Resilience: A Needed Trait for CAMS

Resilience: A Needed Trait for CAMS

By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM / Published Nov 2015

needed trait for CAMs


Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in the August 2012 issue of FLCAJ.
Community association managers are some of the most resilient people in the United States. Anyone who deals on a minute-by-minute basis with people, pets, parking, and pools has to be resilient. After the 2004–2005 hurricane seasons, managers proved they were resilient. And who knows how much more resilient they will need to be.

Resilience, simply put, is the ability to bounce back, deal with uncertainty, change priorities, and amend goals. Resilience is proving to be the number one skill needed by the 21st century manager. 

If you aren’t some degree of resilient, you will be some degree of ineffective. Thinking in terms of a continuum, how resilient are you? Here are some characteristics of both. 


  • Feels in control of life path
  • Sees “bad” situations as temporary
  • “Bad” things happen every now and then
  • “Good” happens when good choices are made
  • Positive and optimistic
  • Less stressed and more joyful
  • Good health
  • Successful and a winner 


  • Is a victim in life path
  • Sees “bad” situations as always
  • “Bad” things happen all the time
  • “Good” happens by luck
  • Negative and pessimistic
  • More stressed and depressed
  • Poor health
  • Helpless and a victim


Betsy Barbieux

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM

Florida Cam Schools

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, guides managers, board members, and service providers in handling daily operations of their communities while at the same time dealing with different communication styles, difficult personalities, and conflict. Effective communication and efficient management are her goals. For more than 15 years, Barbieux has educated thousands of managers, directors, and service providers. She is your trainer for life! Barbieux is the author of Boardmanship, a columnist in the Florida Community Association Journal, and a member of the Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers. For more information, contact, (352) 326-8365, or


Notice the first characteristics begin in the head and heart but quickly move to physical health and overall quality (or lack of) life.

Resilient managers seem to make life easier rather than harder. As a result, resilient managers are more enjoyable to be around. They have a positive influence on others. It even seems their communities are happier, have fewer complaints, and even fewer rules violations. Using the acrostic R-E-S-I-L-I-E-N-T, here are some skills resilient managers have mastered.

Resilient managers reflect. Humans constantly carry on self-talk. It is silent (though sometimes they talk out loud to themselves) but,
nevertheless, it is constantly present—even during sleep. Humans have the ability to think about what they are thinking. As far as is known, humans are the only mammals that have this skill. Resilient managers watch and listen to their thoughts. They develop the habit of switching the negative thoughts to positive ones.

Resilient managers explain daily situations to themselves as optimistic rather than negative. This is a direct result of reflecting and switching negative thoughts for positive ones. The emotional result is hopeful instead of helpless.

Resilient managers develop the skill of saying “yes, and…” rather than “yes, but …” “Yes, and …” sees the possibilities in a situation. “Yes, but …” really means “no” and maybe “stupid.”

Resilient managers inspire others to take a (calculated) risk, to dream, and to pursue their purpose and passion. 

Resilient managers are always learning. Possibly the number two skill for the 21st century manager is the desire to learn and then knowing how to learn, unlearn, and relearn. These managers find the lesson in every event.

Resilient managers imitate the skills and characteristics of others they admire until those skills and characteristics become their own.

Resilient managers are encouraging to others. Though pragmatic in analyzing daily crises, they leave you feeling encouraged believing there is a way through the crisis.

  Resilient managers develop social and professional networks. To participate successfully in these networks, they have developed the skill of listening. They don’t worry about what to say. Instead, they listen to find the next question to ask so the conversation will keep going. They demonstrate genuine interest in people and in
hearing their stories.

Resilient managers are thankful for their careers. Many managers have been at their properties for decades—and love it. Their residents love them, and they love their residents. These managers have the ability to laugh at themselves, laugh at life, and are thankful for the ability to do so.

Finally, take this little test to see if you are more resilient than ineffective. What you’re testing is your first internal, self-talk response, not the words that eventually come out of your mouth.

You’ve planned the staff holiday party, but a pipe breaks in building seven. You think:

a. This always happens to me. I don’t know why I even bother.

b. I’ll take care of it so my maintenance staff can enjoy their party.

Your new software program has eluded you for days. You think:

a. I’ve never been any good at this. I’ll show up at the meeting empty handed—again.

b. Well, this is going to take longer than I expected, so I’ll reschedule the meeting.

A board member compliments your report. You think:

a. Wow, I’m glad he thinks it’s good.

b. I knew it was a good report and he would like it.

A resident flips you off as you drive by in the golf cart. You think:

a. These people are so rude.

b. Wow, Ralph must be having a bad day.

You miss an appointment. You think:

a.  I knew this appointment was too good to be true. Something had to go wrong.

b. I’ll call to apologize and reschedule another one.

The resilient answers were “b”. How did you do? You can be resilient if you choose to be. All you have to do is change your mind.