“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

This famous quote of General George S. Patton indicated his formidable style during World War II. While Patton was a complicated military figure, there can be little debate over whether he was a quotable and admiral leader both on and off the battlefield. Patton led his soldiers by example. While he’s best known for commanding troops during World War II and perfecting the art of tank warfare, his troops knew he was more than willing to personally get into the fight.

Courageous community association management leaders – those leaders who can make tough decisions and manage difficult issues in the association – are essential to any organization. Courageous leaders possess many common traits that are desirable in leading an HOA Board or other leadership position within the association.

 

Courageous community association management leaders…

Set Clear Expectations. Clearly understanding goals and communicating expectations is vital to achieving the results you want. Courageous leaders are excellent communicators who can outline actions needed to reach an objective. The Board, volunteers, vendors, and others in the HOA know what the goal is and how to achieve it.

Make Tough Decisions. It’s easy for a Board to turn to “analysis paralysis” when you aren’t sure which way is the right way. A courageous leader weighs the options, accepts the risks of their decision, and moves confidently forward.

Are Accountable. Courageous leaders know that accountability begins with them and accept responsibility for mistakes or even failures. Courageous leaders give people the right tools and information to perform a task, and expect them to deliver. They also have the courage to call someone out if he/she doesn’t follow through.

Give Credit to Others. Courageous leaders are unselfish when sharing credit with others deserving of recognition.

Avoid “Yes Men”. Good leaders don’t want to hear from “yes men.” They encourage healthy debate, listening for better ideas, and planning different options. Patton may have been a brilliant tactician on the battlefield, but he was also realistic. If one of his subordinates noticed something wasn’t working or had a better idea, according to this quote, he’d be interested to hear what it was.

Never Micromanage. People dislike being micromanaged. A good leader, as Patton knew, tells his or her subordinates what is expected, or what the overall goal is. They don’t need to give a step-by-step explanation. It’s a waste of a leader’s time and worse, most people resent it.

Do More Than is Required. The bare minimum amount of work didn’t cut it for Patton. “An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team,” he said.  He wanted his men to think about what more they could do for the greater good of the unit, instead of only thinking about themselves. This quote can certainly apply to organizations outside of the military.

Lead with Integrity. Good community association management leaders encourage their subordinates to always act with integrity. Even when it’s not the most popular thing to do. Moral courage is all about doing the right thing, even if that decision may result in adverse consequences. Patton understood the value in this — along with the reason why most people didn’t have it.