In folklore, the silver bullet is supposed to be the only kind of bullet for firearms that is effective against a werewolf, witch, or other monsters. The term has been adopted into a general metaphor, where “silver bullet” refers to any straightforward solution perceived to have extreme effectiveness. The phrase typically appears with an expectation that some new technological development or practice will easily cure a major prevailing problem.
In fact, we now use the term ‘silver bullet’ to refer to something which cuts through complexity and provides an immediate solution to a problem. The allusion is to a miraculous fix, otherwise portrayed as ‘waving a magic wand.
As leaders, we are busy and there are many demands on our time. What would we give for something that would make our lives better, something that solves a lot of different problems, something that is easy to use, readily available, and something we can start using now? What is it were free? Sounds too good to be true. Sounds like a silver bullet.
The silver bullet in this case you! More specifically it is about the things that you say and do as a leader. Even more specifically it is about the things you say and do as a leader to reinforce and support others. Big let down? Before you run off, give me one more minute.
If you’re worth your salt as a leader, your people want to be around you. They want to hear what you have to say and they want your attention. They want to know what you think about their work. They want to know how their work contributes to the performance of the organization. All of this stuff matters. It really matters. This is your silver bullet!
Take the time to use yourself to let people know what you think. Let them know why their work matters. Let them know how their work adds value. Inform them about things that matter to them–never assuming they know. Do not discount what I’m saying. I have 20+ years of experience coaching and helping some of the best leaders in the world and one of the things that makes them great is that they do these over and over again.
Try it! Think about something that one of your team members (or family members or friends) is doing that matters to you and is making a difference. Tell them about it…be specific by telling them exactly what you’re seeing, how its helping, and why it matters. Keep doing this more and more and you might be surprised at the result.
Let me know how it works for you.