By: Mark Musselman
When I was a kid my younger brother and I were absolutely crazy about The Lone Ranger. It played at 6:00 A.M. every weekday morning, and my brother and I never missed an episode.
My fascination with The Lone Ranger was rooted in how he always managed to “save the day”, regardless of the difficulty of his circumstances. He was the ultimate hero’s hero.
One of his trademarks, aside from his mask, was his use of silver bullets. He would leave a silver bullet at the scene of every valiant rescue or heroic ending to a seemingly impossible situation. This trademark became synonymous with his ability to always find a solution to every situation, and became part of our cultural vernacular in the 1940’s, and remains a part of our vocabulary to this day. You will often hear people say they are looking for a “Silver Bullet” solution to a problem. While this makes for great T.V., it is not how life really works.
Over the course of the past few months, while working with various leaders and their leadership teams, I have had a handful of them ask me about the “Silver Bullet” solution that would end their challenges. Like there is such a thing. They become frustrated when they realize that there is no “Silver Bullet” solution to the problems or challenges they are facing. There is no “save the day” moment in the day-to-day realities of business.
It seems many leaders are looking for a “Silver Bullet” so they can experience a “quick fix” to their problems and create the breakthrough that will magically set them, and their organizations, free. Free from their endless list of challenges.
While I love the romantic notion of their being a “save the day”, “Silver Bullet”, strategy, I know winning in business always comes down to doing small things consistently over time. It comes down to the fundamentals like making sure your team is aligned, that you model being an effective communicator, you foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration, that you stay focused on what matters most, you are clear and direct, you hold yourself to the highest standards of accountability, you consistently execute, and you embody an unyielding passion for the Vision, Mission and Values of the organization. If, as a leader, you want to equip yourself with “Silver Bullets” then learn to master these fundamentals and leave the heroic ending stuff to The Lone Ranger.