Mirror Mirror

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall We have become a nation of very casual dressers. For some people, “casual” has come to mean that the clothes you wear to clean out the garage are ok to be worn to work. True, in some work environments that is acceptable. In ours it is not. What you wear, or how you present yourself, is crucial to how you are perceived by the client. Many of you out there may say it shouldn’t matter how we dress as long as we are good at what we do (a notion from 1960’s that should be as long gone as those years). The reality is –… Read More

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Dealing with Difficult People

Dealing with Difficult People Few new community managers walking in on their first day have the slightest inkling what is in store for them unless they have extensive customer-service experience. Without scaring everyone too much let me say in no uncertain terms that some of the people with whom you will deal will be very difficult. Why is that? Largely it is because of three things: ·         We deal in situations that affect people’s living arrangements, making even the smallest of issues seem very, very personal to the resident. ·         People find community associations a perfect place to enact personal agendas. ·         There are no repercussions for bad behavior. The… Read More

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The No-Decision Decision

Managerial life is full of problems that need to be solve either by us directly or by others making decisions and tasking us to carry out those decisions.  As much as this happens, many is the time we as employees of management companies and agents for our Boards have to rely on others who don’t want to make decisions, so they don’t. This is the no-decision decision. All right, the “no-decision decision” is a misnomer because no-decision is a decision. 1 Here’s how it goes: As either the agent of the Board or as an employee you take a problem or policy issue you genuinely do not have the authority and/or knowledge to… Read More

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Conflict Management

I know it’s a shock, but, there’s a lot of conflict in community management. Some of the most difficult, from a manager’s point of view, is that which arises between Board members. That conflict can be very stressful, particularly when the members try to drag the manager in to their internal spats.  Truth be told, when it comes to  Board member conflict there are only a few places the manager can, or should,  be proactive in resolving it.   The vast majority of Board conflict is  not only rife with danger for the average manager, but irresolvable by them anyway. First, let’s identify why the Board conflict arises. It’s important to… Read More

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Leadership by Example

Leadership by Example A short treatise for managers and others By Julie Adamen There is a spectrum of leadership ability, and most of us will be in the middle of that spectrum, between truly great and abysmally poor.  What does this have to do with you? Each one of you reading this is a leader, whether you want to be or not. We are in the leadership business because leadership is influence and you must agree that as part of our job we continually influence people and events.1 Working in our industry means you are in a position of leadership on the front lines with staff, vendors, Boards, owners and… Read More

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Team Management Train them, support them, empower them

Team Management Train them, support them, empower them by Julie Adamen julie@adamen-inc.com “Developing new managers in-house is an investment you must make if you are going to have the right staff to grow and thrive. In house-training is going to be an absolute must for management firms.”1 Most management companies still don’t have the time nor the resources to truly provide effective in house training and development of new (or existing) staff. As promised,  I’m going to give you a training method that is, proven, easy to set up and virtually free, offers the added benefits of providing manager support and empowerment, and moves senior staff away from managing day-to-day… Read More

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What Must Be, Shall Be (ce qui doit etre sera)

I’ve been a control-freak at times in my life because yes, I thought others didn’t know half as much as I did and boy did they need my input on how to do things. Professionally, it led to some very tense and stressful times as I tried to force particular outcomes of events and behaviors of people which never really worked. Why did I do it? First of all, I was young and full of myself. Beyond that, I did not trust, like I do now, that things work out as they are mean to, and as they should. Ask any control freak why they feel the need to control… Read More

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Dear HOA: There is No Fun in Dysfunction

Several years ago I authored an article, When Worlds Collide, which outlined how Board members are often out of touch when it comes to the compensation and replacement value of an onsite manager.  In short, Board members use what I call “The Association Metric” in determining remuneration, as opposed to the “Executive Replacement Metric,” which is what the market uses. The Association’s Metric is almost solely based on the Association’s current and past experiences with onsite managers; it is colloquial and subjective and usually is based on: a) What we now remunerate our manager; b) What ‘type’ of manager we currently have; c) Other factors that affect the thought processes… Read More

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Keep Calm and Manage On

You are sitting in another stupefying meeting. The Board is way off the agenda, wandering far and wide amidst the weeds.  You have tried, to no avail, to bring them back to the matters at hand, but they are cowboys out on their own trail ride, a whompin’ and a whompin‘, and all you can do is listen, take some notes and try not to scream. Then, it happens:  Someone utters what may the stupidest idea you have ever heard in your life, one so devoid of business acumen and common sense that you cannot help yourself from stating the obvious in no uncertain terms: NO, YOU CAN’T DO THAT, it… Read More

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The Top Traits of Great and Effective Boards of Directors

Over the years, I have worked with many, many Boards of Directors: As a manager, as a consultant, and as a member of the Board. And as we all – managers and Board members alike – know, some Boards are just better than others at administrating their community and effectively achieving their agenda with grace, dignity, professionalism and humor. These Boards are a pleasure with which to work or on which to serve. So, what differentiates a Great Board from just an okay Board? Great Boards develop, maintain and value their credibility and their integrity. And they continually display, individually and as a group, the following traits: Great Boards focus… Read More

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