Preparing for an HOA Leadership Position
Have you recently taken a leadership position in your homeowner association (HOA)? Effective leadership requires knowledge, influence and good judgment. Because many HOAs struggle with filling leadership positions, there’s not always a succession plan. So, preparation is up to you. Here are six ways to boost your leadership skills.
- Watch interactions on your HOA Board. Note what is done well and what isn’t working to help identify gaps. Changing too much too soon rarely has good results, so prioritize the needs. Remember that small changes can deliver big improvements and generate more positive responses.
- Identify training opportunities. While you may have an extensive management background, you’ll probably need to hone some skills. Numerous training resources are available to help you prepare. Check out reputable newsletters and blogs. Community Associations Institute (CAI) offers online leadership content and webinars. Wise Property Solutions conducts training on best practices for HOA Boards. Professional vendors (attorneys, insurance agents, etc.) are usually happy to bring you up-to-speed.
- Create a respectful environment. People work better together when there’s mutual trust and respect. HOA Board and committees also accomplish more with less work. Depending on the history of the Board, this simple concept isn’t always easy to achieve. But, it’s worth the effort. Make this a priority because a respectful foundation helps move you forward through tough decisions
- Sharpen your people skills. HOA leadership requires motivation, communication and conflict resolution. You’ll need to influence, listen, delegate and lead others. Fair and consistent decisions go a long way in establishing good Board and neighborhood relationships. Good people skills help improve the association performance.
- Polish your financial judgment. Most community associations operate on a tight budget. Thus, HOA leaders are always trying to balance community amenities and maintenance with assessments. You have to stay on top of the best way to balance your HOA finances.
Assess your boundaries. Accepting an HOA leadership position requires a time investment. Be realistic as you look at your responsibilities. Everyone needs a work/life balance, so don’t try to do everything alone.