Productive Meetings Can Help You Build a Better Business

by Young Entrepreneur Council – @yec

SMEs 2

We’ve all been there – sitting in a last minute all-hands meeting that was only scheduled to discuss another upcoming meeting. There’s no real agenda, items have been delegated to thin air, and two hours later, no one has any idea what they’re doing there in the first place.

Here’s how you can reclaim your meetings with five productive steps:

Make Someone Directly Responsible for Specific Tasks

This way, you can be certain that it will get done. The person you assign the project to should be someone who understands the message clearly, and who is able to delegate organized instructions and follow up with their team as the project progresses.

 Create an Agenda and Circulate it 24 Hours Prior to Meeting

Team members will benefit from staying on track, and will better understand the priorities of each task.

Set Strict Meeting Times, and Stick to Them

Meetings should last 30 minutes maximum, but if it needs to go on longer, take an intermission for team members to regroup and refresh before diving back in.

Ask Your Team to Recap During the Last Two Minutes

To ensure everyone is on the same page, use the last two minutes of the allotted meeting time to have each delegated member provide a 15-20 second summary of what they are responsible for.

Trends That Will Forever Change the Way We Work

by Elizabeth Dukes – @iOfficeCorp

Here are three trends that are sure to shape your future workplace – if they haven’t started to already.

Extremely flexible work arrangements.

The rise of technology and flexible work through the on-demand economy is putting pressure on companies to offer more appealing options when it comes to flexibility. Some companies have large percentages of employees telecommute regularly, or work four days a week.

Required tech skills for roles not traditionally related to tech.

Technology is at the heart of any rapidly changing business or industry. This is why software skills, or even just software experience, has become a key requirement for roles in nearly every industry. Even jobs previously seen as relatively low skill or entry level often require specialized software experience.

Disappearing and emerging jobs.

Research may suggest that nearly half of US jobs are at risk of disappearing due to automation, but this should inspire business leaders to think about what will come next. Right now it’s looking like virtual reality and 5G are gaining momentum. No one can deny the workplace is changing, but keeping ahead of these trends can help position your company for success tomorrow and beyond.

Leave Work at a Reasonable Hour

by Caroline Liu

The Free Tool That Will Make it Way Easier for You to Leave Work at a Reasonable Hour:

A free program called Toggl is designed to give you more clarity and insight into the breakdown of your day so you can be even more conscientious and efficient. Its main purpose is simple: to record exactly how many minutes go into every task you do.

Keeping track of your time usage could completely open your eyes to what does and doesn’t work for you. And if being a stronger asset for your company doesn’t help your blood pressure settle, then having a few more hours of leeway each week certainly will.

11 Public Speaking Tips From the Best TED Talks Speakers

by Geoffrey James – @Sales_Source

Tip Number 1: Use self-deprecating humor to lower barriers.

By puncturing your own balloon, he makes everyone feel more comfortable and more sympathetic to what he has to say.

Tip Number 2: Tie your experience to the shared experience.

Relate your personal experience at the conference to that of the attendees. It helps humanize you and bring you into the community of the audience.

Tip Number 3: Get the audience to take an immediate action.

The point of all public speaking is to convince the audience to make a decision, which means convincing them to move (conceptually) from wherever they are to where you want them to be. Getting the audience to do something physical gives you that momentum.

Tip Number 4: Create a sense of suspense.

If you give the audience something to look forward to in your speech, they will be more likely to pay attention lest they miss the promised nugget of wisdom.

Tip Number 5: Express passion for your subject matter.

The passion you feel for your material will shine through in your demeanor. Be energetic and focused, and that energy will give a boost to the audience.

Tip Number 6: Set appropriate expectations.

Deconstruct the preconceptions of the audience while simultaneously focusing their attention on what they can potentially learn from him.

Tip Number 7: Begin with a relevant anecdote.

Stories have power because human beings are genetically programmed to arrange thoughts into narratives. Choose an anecdote that is relevant to both yourself and your message.

Tip Number 8: Use body language to signal a segue.

Change your expression and stance to communicate to the audience that the topics are changing tone. These visual cues help the audience make sense of the material, much like punctuation in a sentence.

Tip Number 9: Start with a startling fact or statistic.

Startling facts grab the attention of both sides of the brain. The neurons in your left brain signal “Yay, here’s a fact to remember!” while the neurons in your right brain signal “wow, that’s really weird!”

Tip Number 10: Use visually arresting graphics.

Choose graphics that successfully convey information and also emotionally stimulate and you can completely capture the imagination and interest of the audience.

Tip Number 11: Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Harder said than done, but simplify without being simplistic. Work on reducing complex ideas into easily understood chunks of content.



Leadership Traits That Span the Generation Gap

Marcel Schwantes for

While there are countless ways to provide exceptional leadership in whatever role you’re in, the best leaders cannot do it without consistently acting on these four things.

They envision the future and get others to do the same.

