The ongoing global pandemic has created numerous challenges for community associations, which has further emphasized the importance of Board leadership. With that in mind, right now is a great time to focus on leadership qualities, several of which are discussed below in more detail:
(1) Emphasizing Teamwork: Your Board can achieve success by acting as a team (consider participating in team building exercises), prioritizing the interests of the community ahead of the interest of any individuals, and playing to the strengths of each individual Board Member. The ability to effectively delegate, based on the individual strengths of each Board Member, is a key trait for any Board President.
In order for the concept of “teamwork” to extend beyond the Board and throughout the entire community, your Board must take steps to create an atmosphere of inclusion (inclusion = empowerment) and the vision of a common goal – the betterment of the community! Take steps to encourage community wide participation at board meetings and membership meetings. Nobody should feel left out and everybody should feel that they have a voice in the community.
(2) Honesty, Integrity and Transparency: In order to lead, you must first gain trust. The best way to foster trust is by exhibiting honesty, integrity and transparency. Your Board should consider adopting a Code of Conduct, and compliance with the Code of Conduct should become a pillar of the culture of the Board and community.
Arizona Statutes, including the Open Meeting law and right to inspect records, were enacted to ensure transparency. Your Board should not only comply with those laws, but go above and beyond those minimum requirements by embracing the ideas of openness and transparency. While a Board must understand that certain topics are appropriately protected from disclosure, in most cases non-disclosure should be treated as a last resort.
(3) Commitment and Determination: Board Members can prove their commitment by familiarizing themselves with the community’s governing documents and applicable Arizona laws; attending, participating in and being prepared for Board Meeting and Meetings of the Members; and, committing to a Code of Conduct (as suggested above).
Board Members can prove their determination by learning from past mistakes, addressing issues head on (instead of avoiding them), and guiding the community during difficult times. When the going gets tough, good leaders step up to the challenge.
(4) Communication: Last, but certainly not least, the ability to communicate is absolutely vital to having strong leadership in your community association. Communication is the tool used to translate many of the qualities discussed above. It is paramount that Board Members learn to effectively communicate with one another. Take time to learn the personalities or your fellow Board Members and tailor your communications in a manner that will resonate with them.