Today I’m going to share with you the Ultimate Secret to an Effective Condo Association Board. This secret is incredibly simple in practice, but very difficult to master and act upon. However, if you make this your guiding tenant, you will find your Board meetings and interactions are more productive, pleasant, and effective.
The Secret to Board Success
The secret is very simple, but goes against all rules of human nature:
You may not speak unless you are offering an actionable solution and willing to do some of the work to make that solution a reality.
That’s it. Think about your last Board meeting and how much time you wasted on bickering, Board members throwing out ideas that they’ll never do the work on, or vague complaints. It’s probably a horrifying amount of wasted time. You’ve almost certainly listened to a bad Board Member ramble on about whatever they’re unhappy about – but they didn’t offer any solutions or suggestions to fix said problem, and they certainly didn’t volunteer to do any work to help make things better.
Making this Rule Actionable
This rule is meant to be a guiding principle. You obviously can make small talk or ask questions. But when you start descending into any sort of policy debate or problem resolution, you need to be a problem solver and a value adder. You need to think “What questions will advance the ball? If I propose a solution, am I willing to put in the work?” If the answer is no, then it’s probably not worth talking about.
You might consider making this rule something you talk about as a Board in how you run your meetings and how you communicate among each other. Making sure you are a positive, accomplishment-driven Board helps build a culture of respect. It cuts down unnecessary arguments and makes sure everyone is pulling together in the same direction. Having stated principles is a good way to make sure your Board knows what it stands for.
Proactively Make this a Part of your Board Culture
By proactively setting the standard that this is how your Board operates, you have more power to enforce it among each other. If people are being unhelpful, you can call them out politely – “We all agreed this is an action-driven Board. We don’t throw out ideas or complain unless we’re willing to do the work to fix it. Are you willing to step up? If not, let’s move on.” This is tough to do – particularly to do without rancor – but it cuts out a lot of unneeded bullshit. But if you can manage to implement the ultimate secret to an Effective Condo Association Board – you will be more effective, efficient, and happy.
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