Business trips can be jam-packed with presentations, meetings, buffet lunches and lots of sitting around. Even though the days begin early and you have a full workload, don’t neglect your commitment to fitness. Not only will you physically feel better, you will be more mentally focused.
If you’ve been on a fitness plan at home, there’s no reason not to keep with it while you’re out of town.
“Continuing your wellness regimen including exercise and nutrition during business trips is critical for maintaining healthy habits you’ve developed,” says Andrea Levine, an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and Mayo Clinic-trained wellness coach, who teach classes at Equinox and New York Health & Racquet Club in New York City. “Often the biggest pitfall in losing or maintaining weight is stopping and then trying to start again; the more second nature a behavior is, the easier it is to stick with it. Further, if you travel frequently for work, unhealthy behaviors, particularly with nutrition, can sabotage the great work you’re doing at home to improve your health.”
We’ve rounded up tips for from fitness gurus who share how you can put a jump in your step with a little bit of effort the next time you’re on a business trip.
Make sure you pack what you need
Plan ahead and pack sneakers, work-out clothing, some portable, lightweight equipment or a yoga mat. Even though you’re probably packing by carry-on, these items are important to keep your commitment to fitness.
Run if you’re a runner
Levine suggests asking the concierge for a map of the area and recommended running routes. “This is a great way to see the city before or after meetings while doing something good for yourself,” she says. Be sure to be careful where you are going and to bring a cell phone for emergencies. Even better, bring a work friend to run with.
Book a hotel with a gym or pool
Most hotels have a fitness center. The center doesn’t have to be fancy, and will usually have some cardio equipment to get you through a basic work-out. Consider going early in the morning or if you get a chance to get back to the hotel mid-day, take a swim to burn the carbs from lunch.
Bring your own small gear for an in-room workout
Levine says to consider purchasing resistance bands or booty bands for a lightweight, compact piece of equipment you can carry anywhere. Opt for high-intensity interval training to get that heart rate up and boost your metabolic rate for the remainder of the day, she says. To do this, work for short periods of time at 75-85% of your maximum heart rate (or what feels like an 8 out of 10 on a scale of difficulty) followed by recovery.
“My go-to circuit is eight exercises, working 40 seconds on followed by 20 seconds of recovery,” she says. Another option is to perform Tabata intervals, working 20 seconds on with 10 seconds of recovery for 4 minutes.
“These circuits can be done with any combination of plyometric exercises e.g., jump squats, burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers) and strength exercises e.g., push-ups, kettlebell swings, shoulder presses,” she adds.
If nothing else, follow the sage advice of adding in more steps however you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from the entrance of everywhere you go, pace the room while on the phone or even during an in-person meeting, if that’s an option, says Levine.
Take a walk around the place you’re visiting if the weather permits or if there’s an indoor mall nearby consider a stroll not only to exercise but to clear your head.
Use anything you can in your hotel room
Tadeo Arnold, a celebrity fitness trainer in Los Angeles, says don’t fret if you don’t have gym supplies in your luggage or a gym at your reach. Use what you do have at your disposal and multitask.
“You can also watch the morning news or listen to the radio while you’re getting in your exercises,” he says. And the best part all equipment free in your hotel room. Here are some ideas for a generic desk chair.
Start with dips. “Place both hands on the seat of the chair (facing away from the chair) and dip your body down and up to work your triceps,” he says. Next, try split squats. “Put one leg on the chair (facing the chair) and do a split squat down and up to work your upper legs,” he says. Follow those with push-ups. “Prop both feet on top of a chair (or a couch for easier resistance) and push up and down working your full upper body,” Arnold explains.
Go one step further and do chair squats. “Squat down until your bum hits the chair, then jump up,” he adds. This mini work-out can do done in minutes before breakfast packed with healthy protein for energy to tackle your day of meetings.
Try a flexible gym subscription service
One idea is ClassPass, a monthly subscription service providing access to a large network of small fitness studios and gyms. Class options include dance, yoga, indoor cycling and Pilates and others. With thousands of classes at more than 8,500 locations in 40 major cities in the United States, it’s easy to catch a class while on a business trip. An app makes sign-up for classes quick and convenient. They are also user reviews to help you choose a class.
“This usually results in lower costs than purchasing individual classes or services directly. While it is a monthly subscription plan, members can cancel any time before the next cycle is charged,” says Levine.
Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) is tremendously proud to begin the celebration of our 25th anniversary year, marking a quarter century of commitment to professionalism in the field of community association management.
CAMICB – established in 1995 as the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers (NBC-CAM) – grew out of a desire within our field to establish community association management as a distinct profession, defined by a commitment to professionalism, integrity, and mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to serve effectively as a community association manager. The change to CAMICB (then NBC-CAM) in 1995 was clear and specific: develop a credentialing program for community association managers anchored by a strong examination, testing candidates in the key areas of a manager’s responsibilities, and reward successful candidates with a strong, recognizable credential, positioned to evolve into the standard – “The Essential Credential”—in the field of community association management.
