10 STRATEGY QUESTIONS SMART LEADERS ASK THEMSELVES EVERY DAY

By Jim Haudan on October 14, 2020 For Root Digital Experiences

Sounds pretty profound, doesn’t it? When you read the words, and look closely at their meaning, they’re so true. Think about it… if you have a strategy and you don’t execute on it, who cares that you even had a strategy to begin with? And if you try to execute but your people are not on board, do you even have a hope of making anything happen?

Exactly.

So, how can you tell if your company is actually executing your strategy through people? Ask yourself these 10 questions and see how well you do.

1. Do leaders share a consistent view and interpretation of the strategy?

Does your plan mean the same thing to everyone? Are you guys at the top on the same page about what you want to do with the organization?

2. Are your people ready, willing, and able to execute your strategy?

Do you have employees who are on board with what you’re tying to accomplish? Are they capable of helping you get where you need to go?

3. Do the behaviors of the leadership team support the strategy?

The way the top tier acts is going to set the pace and tone for how everyone else follows. Leaders have to model the behavior they want the rest of the company to emulate.

4. Do leaders put the good of the company ahead of their functions?

This is where we talk of ‘owning the whole’ before any individual piece. Are the people at the helm looking out for the big picture before their individual departments or functions?

5. Do managers communicate the strategy clearly and consistently? 

Are people the next level down getting the message of the strategy and their role in helping to achieve it getting the right message?

6. Do managers review progress on goals with their people?

You’ve got to check in along the way, otherwise there is no way for employees to see how they’re doing and if they’re contributing to the company’s ability to execute on the strategy.

7. Does your front line understand the marketplace and the strategy?

The people closest to your customers really need a firm grasp on what the playing field looks like and how you’re intending to win.

8. Can the front line connect their contributions to company goals?

Once they understand it, that’s a great first step, but can they see how what they do each day in each customer interaction impacts the bigger picture?

9. Are opportunities to learn relevant skills available to everyone?

When asking people to do new things, take on different responsibilities, or participate in a way they aren’t used to, you’ve also got to make sure they have the tools and skills training available to beef up what they bring to the table. Without the right resources and training, they won’t be able to deliver, but the blame will be on you.

10. Do your people know what winning looks like to you?

If you have the strategy, and the execution, and the people on board, how will the end of your story go? What does it look like when you win? And have you shown that picture to your people so they can visualize what it is they’re working to help achieve?

If you answered ‘yes’ to most or all of these questions (and their sub-questions), then you’re in pretty good shape – your people must get it when it comes to your strategy. More often, however, leaders are answering ‘no’ to most of these. It’s a true challenge that so many companies struggle with year after year. But if you look at these questions and answer honestly, you’re likely to get on the right track to executing your strategy through your people.

Planning for a Better 2021 – The “Will Be”

By Steve Keating for LEAD TODAY Helping the Next Generation of Leaders Develop Themselves

The first two steps in our planning process were foundational in nature. Use any GPS you want and you’ll discover that without both a starting point and destination GPS is worthless. So is a plan!

Now that you understand the “As is,” or your starting point, and you have a clear picture of your “should be” or destination, you can begin the heavy lifting of developing a plan to reach that destination.

I call step three of the planning process the “will be.” This is where you set goals. For your plan to be viable you’ll need short-term goals, medium-term and long-term goals. Others may disagree but I don’t think there is any perfect answer to what “short term” actually means. For some it might be 6 months and for others it might be 6 minutes. Remember this is YOUR plan. While I encourage you to share it with people you trust for honest feedback, do not be dissuaded from going after something you feel strongly about. 

Keep in mind that while we’re planning for a better 2021 next year is only a stepping stone to future years. Your long-term goals may stretch out 5 or 10 years or even longer. 

Whether something should be classified as a short-term goal or a long-term goal matters far less than your commitment to achieve it. So, while we’re on the commitment subject….

Never set a goal you’re not committed to work towards. If your goal isn’t something you are willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve then it’s not a worthwhile goal. You will develop the actual plan to achieve the goals later in the planning process but if you’re not 100% committed to working for a goal then don’t waste time setting it. 

Which brings us to what goals you should set. Have I mentioned that this is YOUR plan…it’s no one’s business what YOUR goals are. I’d recommend setting goals in many areas of your life. Personal goals, professional, financial, health, spiritual, growth/learning and wherever else YOU want.

Whatever your goals are you will be far more likely to achieve them if they are based on the foundation of your core values. And that’s what makes planning such a challenge for so many people.

Asked to articulate their core values very few people can actually do it. Core Values are those deeply held beliefs that make you who you are. The sad reality is that many people float through life never understanding what makes them who they are. It takes considerable self-reflection to know yourself. It takes a sizable investment of time to understand what your deeply held beliefs are and how you came to hold them so dear. 

