By Gerald F. Schnepf, Executive Director

The use of the term ‘silver bullet’ often refers to the ability to cut through red tape and complexity to provide an immediate, quick and easy solution to a problem or a need. It is like a miracle or waving a magic wand. In myth, the silver bullet was the only way to kill a werewolf. In more modern times it was the silver bullet from the Long Ranger. He often appeared out of nowhere and left a silver bullet and the problem solved.

It tends to be our nature to look for the “easy way” out or a quick and convenient solution to a problem. Yes, on occasion, that does happen! That is rare and the normal rule is creative thinking, clear vision and hard work to get the job done.

Spending time trying to find that ‘silver bullet’ has about the same chance of success as buying a lottery ticket as the way to finance your new home. Sure, go ahead and try, but, recognize that you can waste valuable time and effort. Having a clear target and working toward it in small steps with diligence and commitment can be far more efficient and effective in the long run. Improving and enhancing your community takes leadership, time and effort along with support by the community.

Another thing happens when you work for success. It turns out that you build your skills and talents at working to find solutions and then acting on them. Building partnerships, developing strategies and doing the research and investigation become increasingly valuable over time. Learning, sharing and partnering are often the keys to success.

It is somewhat like taking a trip – you know where you want to go, so you use a map to find the route to get there. You can take a fast route, scenic route or maybe even one based on history or culture. The point is that there is often more than one way to reach your goal. Select the one that appeals to your interests and proceed.

Regardless of the route you choose, you can only get there if you start moving in that direction through hard work and effort. As mentioned, small steps make the journey much easier. There is an old phrase – “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” There isn’t any quick and easy way. The silver bullet is elusive! It doesn’t replace leadership, a vision and hard work in building pride in your community.