The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) examination wasadministered for the first time in 1996. In the years following the CMCA examination earned initial accreditation through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), representing independent, third party validation of the program’s compliance with best practices in professional credentialing and placing the CMCA program on a par with leading professional credentialing bodies. The CMCA examination has been reaccredited twice by NCCA, most recently at the close of 2019. The examination development, maintenance, and oversight process has engaged an extraordinary, dedicated group of volunteer leaders and subject matter experts.
As recognition of the value of the CMCA credential grew within the United States it also grew around the world. In 2013 NBC-CAM became CAMICB, recognizing growing international interest in the credential. In this anniversary year CAMICB will continue development of an international form of the CMCA examination with active delivery of the examination projected in Dubai, Australia, and elsewhere around the world and will pursue international accreditation for the CMCA examination.
It is particularly gratifying to celebrate our 25th Anniversary at a time when the future looks so bright for our profession. Today, there are more than 73.5 million homeowners in the United States living in common interest communities. Demand for knowledgeable and committed professional community association managers is extremely high, and CAMICB is committed to maintaining the CMCA credential as the benchmark of professionalism in our field. In November 2019 CAMICB was proud to award the 20,000th CMCA credential.
Our friends and colleagues at Community Associations Institute (CAI) have been key strategic partners in the growth of CAMICB and in the growing recognition of the value of the CMCA credential. To mark the start of CAMICB’s 25th Anniversary year CAI’s signature publication, Common Ground, features a cover story highlighting the history of our organization and the importance of the CMCA credential to the field of community association management. The article is extremely well done and serves as a stellar kick off to our 25th Anniversary. You can read the full article here.
The commitment to the field of community association management made by the founders of our organization 25 years ago is embodied today in the managers who hold the CMCA credential. To our credential holders, stakeholders and friends in the profession – I thank you for your continued commitment to CAMICB. Please join us as we celebrate a remarkable milestone. Watch www.camicb.org and our social media sites for profiles, feature stories, and updates as the year unfolds.
Here’s to another quarter century!
Drew Mulhare CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM
Chair, CAMICB Board of Commissioners
What do those letters behind your name mean?
By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director, CAMICB
Even for those deeply entrenched in the credentialing world, there’s a certain degree of confusion around some of the terminology used to describe specific paths professionals take to further their careers and skill sets. The field of community association management is no different so it’s important to educate managers, homeowners, and other community association professionals about the different options the profession has to offer and the value they hold.
According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), “credentialing” is an umbrella term used to refer to concepts such as professional certification, certificate programs, accreditation, licensure, and regulation.
ICE defines certification, licensure, assessment-based certificate, and accreditation in the following ways:
- A certification program is designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a particular job, and, upon successfully passing a certification exam, to represent a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence, such as a community manager who has achieved the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®). In some professions, certification is a requirement for employment or practice.
- Similarly, licensure tests an individual’s competence but is a mandatory process by which the government grants time-limited permission for that licensed individual to practice his or her profession, such as a real estate salesperson or real estate broker.
- In contrast to certification and licensure, an assessment-based certificate program is an educational or training program that is used to teach learning objectives and assess whether those objectives were achieved by the student.
- Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards and is awarded recognition if it is in compliance with those standards. The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) is such a program. ICE currently offers accreditation to professional certification programs through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
The CMCA credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) confirming it complies with NCCA’s stringent standards for a professional certification program. Accreditation validates the integrity of the CMCA program and is a mark of quality.
Community association professionals may also choose to bolster their careers and expand their level of expertise in certain areas. This is where specialty designations come into play. A “designation” is recognition of professional knowledge and expertise in a given subject matter or job skill. To earn designations, membership is required in a professional organization and usually requires work experience. Certain specialty designations are offered through the Community Associations Institute (CAI) including, the Association Management Specialist (AMS), Large Scale Manager (LSM), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS) and Reserve Specialist (RS). This allows a community association professional to drill down into a specialized aspect of the business. In some cases, for example the PCAM and AMS designations, passing the CMCA examination is a prerequisite to applying for these designations.
I’ve experienced a wide disparity in the background and quality of the managers with whom I’ve worked,” said Ron Perl, Esq., a Partner at Hill Wallack LLP, who leads the firm’s community association practice group. “A manager who holds the CMCA assures me they have an important foundation in place – the ongoing education and knowledge necessary to successfully manage millions of dollars worth of other people’s property and a serious commitment to high ethical standards.”
