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Many owners of condos or co-ops who volunteer for board service soon realize that it’s not a picnic. There are disagreements to resolve, decisions to make that have a ripple effect on everyone and balance books to be made. There is little room for error. Many people opt to serve on boards despite the pressure and stress, even though they are volunteering for years.

As a volunteer board member you are bound by three legal fiduciary obligations- obedience, care and loyalty. This means that their personal or professional interest is always in the back of the interests of the company. This means that they must make sure that the organization is compliant with the law and their mission.

Among the most important of the duties a board has is to oversee the organization’s activities to ensure that they stay in line with its mission. This requires a thorough understanding of the company’s programs and services, who participates in them, as well as their outcomes and impact. The ongoing monitoring of these activities is critical to a board’s other important tasks: strategic planning as well as financial oversight.

One of the most difficult aspects of being as a board member is to identify and preventing certain patterns of decision-making that could have been established over the long term. When these patterns become well-established, they become part of the culture of a board. They can have devastating implications for the company. It’s crucial that board members are aware of these dangers and are regularly reviewing the manual for board members or other documents to ensure that they adhere to good governance.

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