exceptional results and blame other people or outside factors for setbacks, mistakes, and failures

Effective teams: Each team member delivers exceptional results, yet in the event of a setback each accepts full responsibility and learns from mistakes

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