Are you on the path to success? Becoming a community leader isn’t a one-step process. Your evolution of volunteer to leader occurs over time and involves stepping into the following four positions:
a. Volunteer It goes without saying that the first step in your journey to leadership is the step you’ve already taken: volunteering as a board member. You’ve come by this position because, as a member of the association, it’s your right to do so. In this role, you’ll find that members align with you because they have to. To move on to the next step, you need to overcome any personal conflicts or hidden agendas you might have.
b. Volunteer leader Your success in this capacity depends on your relatability. Members tend to align with you because they want to – based on how approachable and relatable you are. However, to move on to the next phase (leader), you’ll need to focus on continued leadership development through training.
c. LeaderTo achieve the status of leader, you will ultimately need to be someone who gets results. When you partner with your management company to accomplish tasks in your community, other members will align with you. The contributions you’ve made and the tangible results you’ve been able to obtain will solidify your status as a leader.
d. Community Leader This is the pinnacle of the process, where members align with you not because of what you’ve done, not because they like you or because they have to, but because of who you are. Becoming a community leader requires more than just an inclination to lead and taking courses on training. You’ll need to put the best interest of your community first and take on your role with humility and responsibility.
How much do you know about leadership? Once you understand your path and the areas you need to focus on, the next step is getting the training that will help you succeed in a leadership role. Leadership training for an HOA role is similar to the training you would receive in other occupations, so you should start by reading some tried-and-true books on leadership and emotional intelligence. Talley recommends beginning with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves and StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. The best homeowners association management companies will have the knowledge to help steer you in the direction of other helpful resources, including in-house training and courses offered by the Community Associations Institute (CAI), such as its Board Leadership Development Workshop. While leadership training is universal, knowing how it applies to HOAs is a crucial part of the process.
What’s your mission? Last but certainly not least, developing a mission statement is a crucial step that not only reinforces your role as a community leader, but enables success for your association. Community leaders play a key role in shaping the vision of their HOA, which is why it’s important to be in tune with your community and the needs and desires of residents. The best community management companies will provide you and your board with the recommendations and resources needed to create a great mission statement and to ultimately develop a strategic plan for the community. Having a mission statement and plan in place will play an important role in enhancing the resident experience and ultimately improving property values