And most people simply will not make that investment of time. In fact research shows the average person will invest 400% more time to plan a one week vacation than they will invest to plan the rest of their lives. Goals are actually the plan for the rest of your life. 

This my friends is where the rubber meets the road. If you are unwilling to invest the time to know and understand your core values then you might as well skip the rest of this planning series. It will only be an exercise in frustration. 

If however you are willing to turn off the TV, put down your phone, block out distractions to focus on the life you have then this series can help you. If you’re willing to consider the life you want along with the values that will guide you in your pursuit of that life then this planning process could change your life. 

This is the step of the process where you decide the “will be.” Not what you would like things to be, what they really “will be.” Imagine being able to simply choose the life you want… then skip the imagining part and set goals to choose it. 

CAI Launches Workforce Program for 2020 College Graduates

The three-step training and certification program introduces young professionals to the growing field of community association management.

Millions of 2020 college graduates continue to face economic and financial uncertainty as they attempt to enter a workforce that’s been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many sectors of the global economy have been hard hit, community association management continues to be a profession in high demand. 

Community Associations Institute (CAI) recently launched a program designed to train and certify the next generation of community association managers and bring awareness to the growing profession. 

The Community Management Training and Certification Program, is a self-paced curriculum that provides candidates a hands-on approach that explores the responsibilities of property maintenance; best practices for developing, managing, and balancing association budgets; preparing contractor proposals; and understanding a community association reserve study.

For candidates enrolling in the program, the first step is to register for and successfully pass CAI’s M-100 course, The Essentials of Community Association Management. After completing the course, students are encouraged to earn the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) credential administered by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB). A student membership also is included in the program’s cost—offering candidates continued education, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Community association management has experienced tremendous growth since its beginning just over 40 years ago. According to U.S. government housing statistics, community associations are the fastest-growing segment of residential home construction, a rapid growth that is expected to continue. Today, there are more than 55,000 community managers in the U.S. In April, CAI surveyed community association managers in a COVID-19 & Community Association Employment Survey. Of more than 1,000 community association managers surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic, 91.1% say their level of employment has not been impacted.

“We believe that today’s college graduates possess the skills essential to community association management—excellent people skills, strong communication skills, and the ability to collaborate and solve problems,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “For more than 40 years, CAI has been the trusted source for community association managers. Our education and certification program will further provide new professionals with the training needed to build a resume and start a successful career in community association management.”

Learn more about CAI’s Community Management Training and Certification Program.

Employee Upskilling and Reskilling Training: Benefits, Challenges, and a Pandemic

According to recent employee upskilling and reskilling statistics, 92 percent of employers say they’ve offered reskilling or upskilling training. But there’s a big leap between delivering training and that training making an impact.

By Christina Pavlou

Read a job ad. Any job ad. 

You most likely will notice something along the lines of “opportunities to grow” or “generous learning and development budget” under the benefits section. 

But is this just another corporate overpromise to woo candidates or do companies actually invest in employee training? And should companies bother with employee upskilling and reskilling?

According to recent employee upskilling and reskilling statistics, 92 percent of employers say they’ve offered reskilling or upskilling training. But there’s a big leap between delivering training and that training making an impact. The real question is whether this training is valuable both to learners and employers and what kind of pitfalls they should be avoiding. 

Why Invest in Employee Upskilling/Reskilling Training?

Beyond the obvious benefit of teaching employees something new (e.g., how to use a tool), the long-term benefits are also noticeable when reskilling or upskilling employees. These benefits apply to your learners and your company as a whole and include:

1. Boost Employee Productivity

Some 80 percent of employees say reskilling/upskilling training has improved their confidence. Confident employees are more likely to come up with fresh ideas, take initiative, and focus on solutions. 

While those benefits are not always tangible or easily connected to training, 3 out of 4 companies agree that employee upskilling/reskilling has benefited their overall productivity. 

2. Improve Retention

“But what if I train my employees only to see them hit the road in a month or two?” someone may wonder. Don’t be so quick to dismiss your training programs. Because what might seem like saving money now could cost you some of your best employees tomorrow. 

Seventy-four percent of employees who’ve never received training from their employer would rather work for a company that offers upskilling/reskilling opportunities. And they most likely will find one in the near future since 9 out of 10 companies already provide such training. Don’t fall behind. 

3. Attract New Talent

While you’re busy developing your existing employees’ skills, you may find more candidates knocking on your door. 

Some 65 percent of employees who haven’t received any upskilling from their employer sought out training on their own. If you can give them the resources and time they need to grow their skills inside your company, you position yourself as an employer of choice. 

