Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Part II: Cultivating New Community Association Leaders

In the first part of this series, I left you with a question of whether or not your current association VP would
step into the shoes of a departing President. The answer was a resounding "NO".  Other than general malaise, what would be the reasons for such reluctance? Is it because the office is seen as a thankless position; the office requires too much time or would subject the holder to criticism; or the VP does not feel he or she has the support of the board?

In Florida and many other states, association directors cannot typically be compensated for their service on the board which means a community must make the "job" enticing for other reasons.

Why would someone want to serve in a leadership role in a community association?

Well, experience has taught that there are positive reasons and negative reasons that explain why some association members undertake these roles. Let's start with the positives:

  • Wants to make a difference
  • Wants to safeguard community values
  • Has skills that could be helpful to the board
  • Has a personal issue that he or she wants to be resolved which would also be in the best interests of the community.
Now, unfortunately, come the negative reasons:

  • Has a personal issue that he or she wants to be resolved which might not be in the community's best interests
  • Power play
  • Desire to send work to his or her own company or friends' companies
  • Potential fraudster
At my seminar, I related my own personal reason for getting more involved with my HOA. Several years ago, I received a notice along with all of my neighbors that Sprint would be putting up a cell tower in the guise of a massive flagpole directly across the street from our community entrance. Naturally, the base of this pseudo-flagpole would be surrounded by a 7 1/2 foot brick enclosure topped off with barbed wire; not exactly the type of structure you want to see first thing in the morning upon leaving your community or last thing at night before entering.

I began to meet neighbors I had never known before, take part in meetings, actively engage in the various communication channels in our community (website, mass email and newsletter) and became generally more enthused about where I lived. A little less than 8 months after we started, we were successful in convincing Sprint to move their cell tower to a more appropriate commerical location along the highway rather than in the middle of our quiet residential neighborhood. Years later members of our community still talk about our "near miss" and the successful battle we waged. Having a compelling cause can be one of the easiest ways to bring a community together as well as to cultivate new leaders for your association.

My third and final blog in this series will focus on the kinds of examples, good and bad, being set by current board members, as well as what behaviors create leadership paths for both current board and committee members as well as for association residents.

2 comments:

  1. This is great. It's a valuable tool to use to get other members involved. May I use parts of it to present at our next HOA meeting?

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  2. All of the Condo and HOA Law Blog material is copyrighted but it may be reproduced in full (not parts) with proper attribution to the blog and its author with contact information for both provided.

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