AVOIDING BOARD MEMBER
How many association boards have a member who has served as President for two years? Five years? If there is anyone out there that has served for ten, this article is for you.
Serving in any office on your community's board of directors should be a positive and fulfilling experience. For many it presents an opportunity to learn new skills, get to know your neighborhood better, and work actively to improve the community. Unfortunately, many board members get burned out fairly quickly and may start to resent the position. Family and work obligations may be contributing factors that have been long neglected and on top of these personal commitments board meetings can seem very stressful.
If this happens to you it is time for a change. The solution may be simpler than you might think:
Rotate Leadership Roles
Something as simple as rotating leadership roles could make a big impact on your community. If you can get fresh blood on the board, that's great. If not, try not to run for the same office no more than two terms in a row.
Maintain Energy on the Board by Seeking the Help of Committees!
Form committees that the board can delegate tasks to. There are likely people in your community that did not feel comfortable committing their time for a full year (or two), that would gladly serve on a social comity for two or three months. Delegating tasks and getting more people involved is a great way to increase homeowner involvement and ease some stress off the board.
We get from the world what we give... and our homeowners association is no different. Try not to focus on the unpleasant duties of serving on the board. Instead, spread good news to your neighbors. Keeping a positive outlook on your leadership role will help you find the value in it. Positive energy is also contagious. Think of positivity like the sun. If you are exposed to it long enough, whether you wanted it to rub off on you or not, it will likely change your tone. Who knows, your positive attitude could even "trick" someone into running against you on the Board next year.
Acknowledge service in your community in a visible way. Give awards to board and comity members at the annual meeting. The awards need not be expensive, but they must be specific. (One of the most fun rewards we, at Zeato, have experienced was a can of SPAM that was given to an individual at a public speaking event - it was called the "Special Person Award of Merit" - it was creative, funny, memorable, and inexpensive) The point is, if someone went above and beyond their duties, tell their story. Hearing how much people appreciate our effort is the kind of encouragement that keeps us going. Also, seeing other people succeed, and be recognized, may inspire more people to run for an office, or volunteer for a committee.
If you are serving as a member on a volunteer board, hang in there. Your impact may not be reciprocated by current neighbors immediately, but your legacy will have a lasting impact on the community. Said in other words:
"Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another"