Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join
MCL May/June 2014 - Expectations on Opening Day
Share |

Expectations on Opening Day

by Jewel Pickert, Conflitel Resolutions, LLC

Some years ago I attended a Twins game at the Metrodome (yes, that long ago). I was intrigued by the efficiency of the personnel, both on the business side as well as on the field. It ran like a well-oiled machine: fans were given easy instructions on where to sit, were instantly provided with concessions, and at the end of the game, crews immediately started to clean up, signaling that it was time to leave. Mission accomplished.

Although it is non-profit, an association is also a business. Every time new officers join the board, it’s just like Opening Day, where a new dynamic may alter previously held expectations as well as add new interpretations to the mix.

How do you practice to make that into a home run?

  1. Create a sound foundation based on realistic expectations. Expect board members to know the duties of the offices they hold, so they can function as a cohesive unit. Anyone purposefully shirking his/her duty may need a reminder regarding the purpose of the board. Just because board members volunteer doesn’t mean they aren’t accountable. Per Minnesota statute, board members are in charge of the fiscal responsibility of their association, regardless of whether or not they have a property management company.

  2. Expect new board members to have a learning curve, especially if they haven’t seen or read previous minutes. I have been a board member of a condo association off and on since 1988. I have found that frequently, new board members ask the same questions and consider many of the same changes that were shelved in the past. It isn’t so much that nothing can ever change, but if sound reasons were used to dismiss a specific change, those reasons may still be viable. Decisions need to reflect what is best for the property, not to leave a personal legacy.

  3. Learning curves exist. Nothing will change that. To avoid frustration, look at it as a mentor/mentee relationship. This is your opportunity to create duplicable systems that can help shorten future learning curves.

  4. Expect to focus on issues instead of people. If a baseball player strikes out, the announcer doesn’t say it’s because he’s a jerk. The announcer knows that perfection is unattainable all the time, and so it goes with the board. But if a baseball player strikes out consistently, he probably won’t be at bat with the same team next year.

You’re likely thinking, “That’s fine for baseball players. They’re paid. I’m not. I have other responsibilities.” As a board member, if you want your property values to increase, you will treat the association as a business and strive to make it the best it can be.

When everyone reins in their expectations and focuses on the main goals of running their business, synergy may result. Synergy can produce new and better ideas. It can also set a team up for a home run on Opening Day.

Published by Community Associations Institute — Minnesota Chapter, copyright 2013. All articles and paid advertising represent the opinions of authors and advertisers and not necessarily the opinion of either Minnesota Community Living or CAI–Minnesota Chapter. The information contained within should not be construed as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal, accounting, or other professional services by the CAI–Minnesota Chapter, or by Minnesota Community Living, or its authors. Articles, letters to the editor, and advertising may be sent to Monte Abeler at, or at CAI–Minnesota Chapter, 1000 Westgate Dr., Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114.

Platinum Sponsors