HOA’s Harm
Dysfunctional Boards --- HERE’S YOUR SIGN ---
“Dysfunctional”, in this context, includes but goes beyond the common dictionary definition (“not operating normally or properly”). It also includes organizational and individual patterns that are highly destructive to organizational and individual health and functioning. The following applies to many HOA Boards, regardless of “political” orientation. It is based on direct observation input from many sources Nationwide. Global Deficits - Lack of Necessary/Appropriate Qualifications Dir. Qualifications have MINIMAL Connection to Assn. Needs Background-checks rarely done Result: Dirs. with impaired personal & leadership skills Lack of Ongoing Edu./Training NO Plan Result: Furthers the above skill-gap & serves members poorly No “Strategic Planning” Only given lip-service Unclear Organizational Structure (no org. chart) Unclear lines-of-communication Problems with information access, validity, process Dirs. & Staff Frequently Disrupt Appropriate Lines-of-Communication Lack of Counter-Balance or Check for Rogue Dirs. or Boards No Strong, Clear Laws or Guidelines No One Assertive Enough Skill Deficits - Weak or Aggressive Leadership Skills Chronic Struggles for Power/Control Vs. Cooperation Poor Critical Thinking Skills Decision making Problem-solving Reasoning Glib Use of Technical Words W/O Full Understanding “Transparency” “Strategic Planning” “Feduciary Duty” Poor Conflict Management Skills Tendency Toward Secrecy & Manipulation Poor Comupter/Internet Skills Handicaps Board Processes Destructive Thinking-Behavior Patterns - Directors with Anger Issues Angry outbursts, other controlling behaviors. Inflexible Thinking Learning/Thinking/Speaking/Language Issues Poor Creative Thinking Speech Impairments Excessive Need for Control Chronic Poor Follow-Up, Follow-Through Most Significant Drag on Progress View HOA as a “Personal Possession” Vs. City/Town “Country Club” Agendas “Political” vs. Issue-Based Personal vs Issues Focus Dissent Suppression Due to Poor Conflict Management Skills Stifles creative thinking & problem-solving “One Voice” policy Bully Groups Selective/Inappropriate Use of Roberts’ Rules, Parliamentary Procedure Due to skill-deficits, manipulation, political expediency Impaired Problem Recognition Poor Ability to Recognize & Objectively Frame Problems Extremely Destructive Patterns - Collective Narcissism.” HOA’s due to their inherent imbalance-of-power of Boards over members, their marked tendency toward imbalances in overall power-structure, plus their glaring lack of effective controls over rogue directors, are a set-up for inevitable problems. Even though there are some, institutionalized controls in HOA’s over rogue staff or members, if a particular Board or GM is not decisive or strong enough, rogue staff and/or members can still cause significant damage/harm. For Example: Some HOA’s have small groups of members who see themselves as “superior” to other members (based upon length of residency, self-perceived “commitment”, “involvement” and “contribution” to the Community). In addition, they believe the usual “rules don’t apply” to them, and, that they have an “entitlement” above other members to receive options, handling, services and deference over other members. Further, they view themselves as the only “true” owners of the HOA. Last but not least, they consider themselves as exempt from criticism or punitive actions because of how much they believe they’ve “given” to the HOA. “Collectively”, if a group such as this gains control of the board(s), they have been known to: *Terminate GM’s that don’t toe-their-line; *Eliminate (recall, censure, harassment) uncooperative directors; *Conspire to falsify HOA financials; *Use cronyism, nepotism and inside-dealing for personal inurement; *Forestalled upkeep of disfavored amenities (hastening their deterioration); *Enrich their favored amenities (golf, dining, drinking); *Stifle participation of other members in governance processes; *Deprive other members of new amenities by obfuscating planning processes and blocking funding; *Under-fund reserves;
HOA’s Harm
Dysfunctional Boards --- HERE’S YOUR SIGN ---
“Dysfunctional”, in this context, includes but goes beyond the common dictionary definition (“not operating normally or properly”). It also includes organizational and individual patterns that are highly destructive to organizational and individual health and functioning. The following applies to many HOA Boards, regardless of “political” orientation. It is based on direct observation input from many sources Nationwide. Global Deficits - Lack of Necessary/Appropriate Qualifications Dir. Qualifications have MINIMAL Connection to Assn. Needs Background-checks rarely done Result: Dirs. with impaired personal & leadership skills Lack of Ongoing Edu./Training NO Plan Result: Furthers the above skill-gap & serves members poorly No “Strategic Planning” Only given