Take Me OUT of the Ball Game!!???

Sometimes you need to step off the field to see the entire game and evaluate which team members are performing well. This includes self-evaluation.

David Thornell

9/12/20232 min read

So you worked hard at economic and community development in your community for many years, but the progress is just not what you had hoped for. You are burned out, fed up, beat down, wearing a frown. This is hard work. That's why most professional economic developers change jobs every 4 to 5 years. Local elected and appointed leaders rarely pack up and leave. After all, it is your home and worth your best continued efforts. Often it is your business success that requires continued growth in the community, so you have personal, financial and career incentives to press on.

You can't just leave, but you can retreat temporarily, especially if you realize that you are not on the top of your game, frustrated and irritable. If you are not having fun it is likely that those working with you aren't having fun either. This is why I recommend the “Take me out of it” tactic. Step back long enough to put aside your biases, your personal stake, your struggles with “local politics," the way things are done and the way you yourself have done things. Care enough to drop back and think about what others, those without your history, would have chosen how to do things, if not for your "it's my way or the highway" approach.

Remember that whatever is best for the majority will automatically be the most popular approach accepted with the most enthusiasm. Make sense? After all, who wins when the whole team wins? EVERYBODY! This includes YOU! Also, each day is A NEW DAY that may call for new ways, perhaps that you aren't aware of as you have been too busy doing things the old way. Give others a chance to shine by solving problems that have been a constant burden for you. Success through teamwork is best.

So, step back and see the entire field. Is your town playing a solid competitive game that will result in wins? Where do you need to improve, meaning you and your town? Wishing for it doesn't work. You've got to build the team whose performance earns success. The team that finds the best way for your town to succeed and plays better than the competition of the day. This may be totally different than the way you have been doing it, but that's okay. Let your frustrations roll off and re-charge. If you are down, get back up. Winners do this and so can you.