Stephen Castle, CMCA, AMS, PCAM agrees all committed community association managers should hold the CMCA certification. “The CMCA certification demonstrates to employees and new managers a commitment to professionalism,” said Castle. “Further, CMCAs show their support for established national and international standards of knowledge and professional conduct for community association managers.”
The Certified Manager of Community Associations – The only accredited certification program in the world for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives.
The CMCA Goes Global
As CAMICB grew to be the premiere certification body in the United States for community association managers, it also gained international recognition for its established body of knowledge and strict ethical standards. Over the past two decades, the CMCA certification program crossed borders and oceans in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. This global expansion secured a high level of professionalism for association management and common interest communities worldwide. In 2017, CAMICB launched the international CMCA examination.
The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry. ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.
By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB Executive Director
Many employers offer some type of support for their CMCAs to earn the continuing education necessary to maintain their credential or the study time and preparation for non-CMCAs to successfully sit for the CMCA exam. While it may not be the first question that comes to mind when interviewing for a job – it’s important to ask what kinds of support system and benefits are in place. Employees should also be sure to review the Employee Handbook as most employers will reimburse managers for successful completion of a professional management development program.
According to Robert Felix, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, RS, owner of the Felix Reserve Group, an Industry Consulting/Reserve Study business, and President of Verity Property Management, “I believe we get to negotiate two things: compensation – including education – and time. Nothing speaks greater to a company’s support of their management team then allowing them to prepare for success. Permitting an employee to attend a preparatory class so they can pass the CMCA exam is a simple yet effective way to encourage professional development.”
Sandra Denton, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, General Manager for Sienna Associations agrees. “Giving employees paid time off to take a course and prepare for the CMCA exam puts them on a career path that benefits both the employee and the company. And, research shows that managers with certifications and designations ultimately earn more money than non-credentialed managers.”
At Sienna Associations, Denton notes that encouraging and supporting education for the staff is critical to the company’s success. “The more they know about the industry, the better able they are to serve our customers and reduce our risks, while taking pride in their work. Every year we budget for at least one educational course per staff member and we pay for many industry related credentials and designations/certifications. Further, when they earn them, we provide a special bonus.”
From an employer standpoint, Felix notes it’s a competitive marketplace and companies want their employees to stay, which they will do when they know the company is investing in them. “One only has to look at the number of companies seeking qualified managers to understand that you need an edge to attract good managers. Offering a program that costs less than $1,000 plus some continuing education allows a company to market its professional edge over its competitors.”
Felix also notes the important distinction between a job and a career. “Education allows employees to decide whether they’re in a job or a career. I ask that of my employees before starting them on an education track and making sure they understand the difference. A career involves commitment, energy, focus and desire. I want to see all of these in an individual before I invest in them. And, once invested, I follow along and continue to mentor them on their professional path. Leaving a clear thumbprint of support and opportunity for those who have the desire and drive is one of my greatest pleasures.”
For more information on CMCA exam prep and continuing education resources, go to www.camicb.org.
If you’re one of many CMCAs gearing up for the April 1 recertification date, make sure you’re on track to successfully complete the process. Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge. The summer months are a perfect time to regroup and recharge by participating in fun and educational learning opportunities.
Recertification is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. Recertifying CMCAs must participate in continuing education in the field of community association management totaling at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.
CMCA Recertification: Reinforcing The Value of The Essential Credential
The CMCA examination is NCCA-accredited and in the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. As a CMCA you can continue to enhance your marketability, show your dedication to your profession, and provide the highest level of guidance to your associations by continuing your education and maintaining your certification.
Recertification also provides the opportunity for you to reaffirm your commitment to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct to your community associations, your employers, your peers and the millions of people living in community associations.
There are numerous professional development opportunities for CMCAs, ranging from college degrees and coursework, to conferences, professional coaching, community workshops, seminars, symposiums, and webinars. There are many courses offered that cover a wide range of topics including community association management operations, administration, legal requirements, accounting, human resources, and public administration.
It’s important to note that anyone who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the following credentials will meet the CAMICB continuing education requirement:
- CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
- CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
- National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
- Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
- Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate
Not sure of your recertification date? Go to: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca
Visit www.camicb.org for useful resources, links, approved continuing education courses and providers.
Help us spread the word: 2020 marks the 25th anniversary for CAMICB! Please share this short video on your social media sites as we gear up for a full year of activities and celebration. Watch www.camicb.org and our social media sites for updates on what we’re doing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iaj7THy4ds4
Holding on to traditional management mantras may be stopping your organization from moving forward.
Are conventional leadership mantras holding you back from innovating? Sometimes best practices and forward thinking don’t go hand in hand.
An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review shares several typical management mantras that need some rethinking. Take this one, for example: “We need to define the problem we are trying to solve.” The author, Polina Makievsky, argues that an innovative thinker should focus not on the problem but on the positive goal she wants to achieve.
