The dreaded “C” word for many is commitment. Like a commitment in a relationship, being committed, as a servant leader, is simple but not easy. Here we are talking about being committed to others not yourself. Again, like a relationship, that level of commitment means always thinking of the needs of others (your kids, your spouse, your best friend, the owners, the residents). Notice I didn’t say always putting them first, or always putting their needs before your own. It means thinking of their needs and being committed to fulfilling those needs if possible. In a community association the needs of hundreds or thousands of residents will never all be aligned nor even realistic. However, if you start by being aware of those needs by truly listening and understanding those needs you are on your way to commitment.
To truly commit it takes more than awareness and understanding. It takes a person who can take action to fulfill those needs even if they are contrary to your needs. The best example is the community that needs to raise assessments in order to perform deferred maintenance. Most owners are supportive as the lack of repairs is affecting property values. A retired, fixed-income board member does not want the increase as it will be difficult on their fixed budget and he has no plan to sell his home in the future. As a committed, servant leader he would push for the increase and the needs of others instead of himself. You can read more about this concept and how it relates to fiduciary duty in our article.