4. Engage Employees

In addition to attracting new and retaining current employees, upskilling training helps you create an engaging team.

Employees seek career progression—particularly Millennials, the prevailing generation in the workplace. And they want to see actions, not just words. Make them feel more empowered and motivated by discussing their career goals and potential and, then, build a learning path tailored to their needs to help them reach their destination.

5. Adjust to New Business and Consumer Needs

Tech advancements, as well as changes in our lifestyles and the way we work, have made it almost mandatory for businesses to update their knowledge and systems. And they can only do that through employee reskilling. Take this opportunity to train employees on how to use “smarter” devices or how to analyze big data. Or you might need to develop your employees’ communication skills if they have switched to remote work, which sometimes makes collaboration more challenging. 

Pitfalls to Avoid

Despite the benefits of reskilling and upskilling training, there are a few challenges you might need to tackle when delivering a training program at your company. These include: 

1. Lack of Time and Resources

Training usually takes employees away from their regular tasks. And the same goes for trainers if training is not their main job. But that’s a necessary evil if you want to succeed in the long run. Think, for example, of all the time you’ll make up for in the future if you spend a few hours or days now to train your team on a new project management tool. 

But time is also a barrier when developing training content. Companies rank this as their biggest challenge with employee upskilling/reskilling. You could, though, save time—and money—if you hire in-house training specialists or purchase bundles of ready-made courses that you can reuse on a case-by-case basis.

2. Disconnect from Career Progression

While employees value training as a way to advance their careers, more than half of them say it had no effect on their compensation, while another 44 percent say it hasn’t helped them grow within their company. This is common when training is just for the sake of training and employers have set no clear training objectives to build career paths for their team members. 

For training to be truly beneficial, you need to link learning to desirable outcomes and design personalized training paths. You also could set up follow-up sessions to see if and how employees use their newly acquired knowledge on the job. 

3. Resistance from Employees and Senior Management

So what happens when time and money are tight? And when there are no clear benefits to training? Employees and senior management are not sold on the idea of reskilling or upskilling training.

Employees might see training as something imposed on them that won’t offer any value. And senior managers might prefer to spend their money on something with tangible effects. 

Make sure employees know how training will help them down the road. Also, try to add interactive courses and gamification elements (e.g., quizzes, internal competitions, etc.) to grab their attention. Knowledge sticks for longer when learners are engaged—and that will convince senior management to give their approval. 

Learning in the Time of COVID-19

Some people have found themselves with unexpected free time lately if, for example, their industry has slowed down or they don’t have to commute anymore due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of them have used this time to expand their skill set or to develop their existing skills. What’s interesting is that the majority (58 percent) of employees who sought training on their own during this time chose to develop skills related to their current role or skills that would help them get promoted. This is a clear sign they think of reskilling/upskilling training as something that will add value to their professional life with some actual results.

Companies also have stepped up their game, with 43 percent of them assigning more courses to their teams during lockdown. Some of those courses are likely related to COVID-19 and safety training. But we can’t ignore the portion of employers training their teams on tools and skills that are much needed in this digital, remote-work era we’re in. 

What remains to be seen is whether this necessity will become a habit—whether companies will reinforce a learning culture, and not view employee upskilling or reskilling as a reaction to external changes or a trending box to tick but rather as a way to create strong, engaged teams. 

Christina Pavlou used to work in HR and currently writes about it. She enjoys researching and writing about learning and development, diversity in the workplace, and employee well-being. When not writing, she’s giving presentations on recruiting, offering career coaching tips, or crafting her homemade cosmetics. 

An Increase In Job Opportunities And Career Advancement Begins With The CMCA Credential

By CAMICB Staff

Earning the CMCA credential represents an investment of time, effort and resources which is recognized – and rewarded – in the employment market: CMCAs earn up to 20 percent more than non-credentialed managers. Community Associations Institute (CAI) estimates that as of 2018, there are approximately 347,000 community associations in the United Sates housing over 73 million people. Further, there are approximately 8,000 association management companies and up to 55,000 off and on-site community managers in the United States alone. That’s a significant number of community associations and management companies that need qualified, dedicated professionals to oversee their communities.

Margey Meyer, CMCA, PCAM, President and CEO, CADRExperts LLC (Community Association Dispute Resolution Experts), speaks about the shortage of community association managers in the profession, “I consult with managers, vendors, board members and management company executives and the one refrain I continue to hear is we need more qualified managers,” said Meyer.  She also expressed, “This is such a unique profession in that it does not require a college degree to be successful. Community association managers can earn their CMCA credential and then pave their own way through education and by earning additional industry related designations and certifications. This means managers are well-positioned to be selective about which job offers to accept. In addition, credentialed managers have the opportunity to attend hundreds of webinars and onsite, online, and virtual classes to increase their knowledge about managing community associations. There is no limit to how far a manager can advance in their career – including owning their own management company.”  Meyer is also a long-standing member of the CAI faculty and a nationally recognized educator, trainer, speaker, advocate and author in the field of leading, managing and developing community associations.

