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Characteristics of Successful Community Leaders


There’s no one secret ingredient that great HOA Board members share.  Personalities and backgrounds are as diverse as any non-profit group you’ll encounter.  Some are extroverts; some are introverts. They don’t all like numbers or enjoy writing.  In fact, more diverse personalities and experiences often lead to a more successful Board because each member has different strengths.  However, there are some common characteristics shared among successful community leaders.

Action-oriented – For a homeowner association to flourish, it must have leaders who take action. Leaders don’t wait until someone asks for their help. Leaders volunteer. Action people attend all Board meetings and community events. They research and plan. These doers take action and make decisions based on fact. A successful community needs these people on the Board and in other volunteer positions.

Integrity – A Board member has access to personal and confidential information, so strong ethics and morals are essential.  People with high integrity guard restricted information, abides by the association laws and enforces rules fairly.  They are honest and treat others with kindness and respect.

Communication – Consider all the different people that interact with an HOA Board…other Board members, homeowners, property management company, CPA, attorneys, government officials, etc.  Excellent listening skills and effective communication are necessary to manage the daily interactions and tasks. In many associations, communication is more than written and oral.  Thus, Board members may need to be familiar with websites, social media pages, email and other electronic communications.

Flexibility – Not everything goes as planned in a community. There are new state laws, different homeowner, new vendors and varied issues.  Flexibility is key to juggling all the balls and keeping everything on track. When a volunteer has to resign, tasks have to be delegated to others. When something doesn’t work out, the leader needs to find a new way to reach the objective. Changing course is part of the job when you’re on an HOA Board.

Responsibility – The success of the community depends on its leaders.  These Board members live up to their responsibilities and are committed to doing the right things for the good of the community. If they make the wrong decision, they correct it. Responsibility to them means taking on the challenges of the association and being accountable for their actions.

While not everyone is a born leader, each Board member can be encouraged to tap into their natural leadership abilities.  A well-run community starts with an effective Board.

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