Notes from a Right-Brained CAM

Notes from a Right-Brained CAM

By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA / Published June 2022

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CAM management is both people oriented (right brain) and task oriented (left brain), and it seems most CAMs are more one than the other. While the task-oriented CAM can prioritize and complete the many small tasks and make a game out of it, the people-oriented CAM may find the small tasks a frustrating chore and save them for later—and then forget.

     Here are some reminders from a right-brained CAM who used them to get her through the day.

  • Follow up on the task; complete it
  • Time—manage it wisely 
  • Think about the schedule for the day and week—plan ahead
  • Look ahead to see what needs to be done at the end of the week and start it the first of the week
  • Make sure emails are properly punctuated
  • Check my work
  • Follow up telephone calls with an email so there is a record
  • Be proactive; take the initiative
  • Create processes and standard forms
  • Be willing to learn
  • Showmanship—no one should know if I’m having a bad day
  • Leave personal issues at home

    When choosing a position within a community or management company, there are at least two other considerations for all CAMs—work preference and leadership style. Turn to the chart on page 66 to see how you like to work.

     Which “I like” statement stands out the most? Which “I don’t like” statement stands out the most?

What type of leader am I?

Lead from the Front Manager

     Leading from the front is like the leader carrying the banner at the front of the line or the staff sergeant who leads the charge over the hill. Moving forward with a project or idea is your goal. 

     Descriptive adjectives might include goal-oriented, productive, pioneering, direct, determined, decisive, doer, results-oriented, resourceful, persistent, visionary, competitive, authoritative, logistical, gutsy, and tough-minded. 

Lead from the Middle Manager

     Leading from the middle of the group means you are likely connected to almost everyone in the group; you know their names, abilities, likes and dislikes, favorite foods, and the names of their children. 

     Descriptive adjectives might include active, energetic, enthusiastic, inspiring, sociable, warm, outgoing, friendly, fun, trusting, happy, optimistic, personable, well-liked, communicative, demonstrative, and verbal. 

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Lead from the Back Manager

     Leading from the back means you have confidence in the various supervisors, committee chairs, or employees you have chosen, and you know they can get their work done. You are there to “watch their backs” and get them the resources they need to succeed whether it is additional personnel, funding, training, licenses and permits, board approval—whatever it takes to fully support your team. 

     Descriptive adjectives might include efficient, practical, deliberate, systematic, patient, reserved, companionable, restrained, reliable, harmonious, cooperative, tactful, easy-going, conservative, trustworthy, relaxed, kind, sentimental, steady-paced, supportive, stable, loyal, and procedural. 

Remote Leader Manager

     Leading remotely means you analyze an issue not only in the here and now but also as it relates to the past and future. You see issues, situations, problems, or courses of action in time. You are excellent at trouble-shooting, and you are also good at discovering how and why a problem developed and creating a future plan to keep it from recurring. To get this “view” of past, present, and future, you need to “step away” from the closeness of it, which means you are stepping away either physically or emotionally or both from the group you lead. You may be dynamically connected to only a few in the group. 

Descriptive adjectives might include systematic, precise, specialist, meticulous, thorough, skillful, factual, polite, courteous, trustworthy, respectful, guarded, questioning, accurate, principled, issue-oriented, analytical, neat, technical, proper, conscientious, intense, orderly, cautious, careful, analyst, and competent. 

     Note to self—use some of these words and phrases to describe myself on a job resume.

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

Florida CAM Schools

     Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA, guides managers, board members, and service providers in handling daily operations of their communities while dealing with different communication styles, difficult personalities, and conflict. Effective communication and efficient management are her goals. Since 1999, Betsy has educated thousands of managers, directors, and service providers. She is your trainer for life! Betsy is the author of Boardmanship, a columnist in the Florida Community Association Journal, and a former member of the Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers. Subscribe to CAM Matters™ at For more information, contact, call (352) 326-8365, or visit