The “Dream Team” label is often used to describe a perfect combination of highly-skilled people drawn together for a particular purpose. The 1992 U.S. mens' Olympic basketball team is probably the most famous example, but 'dream teams' have included everything from legal defense attorneys to diplomatic missions.
Like Pippin, Jordan, & Co., boards and their management professionals also work as a unit, collaborating to carry out the administrative duties and make the decisions that keep their communities humming along from day to day. If this partnership works well, the synergy between a management pro and volunteer board also has the makings of a dream team, keeping the condo or HOA community solvent, cohesive, and valuable. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden was known for getting the best out of his players, even when he was criticizing one of them. “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment,” the Wizard of Westwood once said.
Management contracts typically spell out the manager’s role in the process in general terms, but there’s often more to a truly effective board/management partnership than what’s just on paper. There are various ways boards can more actively partner with their manager to improve not only their building/HOA’s bottom line, but community cohesiveness and quality of life as well. Managing a residential community requires similar leadership and diplomacy. “If you have a happy board and happy manager, you have a happy community,” says Anthony Marotta, the president of Allied Property Management Group, Inc., in West Palm Beach. “Everything will be running more efficiently and productively, and the community will look nicer overall.”
When that behind-the-scenes magic isn't there however, the residents feel the tension, the building or association suffers, and the community deteriorates. In other words, they lose.
Think back to the 1970s New York Yankees—another good example of a seemingly unbeatable team. That glory-days lineup consisted of such greats as Bobby Murcer, Lou Piniella, Bucky Dent, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson and Hall of Fame manager Billy Martin. However, in that Bronx Zoo clubhouse—on and off the field—players bickered openly and the on-air clash between Jackson and Martin was about as memorable as their victories during that era.