“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” –Dwight Eisenhower

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Positive Quote: “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” –Dwight Eisenhower

 

This quote reminds me of a time when I was still a fairly new manager and I had all these wonderful ideas on how I would be the best manager ever; not truly understanding the difference between a leader and a manager.

 

I was a very harsh, direct person. I did not sugar coat anything back then and to be brutally honest I thought I had all the answers.

 

I laugh at how naïve and full of nonsense that I was back then. Thank goodness I have evolved.

 

Well as a fairly new manager I did have a mentor that I looked to for guidance. I don’t know how long he tried to get me to understand that you can’t have just one style of management. That management is about flexibility and adaptability. 

 

That is, until one day, we were having lunch and he asks me if I ever did stuff around the house. Not knowing where he was going I said yes, hesitantly. He then asked if I only had one tool, a hammer. I told him no. He then asked me what kind of tools I used at home. I figured why not, and I answered him, even though I had no clue where the conversation was going. I told him that I used a hammer for hanging pictures, a screwdriver for hanging curtain rods, a putty knife for filling holes that I made mistakes when hanging pictures. He then asked me to think about why I was approaching management from a perspective that I only had one tool, a hammer. He asked why I was acting like I was the hammer and everyone and every task was a nail. That’s when it finally clicked for me. Everyone and everything is not a nail. Just as you use different tools for different things, as a leader you should use different methods of communication and leadership based on the person or situation.

 

This many years later, I still use the same saying “your not a hammer, and everything is not a nail”….it is something that I focus on remembering and applying not just to work but to my overall life.

 

What do you think?

 

Have a fabulous Friday and let’s all add a new tool to our leadership toolbox.

 

Priscilla

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