A Stable and Rewarding Career

In April, CAI surveyed community association managers in a COVID-19 & Community Association Employment Survey. Of the more than 1,000 community association managers surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic, 91.1 percent say their level of employment has not been impacted. This data confirms that community association management is a stable career, not affected by economic downturns.

Data from the Foundation for Community Association Research also highlights many important benefits enjoyed by community association managers, including:

more than half of employers offer medical, life, dental and vision insurance;

most companies support employee professional development by paying for membership dues, chapter event participation, and course fees;

most employers offer an average of three weeks paid vacation leave, paid holidays and sick leave; and,

most companies offer retirement plans such as 401(K).

Meyer adds that community association management is not just a desk job – it also involves site visits and regular interaction with homeowners, board members, contractors, co-workers and others. She also notes, “It’s an opportunity to problem solve and resolve conflicts; it’s a chance to mentor others new to the profession, and there are plenty of volunteer and networking opportunities with other industry professionals and service providers.”

Community association management is a rewarding profession and can be a very fulfilling career path.  Community association managers continue to be in high demand.  The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many sectors of the economy, including the hospitality and event management industries. Many of the skills required to succeed as a community association manager are comparable to the skills required to succeed in these and other fast-paced professions that offer a wide range of responsibilities and require an ability to manage a number of competing priorities at one time.

CAI Launches Workforce Program for 2020 College Graduates

Another group hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are the millions of 2020 college graduates who continue to face economic and financial uncertainty as they attempt to enter the workforce. Many college graduates already possess some of the essential skills needed to excel in field of community association management, such as strong people and communications skills, and the ability to problem solve.

CAI recently launched a three-step training and certification program – the Community Management Training and Certification Program – that introduces this group of young professionals to the growing field of community association management. This self-paced curriculum provides candidates a hands-on approach that explores the responsibilities of property maintenance; best practices for developing, managing, and balancing association budgets; preparing contractor proposals; and understanding a community association reserve study. CAI is offering recent college graduates a special College Grad Package through November 30.  This savings of $150 includes a Student Membership for one year and registration for the M-100 course.

Whether you are a seasoned professional looking for a career change or a recent college graduate, community association management is a growing and rewarding profession for individuals who are eager to understand the many diverse business operations involved in being a community association manager.  

Zoom’s Chief Diversity Officer Explores the Future of Inclusion and Remote Work

By Bruce Anderson September 29, 2020 for LinkedIn Talent Blog

After Damien Hooper-Campbell finished working at Goldman Sachs, he thought, “Investment banking is cool, but I want to do something for the community.” Serendipitously, Google reached out to him around this time and asked if he would help the search giant with diversity and inclusion (D&I).

“I’ll be honest,” he says, “at that point, I wasn’t sure if companies were really serious about this. I wondered if it was window dressing, somebody just trying to hire somebody who is Black and check the box.”

He kept an open mind and flew to Silicon Valley, where he saw that tech was in a position to solve D&I challenges rather than merely perpetuate them. “In diversity and inclusion,” Damien says, “we were running into a wall, over and over and over again.” Tech, he felt, was different because the industry’s very lifeblood was innovation.

So, he signed up. He helped Google and then went on to lead the diversity and inclusion functions at Uber and eBay. In June, he became the first chief diversity officer at Zoom Video Communications

To get Damien’s take on the challenges — and opportunities — in diversity and inclusion work, we hopped on Zoom for a chat. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation, including his thoughts on how Zoom meetings can drive inclusion and why D&I leaders need to put their “own oxygen mask on first”:

Q. What impact will the broad adoption of remote work have on diversity and inclusion?

A. There’s some upsides and some watch-outs.

The upsides are incredible, absolutely. All of a sudden, guess what, I can work pretty much anywhere in the world. And we are beginning to prove out the case that, unless you have a job that is, let’s say, in an operations role, you can be effective from anywhere. It opens up a broader pool of talent that you can hire. So, yes, that’s great on the diversity side.

On the inclusion side, wow. If you have us in gallery view [on Zoom] right now, what you notice is that every single one of our boxes is the same size. There isn’t a group of folks who are in the U.S., laughing and chattering in a conference room, while the folks from Bengaluru and Seoul and Amsterdam are on a screen and people have their backs to them. It’s not happening right now. We’re all equalized in this case.

