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Community Association Publishing Services

tools & resources for creating community

Creating Community Blog

Are You a Problem Solver or a Problem Finder?

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 6:10 PM

As a community association manager, do you find that you spend most, if not all, of your time solving problems? If so, you are stuck in a vicious cycle that you need to escape if you ever want to take more control over your time and your life...both personal & professional.


When you spend most of your time solving problems, these are the consequences:


- Always playing catch-up because problems are always coming up and interfering with what you are trying to get done.


- Working after-hours and/or on weekends (Not a negative consequence if you are paid hourly, but if not...then it sucks!).


- The progress towards creating community unity in your community association(s) becomes stalled because new programs and/or tools are always on the "to do" list and never checked off as completed.


- Your community association(s) is more difficult to manage, takes up more time/energy then you have hours in the day and you view just surviving the day as a good day.



How do you solve the problem of having to spend all of your time solving problems? By doing what we are both doing right now: Identifying problems.

How is the best way to identify problems? By always asking "Why?" 

- Why am I getting so many emails and phone calls from homeowners?

- Why are there so many non-compliance issues within the community?

- Why don't more residents choose to get involved in community events/activities?

- Why doesn't anyone seem to know what is going on in the community?

- Why don't residents have more respect for community leadership?

- Why doesn't the Board of Directors get along with each other?



If you devote a period of time to finding (identifying) problems, then you are in a better position to solve that problem BEFORE it begins to take up unnecessary time in your day. You begin to become PROACTIVE and spend less time being REACTIVE. Being proactive produces rewards. Being reactive creates consequences.


When you spend time identifying problems, these are the rewards:


- You spend less time having to deal with problems that use to arise suddenly because you have anticipated them in advance and have taken measures to solve them BEFORE they happen.


- You go home earlier and work less weekends because you are not playing catch-up as often.


- Your "to do" lists get accomplished sooner and more effectively.


- There is more community unity within your community association(s) which translates into more compliance, support, understanding, engagement and participation.


- Your community association(s) is easier to manage.


Being productive is an integral component of successful community association leadership/management. However, always try to remember that being productive is often the result of working SMARTER not necessarily working MORE. If you have a better understanding of the power of spending more of your time IDENTIFYING problems than spending your time SOLVING problems, then you have taken the first step towards turning an attitude that accepts another day of SURVIVING into an attitude that celebrates another day of THRIVING!

Michael Pierson is CEO/President of Community Association Publishing Services (CAPS). He is the author of “Taking Control: Time Management and Communication Tools for Community Association Management" and "Creating Community: The Art of Empowerment in Community Association Living."