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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.

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