People who historically have been in-person now understand how hard it is or how hard it’s been for the people who have been virtual.

Also, if there’s someone who is a bit more introverted, they can chat in the box and still get their viewpoint in. Whereas before, if you had somebody like me who tends to be verbose, the introverts may not have been able to get a word in edgewise.

Q. What are the obstacles that most frequently block companies’ diversity and inclusion efforts?

A. A couple of things. An us-versus-them mentality, which only drives groups further apart.

Number two, for a global company, being U.S.-centric. We have to make sure that we’re not trying to do a one-size-fits-all.

And then ourselves as practitioners. As a D&I practitioner, you’re a therapist, coach, educator, activist, and advocate. You’re creative when you work with the product team and help them to be more inclusive and when you work with the marketing team to make sure things are landing right. You’re an ambassador with external organizations. And you’ve got to be a business-minded individual to be able to take all of these things that are so human and what people will see as touchy-feely and translate them into a vessel and a lens that makes sense for the business. These are in most cases for-profit entities. Let’s not run from that.

Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to be supernatural, and we don’t take care of ourselves while we’re out there trying to take care of others.

The people who are doing this work, my peers in this space, we’re not doing it for the money. We’re not doing it for notoriety. We’re doing it because somewhere in our personal experience, we said, “This is what I’m dedicating my life to.” But we don’t always take care of ourselves as well as we should.

I would say we get in our own way sometimes by not putting our own oxygen mask on first.

Q. You’re the first head of diversity at Zoom. What are two or three things you’re going to put forward that you think will move the needle the most?

A. The first is education that says, “How do we actually help people to understand how we got here?”

We typically pick up this conversation and say, “Oh, there aren’t enough women. There aren’t enough Black folks, not enough Latinx folks.” We don’t take people who have no exposure to race and an understanding of the systemic issues that got us here, we don’t bring them along on that journey. So, we miss being able to bring them in both from a data standpoint and from an emotional standpoint.

We started this thing called Zoom Talks, kind of like TED Talks, because we knew we were going to be talking about race, but we were going to be talking about a lot more than just race. Our first session was about Juneteenth. And now, we’re expanding that in a partnership called Zoom Talks and TIME, where we’re working with Dr. Shaun Harper, a renowned professor who started USC’s Race and Equity Center. It’s going to be nine sessions on “Race in the Workplace.”

The second thing is structure. I think of things in two buckets, cultural and structural. The cultural bucket is education. That to me is like, how do you get people to change their world views? How can you become a perspective broker? And even if you don’t agree with someone’s political view, you understand how in their life, they got to that place where they decided to vote that way. That’s a win.

But then there are some structural things. No matter how well-intentioned you are, we need to change the structures of, potentially, how we hire; how we advance people; how we evaluate people.

Let’s make sure that not only the minority community, but everybody, regardless of your background, has an objective opportunity to get through the interview process, if you’re talented. Let’s make sure that that’s the same in the way that we compensate people, the way that we evaluate people, and the way we promote people. So, embedding structural changes is another component to the initiatives.

A third one that I’m really excited about is the work that we’re doing externally. It’s in two buckets. One, is in our product. So, if you look at the features that we just launched, we involved a very diverse set of employees in testing these things to ensure that they were inclusive of a wide range of human beings. We were intentional about that.

The other external is where we think, “How do we use our brand, our balance sheet, and our voice to make this world more equitable for other people?” Some of the initiatives that are coming that are more community-driven, through our Zoom Cares philanthropic program, and I’m really excited about those.

Q. To whom should the head of diversity report?

A. You can report into this org or that org, but somebody’s got to make sure that you have a seat at the table and that your voice is being embedded into the cultural fabric of every single thing that the organization is doing, right? Otherwise, who cares who you report to? If you don’t have a seat at the table, you might as well not even be there at the company.

For more thoughts and reporting on the head of diversity role, read the recent Talent Blog post “Why the Head of Diversity is the Job of the Moment.”

Who Pays for Repairs? Check the Condo Bylaws

Leni Morrison Cummins and Jennifer D. Miller in Legal/Financial on September 22, 2020 for Habitat

A drain on a condominium’s roof – a common element – leaked water into the penthouse apartment, destroying newly installed designer cabinets. Does this mean that the condo board – and therefore all unit-owners – are responsible for replacing those expensive cabinets?

Perhaps.

The declaration and bylaws of a condominium govern who is responsible for repairs to the units. Typically, the bylaws contain a section titled “Maintenance and Repairs” that sets forth the items to be maintained, replaced, or repaired by the condominium board (at the expense of all unit-owners) and those that are the responsibility of individual unit-owners. As a rule, unit-owners are responsible for all repairs in and to their units.

