Board Owner Do’s and Don’ts What Makes a Board Successful?

It only takes a few minutes of a web search to uncover the traits that make a successful person or business owner. For example, Entrepreneur magazine’s Steven Key wrote the article, “5 Qualities of Successful Persons,” which included such traits as open-mindedness, unwavering passion, and a forward-looking approach. But what makes a board, which is made up of individuals volunteering their time, a successful one?

Be Collaborative

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

The definition of collaboration is the act of working with another or others on a joint project. “Members of an effective and successful board are all on the same page,” says Dale Young, director of portfolio management, FirstService Residential in Chicago. “They are seeking improvements and infrastructure that is in the best interest of the community. In a successful board there are no personal agendas. The board should be serving in the best interest of the association as a whole.”

Listen Well

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”—Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.

When asked what makes for a successful board, Brian Lozell of Seneca Real Estate in Chicago said, “They listen to me.” His tongue-in-cheek response had a note of seriousness to it. “If you went to the dentist, you would heed his advice, right?” says Lozell. “Boards need to listen to the professionals who are engaged in the business.”


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