Among homeowners association managers within our company, we have made training an emphasis. We attend conferences, seminars, classes, etc., so that we cannot only be certified but also continue to gain skills and knowledge to help us do our job better. I remember at a particular law seminar, on the first power point slide, there was a poor little person with a huge target on their back side. The speaker’s first comments were, “congratulations, the target on your back has just gotten bigger.” We already knew the target was big enough! The same thought ran through several people’s minds near me, “and why are we doing this?” Whether you are a homeowners association manager in your job, or a volunteer Board member, you may have these same feelings periodically.
So, what can help us, as Managers or volunteer Board members of our homeowners association, last for more than the short average time span that many serve in these capacities? I will offer a few ideas and comments along these lines and then include a quote that I first read many years ago. Let’s get going:
1. Keeping perspective is key.
I believe we need to keep the big picture in mind. We are endeavoring to protect, enhance and maintain the assets of the association. This is a big job!! The collective value of communities is often much more than people/owners may even contemplate. We need to know that our labor is very important and significant, even to the owners that may have little realization of this fact.
2. Enjoy the people that you get to work with.
Life is much more than “things.” It truly is a joy to know and work with people for a common purpose. With this in mind, know that we cannot necessarily change others, but we do have control over ourselves and what we think and do.
3. Remember that probably some 95% or more of the people in our homeowners association appreciate what you are doing.
Don’t let the remaining small percentage of people drag you down. Some of these people just seem like they will never be happy. To them, you may never do anything right. You can’t change them and you don’t have to focus on them and let them ruin your day. Instead, stay focused with the like-minded people you are working with to continue to serve the greater community.
4. Have a sense of humor.
Even though the Board’s that I have the privilege of working with are volunteers, I will often let them know that we doubled or tripled their pay on a particularly challenging day. We may laugh about this or something else, and the humor is therapeutic.
5. Tasks and jobs may be difficult, but if you are not alone in the midst of them, they are much easier to accomplish.
Remember as homeowners association Board members and managers, you are a team that should be working for the same purpose. A leader within a previous organization I worked for used to say that “You can do anything with your friends”, meaning that no matter how difficult or challenging a task, it could be accomplished and even enjoyed while working together with people you care about.
6. Be thankful.
Find the silver lining in all that you can and don’t give up too easily. Learn what you need to in different circumstances. It is okay that you do not know everything, but don’t stop being a learner.
Isn’t it amazing that two different people can be going through very similar challenges, even with something like life threatening cancer, and they are completely different people as they walk through it. One may be very vibrant, other-centered, encouraging and positive, while the other is the complete opposite. It is not the circumstances that make the difference, but the perspective of the person within those circumstances. The last thing that I think we want to become is a miserable complainer. I will now end with the quote I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, which relates well to the topics we have been considering.
Quote by: Charles Swindoll
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
Let us all strive to seize the moment on a day to day basis in our homeowners associations, with a fresh perspective, humor, thankfulness, and a team spirit that will do plenty to help us through any challenges we may face.