Therefore, the first step in determining responsibility for damage to a unit is to review the declaration for the definition of “unit.” That definition should include a very detailed description of which components are included and which are excluded, and it will also spell out the method of measuring the boundaries of a unit. If the damage falls outside of the definition of unit, the board (and therefore all of the unit-owners) are usually responsible for the cost of repair.

However, if the damage is in or to the unit, there is a second step in the analysis before you can conclude that repairs are the unit-owner’s responsibility. You must determine whether the leak falls under the definition of a “casualty.” If it does, the answer lies in another section of the bylaws titled “Repair or Reconstruction After Fire or Other Casualty.” This section will often result in a completely different outcome than the “Maintenance and Repairs” provision.

Courts in New York have defined “casualty” as a loss due to an accident or to a sudden or unexpected event. The definition of “casualty” was further delineated in 45 Broadway Owner v. NYSA-ILA Pension Trust. The issue here was whether a flood resulting from a rusted gauge on an HVAC system constituted a casualty. Reversing the lower court’s decision, the appellate court found that a casualty need not be an act of God but rather can be an “accident” or an “unfortunate occurrence” which may include damage stemming from human error, such as a failure to perform maintenance to the HVAC system. The court explained that the definition of “casualty” hinges on the description of the event rather than the cause of that event. Accordingly, the court found that, although the damage caused by the corroded gauge would not itself be considered a casualty, the sudden and unexpected flood that occurred at the building did constitute a casualty – even if gradual corrosion triggered that sudden event.

In our scenario, the leak that damaged the penthouse cabinets was caused by the deterioration of the rubber on the clamps holding the roof drain piping. The key question, however, is whether the damage to the cabinets was due to a continuous, slow leak or to a sudden, unexpected leak such as burst pipe. If it was a continuous or a prolonged leak, a court will most likely find, in accordance with 45 Broadway Owner, that such damage is not a casualty. Therefore, the section of the by-laws relating to “Maintenance and Repairs” will govern, making the unit-owner responsible for the cost of repairing the cabinets. Alternatively, if the leak damage was caused by a rupture, then such damage will likely be considered a casualty, and the “Repair or Reconstruction After Fire or Other Casualty” will govern, typically shifting the cost of the repairs to the condominium, even if the triggering event that caused the damage was ongoing.

Read the bylaw provision closely. The board may be responsible only for the cost of restoring the cabinets to their original condition – and not for the full cost of the designer cabinets that were installed by the unit-owner. If the cost of the repair is high, the board and the property manager should make a claim on the board’s insurance policy right away and work with counsel to ensure that the insurance carrier understands the facts that render the event a casualty.

Leni Morrison Cummins is a member and Jennifer D. Miller is counsel at the law firm Cozen O’Connor.

An Increase In Job Opportunities And Career Advancement Begins With The CMCA Credential

By CAMICB Staff

Earning the CMCA credential represents an investment of time, effort and resources which is recognized – and rewarded – in the employment market: CMCAs earn up to 20 percent more than non-credentialed managers. Community Associations Institute (CAI) estimates that as of 2018, there are approximately 347,000 community associations in the United Sates housing over 73 million people. Further, there are approximately 8,000 association management companies and up to 55,000 off and on-site community managers in the United States alone. That’s a significant number of community associations and management companies that need qualified, dedicated professionals to oversee their communities.

Margey Meyer, CMCA, PCAM, President and CEO, CADRExperts LLC (Community Association Dispute Resolution Experts), speaks about the shortage of community association managers in the profession, “I consult with managers, vendors, board members and management company executives and the one refrain I continue to hear is we need more qualified managers,” said Meyer.  She also expressed, “This is such a unique profession in that it does not require a college degree to be successful. Community association managers can earn their CMCA credential and then pave their own way through education and by earning additional industry related designations and certifications. This means managers are well-positioned to be selective about which job offers to accept. In addition, credentialed managers have the opportunity to attend hundreds of webinars and onsite, online, and virtual classes to increase their knowledge about managing community associations. There is no limit to how far a manager can advance in their career – including owning their own management company.”  Meyer is also a long-standing member of the CAI faculty and a nationally recognized educator, trainer, speaker, advocate and author in the field of leading, managing and developing community associations.

A Stable and Rewarding Career

In April, CAI surveyed community association managers in a COVID-19 & Community Association Employment Survey. Of the more than 1,000 community association managers surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic, 91.1 percent say their level of employment has not been impacted. This data confirms that community association management is a stable career, not affected by economic downturns.

