Building a Vibrant Community
Deciding to HAVE a Vibrant Community and taking action to CREATE a Vibrant Community are two different activities. Imagine two frogs sitting on a lily pad. One frog decides to jump off. How many frogs are left? Two! Deciding to jump is not actually jumping. To have a Vibrant Community, we must jump into action!
We must ask: What is holding us back? Here are some common obstacles to building a Vibrant Community:
∫ Rationalization – The community may see what they DON’T have instead of what they DO have.
∫ Blame and Excuse Making – People blame others rather than seeking to be a part of the solution.
∫ It didn’t work the last time -Just because it didn’t work before doesn’t mean it won’t work this time. Switch up the approach the next time; The environment may have changed.
∫ Someone else will fix it -The truth is, they probably won’t. And, if they do, we assume it’s only done for profit. It’s dangerous to question other’s motives when things are being done as a team. Someone may profit. However, it benefits everyone, we all win.
∫ To get unstuck, let’s change the conversation – Seeing ourselves as a vibrant community is possibly the most important step toward taking action, as well as being positive in both word and deed.
∫ When change is forced upon us, seize the opportunity to make things better — Pensacola used a devastating hurricane as the catalyst for positive change a decade ago. Today, we have an epidemic.
∫ Get comfortable with being uncomfortable — We need to develop the art of creativity in our thinking, planning, and actions.
∫ Challenge all assumptions – Be willing to ask the tough questions. Listen for the answers. Seek to understand rather to be understood.
∫ Do not underestimate the importance of trust — Creativity takes humility and flexibility.
∫ Always practice transparency – Be open and honest, no hidden agendas.
As a community we must learn from mistakes. We cannot allow naysayers to drain energy and enthusiasm. We must generate small wins to build confidence and optimism. Elkins can be a Vibrant Community!
This outline comes from Chapter three of “Building a Vibrant Community” by Quint Studer. Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of the book available to those who are interested.