Five Tactics to Transform from HOA Board Member to Community Leader

Posted on Friday April 13, 2018

Want to learn how to go from association volunteer to community leader? Complete the form at the bottom of this page to get a free guide, 5 Ways to Go From Volunteer to Community Leader.


Did you know there’s a big difference between being a board member and being a community leader? In fact, becoming a community leader requires a methodical approach, and the benefits to your community are significant. So are you ready to step up to the plate and take on a leadership role in your Arizona homeowners association? 

If you’re already a volunteer who has been elected to the board, you’ve taken the first step. However, becoming a great community leader takes time, effort and commitment. Want to learn more? Read the five tactics below and be sure to complete the form on this page to get a helpful guide, 5 Ways to Go From Volunteer to Community Leader

Taking on a leadership role can make a big impact on how you fulfill your duties and even affect how residents and other board members perceive you. Those factors can have a positive influence on your community and what you and your board are able to accomplish.

So what steps do you need to take to go from volunteer to community leader? Start with these five tactics:
  1. Take a personality or communication assessment

    What is your communication style? How does your personality affect your relationships with other board members or residents? Asking yourself these questions is an essential step to becoming an effective leader in your community association. Understanding yourself and your personality will give you the tools to help strengthen your leadership skills and communicate better with others. But how do you increase that knowledge? Begin with a self-assessment. A great community management company will direct you to training and educational resources that will help you understand yourself and your communication style better. For example, your board may want to utilize DiSC training, which analyzes behavioral differences to help you better understand yourself and learn how to adapt to others.
  2. Follow the leadership track

    While you may have natural leadership skills, there are some important steps that need to take place so that you can become a truly effective community leader. First, make sure that you take on the following roles:
    1. Be a volunteer Becoming a volunteer and getting elected to your association board is the first “mile marker” on the path to leadership. Ultimately, members will align with you because you have the right to be there based on their vote. To take it one step further, you need to overcome any personal conflicts or hidden agendas you may have had when you joined.
    2. Excel as a volunteer leader To truly excel as a volunteer leader, you need to focus on leading in an approachable, relatable way. Instead of just aligning with you because they “have to,” members will align with you because they want to because they see you as approachable. So how do you reach the next step? Start by prioritize leadership training to become a more effective, results-driven leader.
    3. Become a results-driven leader A leader who achieves results in their homeowners association will be respected and consequently, will be perceived as a leader. To become a results-oriented leader, you’ll need to partner with your management company. They will take care of the day-to-day tasks and provide recommendations and support in order to achieve results. And in turn, members will align with you because of what you’ve done for the community.
    4. Establish your role as a community leader The path to association leadership ends with the role of community leader. When you’ve reached this position, members will align with you because of who you are, not necessarily because of your accomplishments or your title. Becoming a community leader requires more than just a desire to lead; it requires humility and commitment to the best interests of your community.  

  3. Study up on leadership

    One of the most effective ways you can build leadership skills and become a trusted and talented community leader is by educating yourself. Maurice Talley, corporate trainer at FirstService Residential, recommends reading a variety of books on leadership and emotional IQ. Talley suggests starting with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, Emotional Intelligence 2.0by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves and StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. The best HOA management companies will guide you to many helpful resources and tools, such as in-house courses and training offered by the Community Associations Institute (CAI), such as its Board Leadership Development Workshop. No matter what kind of leadership training you take, it’s important to understand how it relates to your role on an HOA board.

  4. Understand your community

    Exceptional community leaders have a strong connection with their community, residents and fellow board members. To get there, you need to develop relationships with your community and listen to your fellow board members and residents. Your management company should care of all day-to-day tasks like managing vendor relationships, serving residents, enforcing policy and delivering timely financials, so that you can be solely committed to setting policy and staying in tune with the community at large. This will allow you to be more effective in your role on the board and will position your HOA for success.

  5. Establish a mission

    Whether you’re a board member of an association in Phoenix, Scottsdale or Tucson, creating a mission statement is an essential (and often overlooked) step on the path to leadership. A mission statement not only reinforces your role as a community leader, but sets your community up for success by outlining your shared goals. The best HOA management companies will provide you with the insights, resources and tools needed to develop a solid mission statement, with the goal of establishing a strategic community plan, which can have a significant and positive impact on resident life and property values. Learn more in our article, The Strategic Community Plan – A Road Map for the Future.”


Do you have what it takes to be a community leader? Complete the form below to download a helpful guide, 5 Ways to Go From Volunteer to Community Leader

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