Data from the Foundation for Community Association Research also highlights many important benefits enjoyed by community association managers, including:

more than half of employers offer medical, life, dental and vision insurance;

most companies support employee professional development by paying for membership dues, chapter event participation, and course fees;

most employers offer an average of three weeks paid vacation leave, paid holidays and sick leave; and,

most companies offer retirement plans such as 401(K).

Meyer adds that community association management is not just a desk job – it also involves site visits and regular interaction with homeowners, board members, contractors, co-workers and others. She also notes, “It’s an opportunity to problem solve and resolve conflicts; it’s a chance to mentor others new to the profession, and there are plenty of volunteer and networking opportunities with other industry professionals and service providers.”

Community association management is a rewarding profession and can be a very fulfilling career path.  Community association managers continue to be in high demand.  The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many sectors of the economy, including the hospitality and event management industries. Many of the skills required to succeed as a community association manager are comparable to the skills required to succeed in these and other fast-paced professions that offer a wide range of responsibilities and require an ability to manage a number of competing priorities at one time.

CAI Launches Workforce Program for 2020 College Graduates

Another group hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are the millions of 2020 college graduates who continue to face economic and financial uncertainty as they attempt to enter the workforce. Many college graduates already possess some of the essential skills needed to excel in field of community association management, such as strong people and communications skills, and the ability to problem solve.

CAI recently launched a three-step training and certification program – the Community Management Training and Certification Program – that introduces this group of young professionals to the growing field of community association management. This self-paced curriculum provides candidates a hands-on approach that explores the responsibilities of property maintenance; best practices for developing, managing, and balancing association budgets; preparing contractor proposals; and understanding a community association reserve study. CAI is offering recent college graduates a special College Grad Package through November 30.  This savings of $150 includes a Student Membership for one year and registration for the M-100 course.

Whether you are a seasoned professional looking for a career change or a recent college graduate, community association management is a growing and rewarding profession for individuals who are eager to understand the many diverse business operations involved in being a community association manager.  

In Times of Crisis, Can We Learn to Be More Resilient?

Helping people maintain a positive attitude; building confidence and trust; and making employees feel valued, connected, and empowered can tip the balance toward greater resilience.

Mark Marone, Ph.D., Director of Research & Thought Leadership, Dale Carnegie and Associates

The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic sparked some inspiring stories of resilient people and organizations—those who are working together to innovate new ways to survive and even thrive in the face of adversity. For example, restaurants became grocers and caterers to hospital staffdistilleries began producing hand sanitizerperformance art organizations redefined audience engagement, and professionals from physical therapists to event planners reinvented their work to accommodate social distancing restrictions. Yet, given the challenges that remain as a result of the pandemic’s widespread disruption, stories like these also have kindled some envy among leaders who wish their own organization’s resilience levels were a little higher.

Resilience refers to people’s ability to bounce back from unfavorable and unpleasant experiences, negativity, or challenges and is characterized by the capacity to cope, recover, and learn from adversity. Resilient employees are better at adapting in the face of new conditions; resilient teams demonstrate greater cooperation; and, organizations with a high level of resilience are more agile—advantages that are even more valuable during periods of crisis and uncertainty. 

Competing Theories of Resilience

Given its desirability, many are wondering: Is it possible to increase resilience? Some experts have argued that resilience is a stable, innate trait and, therefore, hiring for it is the only solution. That doesn’t help organizations with a need for greater resilience right now. More recently, researchers are suggesting that resilience is the result of a process that combines individual characteristics, behaviors and attitudes, and work-related environmental factors, many of which can be influenced by leaders, even during times of crisis. This second theory suggests it is possible to increase anyone’s resilience at any time.

That’s good news, since a February 2020 survey conducted by Dale Carnegie Training of more than 6,500 employees across 21 countries and territories found that 72 percent of respondents had experienced one or more conditions that can be considered a form of adversity in the workplace, and of those, more than 7 in 10 reported the resulting stress as moderate to high. Recent events undoubtedly have increased those percentages. In the absence of resilience, stress—whether sudden and intense or of lower-level intensity but ongoing—can lead to burnout, emotional exhaustion, sleep problems, low energy, limited concentration, poor performance, and more. 

So how can leaders boost resilience?

Tipping the Balance Scale Toward Resilience

Helping people build and access resources—whether tangible or intangible—to meet the demands of their work can tip the balance toward resilience. This effect can be explained by the Job-Demands Resource model, which suggests that stress is a response to having inadequate resources to meet work demands. 

The first option for maintaining balance is to reduce job demands, but that may be difficult in light of staffing cuts. The other is to provide additional resources to offset stressors during challenging times. While finding more tangible resources right now may be impossible, intangible resources can help, too. 

