Thursday, September 12, 2013

9 reasons to fire your association board members

Over the years, I’ve spotted nine big actions for which board members should be taken to the wood shed and/or fired.

Some are worse than others. Here are my top nine in no specific order:

  1. Sexual misconduct and/or harassment.
  2. Consistently fails to show up for meetings.
  3. Rather than doing what’s best for the entire association, advocates his/her special interests.
  4. Goes behind CEO’s back to “instruct” staff.
  5. Conflict of interest.
  6. Criticizes board decisions in public.
  7. Purposely surfaces major issue not on agenda.
  8. Doesn’t prepare for meeting or read materials.
  9. Expects special benefits because he/she’s a board member.
What other actions of board members do you find offensive? Please share your comments on this blog post at

Stop Bad Behavior Now

When board members violate basic tenants of association management, stop it immediately. Many board members don’t know how to be a board member. 

Teach them or fire them.

I know, they are your boss. But, you are the association professional. 

What can an association executive do?

  1. Be sure you have an association policy manual that outlines specific board responsibilities and job description. This should lay out the fiduciary obligations as well as “do’s and don’ts.”
  2. Review these policies annually with the entire board as well as in an orientation session with new directors.
  3. Working with your volunteer leaders, develop a board culture that “calls out” bad behavior. 
  4. Coach your volunteer president or chair to visit individually with offending board members.
  5. Ensure the board is willing to “fire” habitual violators.
What else do you do?   Please share your comments on this blog post at

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