Inspiration in its most authentic form appeals on an emotional level. A true and honest servant leader will put great importance on their tribe and inspire each person to see the vision like they do.

They take initiative and act.

The best leaders won’t sit on decisions waiting for urgency to come knocking. They take risks and create urgency with intent and purpose, driving the bus closer toward the mission. They are driven and want results, but not at the expense of their people.

They clarify goals and expectations.

Great leaders provide leadership by communicating consistently about where the bus is headed. One of the top five reasons, according to a Gallup research study, that employees are disengaged and companies have high turnover is because of a lack of clear goals and expectations.

They communicate with their mouths and ears.

Intentionally spend time with your tribe members to learn more about them and to discover their strengths and interests. You do so by listening intently, and in doing so you may also identify opportunities where they could contribute more to other projects. The best form of communication is still done the old-fashion way: through one-on-one meetings.

CMCA Recertification

CMCA recertification 30-day reminder notices have already been sent out to individuals with an October 1st, 2016, recertification date. Annual service fee invoices were also sent. You can find out more information online at or by contacting our Recertification Associate, Christian Lesnek, at Over 16,000 community association managers have been certified worldwide, making a career-long commitment to professionalism in the field of community association management.

Check the Directory to see if you need to recertify:


CMCA Job Analysis Survey

An invitation to participate in a new CMCA Job Analysis Survey was recently forwarded to a broad range of individuals active in the professional community association management field.   The Job Analysis Survey, conducted about every five years, asks survey respondents to evaluate the importance of a broad range of tasks and knowledge areas important to the successful job performance of a working professional community association manager.  The results of the survey are used to build the CMCA examination blueprint, assuring that the exam reflects the current job responsibilities of a professional manager.  The survey results help assure that the CMCA examination is testing what it should be testing.

Invitations to participate in the survey were forwarded earlier this summer from Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), CAMICB’s test development partner.  The survey is scheduled to close in mid-September.  If you have received a survey invitation your participation in the survey is strongly encouraged: a strong Job Analysis Survey is key to maintaining the strength and integrity of the CMCA examination.   Active CMCAs who complete the Job Analysis Survey will receive two hours of continuing education credit toward CMCA recertification.

Need a Simple Calendar Trick?

By Caroline Liu

The Simple Calendar Trick That Made My Life So Much More Manageable:

If you’ve ever had a crazy busy week and wished you could just slow down and give yourself a break, then you understand. So, how did I pull it all off? The answer is simple: I had an on-off switch for when things got too overwhelming. And I call it the “optional” calendar. Put anything that isn’t mandatory on this calendar. These are events that, ideally, I’ll be able to fit in, but they’re the first to go when I’m feeling stressed.

It doesn’t require anything to turn it on and off, and the relief you’ll experience when you realize all of the things you don’t have to do is awesome. On the other hand, if you suddenly find yourself looking for something to do, it may be as easy as seeing what your optional options are. Much easier than coming up with something on the fly when your afternoon unexpectedly opens up!

Prepare Your HOA For Fall

From FristService Residential

Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your building or community at its autumn best.


Fall is the perfect time to spray for bugs and weeds, and to plant annuals in your landscaping beds. Also be sure to check your equipment, including your watering clocks and your irrigation system to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. And don’t forget to remove all of the hoses from hose bibs, and clear away fallen leaves from bushes and drainage areas!

Pool and Spapool_0

Check your motors and pumps and clean replace the filters. It’s also a good time to take a look at the piping to see if you have any leaks or corrosion. Don’t forget to clean all the filter baskets and grease the pump motor and bearings.


Now that the days are growing shorter, it’s a good time to check for bad bulbs and any broken lighting fixtures. You may opt to do a full LED conversion – a win-win for both reducing your energy costs and protecting the environment!

Seasonal Décor

If you’re planning to decorate deciduous trees, be absolutely certain that they’re trimmed back before lighting to reduce fire hazards!

Tips for Being Productive at Work When You’re Running on No Sleep

From The Muse

Step 1: Proofread Everything

When I say everything, I mean everything. That includes obvious things like reading the body of an email aloud before you hit send. Keeping your emails polished gives off the impression that you still have it together, and have enough resources to communicate effectively. No one will know if you spend an extra five minutes on everything you write, but they will notice if you skip this step.

Step 2: Only Write Things You’d Make Public

Before I hit send, I also double check the “to” field. Have you ever accidentally sent an email to the person you’re talk about instead of the intended recipient? Well, situations like this are all the more likely when you’re exhausted. Since you’re not at the top of your game, make sure absolutely everything you say reflects the best of you.

Step 3: Allow for Response Time

Speaking of not being at your best, there’s a higher likelihood your initial take on things won’t be your final take. Give everything some time to process and sink in. You’ll seem just as on top of things as ever as opposed to reacting to things.

Step 4: Save Tough Tasks for When You’re Better Rested

Give yourself a few minutes to think on whatever idea was stumping you earlier that day.