Dealing with Difficult Board Members You're Fired

On last season’s “The Apprentice” reality show, celebrities volunteered their time to team up and compete, not for a job with the Donald Trump organization, but to win a large donation to their favorite charity. The show’s concept is to win tasks and prevent hearing the infamous words, “You’re Fired!” from Donald Trump.

Throughout the weeks, two contestants, Piers Morgan (from “America’s Got Talent”) and Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (a professional reality show contestant) battled both in and out of the board room, completing tasks and launching heinous verbal attacks on each other. Although Piers played the game viciously, it was Omarosa who kept to her reputation of being one of the most hated reality show contestants in the history of television, noted for her extremely personal verbal assaults on fellow contestants (which included below-the-belt comments about Piers and her family). Although such toughness might be forgiven if her tasks were done well, on the contrary, the bossy, and often childish, Omarosa demanded her own way, yet frequently failed at the jobs given to her. She was ultimately, and thankfully, fired.

Can you imagine having someone like this as a board member? Or perhaps this sounds like a board member you already know? We hope not, but unfortunately, when it comes to board members, Forrest Gump might be right when he quoted his mother as saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

After all, board members are volunteers—people who give up some of their free time to devote to the upkeep and responsibilities of the building. They each come with a personality and opinions. And until the meetings are underway, you never truly know what kind of board member that person is going to be. While most board members are hard-working, cooperative people, occasionally you’ll have a board member, like an Omarosa, who makes the whole process extremely difficult. What then?

Mona Shyman, vice president of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums (FNYHC) in Forest Hills has seen her share of Omarosas. “They don’t want to listen because they think just because, for example, they ran their own business, they can run a building with millions of dollars and the personalities of 300 families,” she says. “They don’t want to learn and don’t want to take constructive criticism.”

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2 Comments

  • I am currently living in a low income coop. The treasurer of the building is not cooperating with me in regards to showing me the books which is in our bylaws. We, as shareholder have the right to see. I requested twice to see the books and her answer to me was that UHAB would give me the day and time to see the books. I responded that I never requested for UHAB to review the books. I requested it myself. The treasurer to our coop has not obided her rules. In fact she has not followed any of the rules and I want to write a petition to vote her out. How do I go about it? Do I have to request a special meeting with the other shareholders? I would like to know what is the best way to petition her off the board.
  • I recently witnessed a feeble, sickly elderly owner being abused by a renter on the common grounds of my condo. I filed a comment on what I witnessed. The old man filed an email/complaint too. The board does not like this old man and stuck up for the renter and refused to have any further communications with him on this subject. It sucks. And be glad it was not my 85 yr. old father and I was not an attorney.