6 Tips for Supporting Resilience in Individuals and Teams

Here are six tips for supporting resilience that don’t have to cost a penny.

1. Model and support a positive attitude. Finding ways to frame difficulties as opportunities and expressing conviction that they can be overcome can inspire people to find solutions. When people see adversity as a problem to solve or a challenge to overcome, they are more inclined to take action and less likely to feel powerless. That’s one way that having a positive attitude enables resilience. 

2. Protect and develop people’s self-confidence. During a crisis, fear, uncertainty, and adversity can weaken employees’ self-confidence, negatively affecting their ability to learn and to perform just when their best efforts are needed most. Recognize and remind employees of their past achievements and strengthen their belief that they can adapt by supporting their efforts to grow and develop professionally. 

3. Increase team resilience by helping people feel connected by demonstrating and coaching interpersonal skills that foster strong, supportive relationships and create an environment of psychological safety within the team. Strong social ties at work improve performance, and this team connectivity has been identified as an important antecedent of resilience. That means a team’s success is heavily dependent on its members’ social intelligence.

4. Give people autonomy and make them feel empowered. It can be tempting to take charge, becoming more hands-on during difficult times, but that can be counterproductive. Empowered teams feel greater control over their work, which reduces the psychological demands of negative stress and boosts resilience. Whenever possible, provide clear strategy, objectives and critical guardrails, but give teams the freedom to determine how best to achieve the objectives. Empowered teams often find creative, new, more efficient ways to get the job done.

5. Build and maintain trust with transparent communication. Trust makes it easier for people to take calculated risks, speak up on important issues, and offer ideas that can lead to innovation. Protecting it requires leaders to be both consistently honest and true to their stated values and principles. People want reliable leaders whose actions match their words. When the news is bad, deliver it with empathy. Admit mistakes, even when it’s hard. Listen to and show respect for other people’s opinions and attempt to see things from others’ points of view. 

6. Unite people with a shared purpose and make them feel valued for their role in achieving it.Organizations typically exist to make life better for their customers or clients in some way—large or small. It’s easy to lose focus on that in a crisis, but people are more resilient when they know they are working toward a higher goal. Make sure people understand how their work fits into delivering on the organization’s purpose and give them something to work for beyond a paycheck. 

The ROI for Resilience

The ability to cope, recover, and learn from adversity is becoming more valuable as the world becomes more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. But resilience merits leaders’ attention in any business environment. Highly resilient employees are more likely to be engaged, consistently give their best efforts at work, and embrace change. Despite stressors and demands leaders can’t control, helping people maintain a positive attitude; building confidence and trust; and making employees feel valued, connected, and empowered can tip the balance toward greater resilience. While the material investment required to do so may be small, the return may prove to be immense.

Mark Marone, Ph.D., is the director of Research and Thought Leadership for Dale Carnegie & Associates, where he is responsible for ongoing research into current issues facing leaders, employees, and organizations worldwide. He has written frequently on topics related to corporate culture, leadership, sales, and customer experience and has coauthored two books on sales strategy. Marone can be reached at: mark.marone@dalecarnegie.com.

Playing it Safe

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 STEVE KEATING For Lead Today

If turbulent times teach us anything it’s that there is no such thing as “playing it safe.” Some of the “safest” people I know found themselves out of work. They were the “steady as she goes” types, making sure to never rock the boat. They had themselves a nice looking 401k until the stock market tanked and then just to be “safe” they sold much of it at rock bottom prices.

This has always been true but it’s even more so in challenging times… if you want to be safe then take a risk or two. Not crazy, ill considered risk but well thought out and planned risk.

Taking risks minimizes the possibility of looking back and asking, “what if?” Even if you fail, you walk away with more experience and knowledge. Lots of people would say that taking risks in one area of your life will lead to success in other areas of your life as well. I agree with those people.

Research says that people who take risks are far more likely to achieve their goals and live a more satisfying life.

Taking a well considered risk helps you stand out from the crowd of “safers” that settle for the status quo. Leaders accept risk as the price of success, they know that “good enough” is a direct path to mediocrity.

No matter what you hope to achieve in life taking a risk is a necessary step in actively pursuing success. Very seldom does anything of value fall into your lap. You must pursue it and with that pursuit comes risk.

Accept the fact that the appearance of failure also comes from taking a risk but also understand that appearance of failure is only a mirage. It doesn’t become real until you stop taking risks that can lead to your ultimate success.

If you have the courage, and yes it takes courage, to accept the risk that comes with pushing yourself to achieve your full potential then success will likely be yours. If you can’t muster the mindset that playing it safe leads to less then you’ll just have to settle for less than you know you deserve.

Take a well considered risk today and your chances for well earned success tomorrow go way way up!