lip-service Unclear Organizational Structure (no org. chart) Unclear lines-of-communication Problems with information access, validity, process Dirs. & Staff Frequently Disrupt Appropriate Lines-of-Communication Lack of Counter-Balance or Check for Rogue Dirs. or Boards No Strong, Clear Laws or Guidelines No One Assertive Enough Skill Deficits - Weak or Aggressive Leadership Skills Chronic Struggles for Power/Control Vs. Cooperation Poor Critical Thinking Skills Decision making Problem-solving Reasoning Glib Use of Technical Words W/O Full Understanding “Transparency” “Strategic Planning” “Feduciary Duty” Poor Conflict Management Skills Tendency Toward Secrecy & Manipulation Poor Comupter/Internet Skills Handicaps Board Processes Destructive Thinking-Behavior Patterns - Directors with Anger Issues Angry outbursts, other controlling behaviors. Inflexible Thinking Learning/Thinking/Speaking/Language Issues Poor Creative Thinking Speech Impairments Excessive Need for Control Chronic Poor Follow-Up, Follow-Through Most Significant Drag on Progress View HOA as a “Personal Possession” Vs. City/Town “Country Club” Agendas “Political” vs. Issue-Based Personal vs Issues Focus Dissent Suppression Due to Poor Conflict Management Skills Stifles creative thinking & problem-solving “One Voice” policy Bully Groups Selective/Inappropriate Use of Roberts’ Rules, Parliamentary Procedure Due to skill-deficits, manipulation, political expediency Impaired Problem Recognition Poor Ability to Recognize & Objectively Frame Problems Extremely Destructive Patterns - Collective Narcissism.” HOA’s due to their inherent imbalance-of-power of Boards over members, their marked tendency toward imbalances in overall power-structure, plus their glaring lack of effective controls over rogue directors, are a set-up for inevitable problems. Even though there are some, institutionalized controls in HOA’s over rogue staff or members, if a particular Board or GM is not decisive or strong enough, rogue staff and/or members can still cause significant damage/harm. For Example: Some HOA’s have small groups of members who see themselves as “superior” to other members (based upon length of residency, self-perceived “commitment”, “involvement” and “contribution” to the Community). In addition, they believe the usual “rules don’t apply” to them, and, that they have an “entitlement” above other members to receive options, handling, services and deference over other members. Further, they view themselves as the only “true” owners of the HOA. Last but not least, they consider themselves as exempt from criticism or punitive actions because of how much they believe they’ve “given” to the HOA. “Collectively”, if a group such as this gains control of the board(s), they have been known to: *Terminate GM’s that don’t toe-their-line; *Eliminate (recall, censure, harassment) uncooperative directors; *Conspire to falsify HOA financials; *Use cronyism, nepotism and inside-dealing for personal inurement; *Forestalled upkeep of disfavored amenities (hastening their deterioration); *Enrich their favored amenities (golf, dining, drinking); *Stifle participation of other members in governance processes; *Deprive other members of new amenities by obfuscating planning processes and blocking funding; *Under-fund reserves; *Use ineffective collection methods for assessment delinquencies. Such groups often show no contrition, shame or even responsibility for any of the harm they cause to the general membership. In fact, when confronted with any of the consequences of their conduct, they cry foul, deny accountability and counter-attack, in true “narcissistic-style.” In HOA’s where groups like these have held sway for decades, their “success” and sense of power spurs them onward to continue running rough-shod over the general membership and any director(s) who stands in their way. They come to have no compunction about doing whatever-it-takes to eliminate anything/anyone in their way. BOTTOM LINE: Even the most “well-intentioned” members who engage in a significant number of the above patterns can harm an HOA, significantly. Toward-the-extreme there are: (1) Those who consistently engage in many of these patterns with minimal awareness; (2) Those who engage without any regard for their impact; (3) Those who purposefully engage in pursuit of power; and, (4) Those who endeavor to form groups using most of these patterns. All of these do harm to an HOA. But, it is the latter two (#3, #4) that tend to be ruthless and completely unscrupulous. Their followers will follow, no matter what. Any efforts to “work-with- them” will fail. Attempts to appeal to….. or compromising with…. will be seen as an attack on their “essential nature.” They can eventually destroy everything and everyone else in an HOA if they are not stopped. They can ONLY be stopped by getting them and keeping them out of any “power” positions; and adopting policies/procedures toward those ends.