Board Members and Management Can't Handle It All... Boundaries and a Healthy Mindset
Updated: May 2
Serving on the board of an association is an admirable duty. Most board members mean well and want to provide good service. They do this by using their skillset, usually from their prior or current profession, to save the association money and get things done. Many times however, they need to be reminded that they are in a volunteer non-paid position and many tasks should be delegated to management or other trades.
One of the most common mistakes I find is a board member that is retired from a specific trade and wants to help the association by providing their expert opinion. While that is great information for the decision making process, you must all keep in mind that the board member may not be licensed or insured in your state and that opinion will have zero weight if something goes wrong. I recommend to board members to use certain language when making recommendations. for example, " I am a retired engineer/ lawyer/ doctor from Wisconsin (or other area) and believe XYZ should be changed to ABC. Having said that, the board should seek out the opinion of an engineer/ lawyer/ doctor currently licensed and insured to confirm the details of ... ".
Board members normally take their fiduciary duty very seriously but should keep their stress levels in check. Serving on the board stressful at times and directors should keep a healthy perspective on boundaries and time invested in association matters. Do your best to NOT overstep your authority and appear overbearing to homeowners. Nobody likes the "condo commando". Speak with your manager and possibly the management company's corporate leaders to get proper advise and direction.
Management works for, and at the direction of, the board. Management directs the board how to work within the standards of their state and the CAM industry. The manager should know when to direct the board to get a qualified opinion that is beyond their scope. When all else fails, suggest the board seek a legal opinion before making a decision.
As a manager, you are tasked with endless requests. You are essentially hired to “manage” just about everything. Any managers out there feel this way?
How do you cope with the stress and keep your sanity? How are your stress management skills?
In today's world, more attention is being brought to mental health. Essentially, stress and how it affects you. In my opinion, managers can do a few things to help manage situations:
- Learn to draw boundaries. Refer to your management contract and your job description to help you community's are expectations.
- Learn to delegate. You do not have to do it all yourself. Let others perform their jobs and become more proficient at their own results.
- Help others you manage excel and learn more. If you allow your team to grow, get more education and certifications, and own their work, it will ultimately allow you to delegate more duties.
- Improve your diet and exercise habits. No one can buy good health. Your physical health dramatically contributes to your mental health and how you feel throughout the day. Eat cleaner foods and get some exercise daily to keep your body functioning properly.
- Forced time off. I am guilty of going months without time off but I am getting better. Take a Friday and Monday off occasionally and mediate on NOTHINGNESS. Clear your mind.