Courageous leaders – those leaders who can make tough decisions and manage difficult issues in the association – are in short supply these days. Courageous leaders are not controlling. Nor do they dominate when they lead. However, their unique personality and leadership can shape the overall culture for the Board and for the community.
Courageous leaders possess many common traits that are desirable in leading an HOA Board or other leadership positions within the association. These traits help them inspire people to get involved, cut through red tape to resolve sticky problems, and make tough decisions. Some of the key traits of courageous leaders are:
Demonstrates Excellent Listening Skills. Whether it’s feedback from HOA Board members, vendor issues or owner complaints, a courageous leader makes himself/herself available to listen and consider perspectives of others.
Sets Clear Expectations. Clearly understanding goals and communicating expectations is vital to achieving the results you want. Courageous leaders are excellent communicators who can outline actions needed to reach an objective. The Board, volunteers, vendors and others in the HOA know what is expected.
Makes Tough Decisions. It’s easy for a Board to turn to “analysis paralysis” when you aren’t sure which way is right. Definitely, you want to do enough research to make a good decision, but don’t get stuck in the “analysis paralysis” loop. A courageous leader accepts the risks of making a decision and moves forward, recognizing that future modifications may be necessary to achieve the desired result.
Gives Credit to Others. Courageous leaders takes more than their fair share of the blame when things go awry, and they are the first to credit others for good deeds. Isn’t this scary? It could be for some people, but not for courageous leaders because they consider themselves mentors, so they are rewarded when other Board members and association owners make good things happen.
Accepts Accountability. Courageous leaders know that accountability begins with them, so they role model this behavior. It’s just as important to hold others accountable for their actions. Many times, you get what you expect from people (whether they are Board members, volunteers or owners). Courageous leaders give people the right tools and information to perform a task, and expect them to deliver. They also have the courage to call someone out if he/she doesn’t follow through.
If your Homeowner Association is fortunate enough to have a courageous and talented leader, support him/her all the way. This type of leader has the skills to transform your community from good to great. In the words of Harry Truman, “Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”