You know what they say, “eat the elephant one bite at a time.” This is a great theory and a great way to get work done, but it has a major flaw- it takes so long! How do we even stay motivated to get there?
When it comes to economic development, the projects can be huge, and the overarching goal is as much an elephant as anything can be (aside from an actual elephant…) When it comes to these projects it is important to take it one step at a time, but you’ve got to keep the team fired up. Celebrate those steps as they occur, keeping the dream alive and the momentum rolling.
East Jordan is a great example of this. They have so much coming down the pipeline with potential development, available resources, and infrastructure expansion it’s easy to stare down to the end goals and get excited. But as the days go by and projects have to wait for completion, it’s easy to get distracted and think maybe this isn’t happening. Even though economic growth can often take a hurry up and wait pattern, there are definite signs of success along the way. East Jordan continues to experience these moments from the completion of the Cannonball project, to groundbreaking on a new wastewater treatment plant, work on a new boat launch, new flowers downtown, improved events, and continued business investment including the new South Arm Café.
As you continue to work on that elephant, be sure to keep reminding yourself and your team how far you’ve come. You’ll only get to the end if you keep going, so keep the going fun and engaging. Invite new help into the project, but also repeatedly engage those that have been with you from the start. Have an elephant cook-out and fire your team, and yourself, up for that end game.