So you’ve chosen to volunteer for your homeowners’ association. And you’ve managed to get elected to the board. Mission accomplished, right?
Not so fast.
You might find that you’re more effective in your role if you operate as a leader rather than a volunteer. This means a difference in not only how you fulfill your duties, but in how you’re perceived. And that difference can have a huge impact on what you’re able to accomplish.
“Community leaders are able to set objectives and rally support behind their cause with greater effectiveness,” said Maurice Talley, corporate trainer for FirstService Residential in Nevada. “They have the power to get more done than someone who sees themselves as merely a volunteer.”
But how do you make the transition? We can tell you...
1. Start with an assessment.
A good HOA management company will have training materials and courses that you can take advantage of. And typically, these courses start with an assessment tool to gauge where you are on the volunteer/leader spectrum. You can expect to answer a series of questions – as a self evaluation and then as if you’re answering from the perspective of a fellow board member. Finally, you’ll have another board member evaluate you by the same criteria. Between those three perspectives you should find a measure of objectivity.

2. Understand the path.
One good way to look at the evolution of volunteer to leader is to consider it a four-step process, which goes like this:
STEP ONE: Volunteer. 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’ll have to overcome any personal conflicts or hidden agendas you might have.

STEP TWO: Volunteer Leader. Your success in this capacity depends on your relatability. Members tend to align with you because they want to. To move to the next phase, however, you’ll need to focus on continued leadership development through training.

STEP THREE: Leader. You’ve achieved this status because you’re someone who gets results. Because of this, other members align with you due to all the contributions you’ve made and the tangible results you’ve gotten for the community.

STEP FOUR: 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, not because they have to, but by virtue of who you are.
3. Get the right training.
You understand your path. You know the areas you need to focus on. Now, you just need the kind of training that will help you get there. It’s best to undertake this training from someone who understands the ins and outs of HOA management – this kind of individual will be familiar with the specific challenges you face in your role, and they will be uniquely positioned to equip you with the tools you need to address them. Look to a good HOA management company to provide this elevated level of training.
Are you ready to lead? Then you’re ready to do more for your community. For more information on leadership training, contact FirstService Residential, Nevada’s leading HOA management company or fill out the form.
Wednesday June 15, 2016