“To conduct a productive idea-generation process and motivate employees, it’s important to define an aspirational North Star for every innovation effort,” writes Makievsky. “In human-centered design, this is called a ‘positive goal statement,’ and it articulates the person or group you seek to influence and the behavior you want to see occur.”
The need for a “big idea” is another common management mantra, but Makievsky says small ideas can deliver big results: “Instead of trying to eat the whale in one swallow, organizations should tackle smaller, incremental challenges.”
Questions like “If you were an animal, what would you be and why?” seem frivolous — but they have a purpose.
Employers today aren’t necessarily only looking for candidates with the right set of technical skills and years of experience under their belt.
They also want to hire those who also have something unique to offer — like a great personality 0r a strong set of soft skills.
“In fact, if they find a candidate who has less experience than their competition, but has stronger growth potential and seems to be a better cultural fit, the employer may feel encouraged to hire that person,” said Edward Fleischman, chief executive officer of Execu Search, a full-service recruitment, temporary staffing, and retained search firm.
In an effort to find new hires that are great cultural fits, employers are putting more emphasis on soft skills, like organization, communication, leadership, initiatives, and the ability to think your feet.
To figure out if candidates possess the soft skills or personality fit that they are looking for, employers will ask questions like the ones outlined below.
What was the last new task or skill you learned, and how did you go about it?
“Employers ask this question to evaluate how a candidate views their own professional development,” Fleischman said.
He recommended answering with details on how you learn new skills. Emphasize that you’re curious and continually learning new things about your profession.
Tell me about a time that you did more than what was required on the job
Your interviewer wants to make sure that you’re committed to excelling.
So, Fleischman said, “give an example of a time where you went above and beyond the call of duty. This will also help show that you care about the quality of your work.”
If your best friend was sitting here, what would they say is the best part about being your friend?
The purpose of this question is to bring out a sense of honesty and candor in a candidate.
Learning about what makes an applicant a good friend allows employers to get a better feel for whether or not they would fit in with the company culture,” Fleischman said.
If you could change one thing about the way you approach challenges, what would it be?
This question puts candidates on the spot, and allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to admit there are some aspects of their professional life they would like to improve, Fleischman said.
“Since humility is an important quality to many employers, a response to this question is something they listen closely to,” he added.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
This inquiry is a favorite amongst hiring managers because it allows them to not only evaluate how quickly someone can think on their feet, but it also requires candidates to exercise some degree of creativity in a relatively short amount of time, Fleischman said.
These are two skills that can be applied to solving almost any business challenge.
What has the most satisfying moment in your life been?
When employers ask this question, they are looking to see what motivates a candidate and whether or not their values fit into the company culture, Fleischman said.
How would your last supervisor describe you in three words?
“This inquiry gives the employer a glimpse into how others view a candidate’s professional value,” Fleischman said.
What drives you in your professional life?
Employers ask this question to gain insight into what motivates a candidate both in their career and as a potential employee.
“As cultural fit becomes more important to employers and their business as a whole, many look for candidates whose goals align with theirs, and asking this question allows them to assess what exactly a candidate’s goals are,” Fleischman said.
What drives you in your personal life?
On a similar note, this question aims to delve into a candidate’s personality and better assess their cultural fit.
“By developing a better understanding of a job seeker’s non-work life, and by learning about what drives them personally, an employer can get a better grasp of the type of personality they’d be bringing to the company,” Fleischman said.
And, painting a picture of a candidate’s personal goals can help an employer better understand how motivated they are in general.
What types of hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
Just like learning about what drives someone in their personal life, discovering how someone spends their time outside of work and what specific activities they enjoy and invest in can give an interesting look into their personality, Fleischman said.
In addition, hobbies can translate into specific soft and hard skills that can be applicable to many jobs, and employers are often interested in learning what a candidate has to offer outside their resume’s “skills” section.
Can you take me through a scenario at work that was particularly stressful for you, and how you handled it?
This question shows not only the candidate’s ability to think on their feet, but also their ability to be diplomatic, Fleischman said.
For example, if the stressful situation was due to someone else’s errors, was the candidate able to speak about it in a professional, tactful way?
Or, if the stressful situation was due to their own error, it shows a great deal about a candidate if they can take responsibility for it in their explanation.
If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and why?
Many people admire certain celebrities and public figures. Learning about who a candidate would be most excited to meet offers another interesting viewpoint into their personality and their values — two important factors of cultural fit.
Have you ever played on a sports team?
The answer to this question can reveal personality traits that are important to certain companies, depending on the nature of their business.
“For example, a former athlete could be a great team player or, depending on the sport or position they played, may thrive best while working on their own,” Fleischman said.
Athletes often have a competitive nature, which can be good or bad.