“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

—Abraham Maslow, 20th Century American Psychologist

Image from Unsplash by Travelergeek

When was the last time you needed to repair your car, an appliance, or some other device in your home?

In days gone by, we would sometimes give these items a good whack in hopes of getting them going again.

Sometimes it actually worked!

These days, it is rare that any single tool or technique can get the job done, given the multitude and complexity of the many technologies and challenges we face.

In our use of communication, leadership, management, and coaching tools, it almost always takes a tailored and customized approach to optimize our outcomes.


Where in your life is being a hammer not working?

Consider asking a friend, colleague, family member, or coach for guidance regarding what other tools might be a better choice.

“All words are pegs to hang ideas on.”

 “All words are pegs to hang ideas on.”

– Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century clergyman and social reformer

A close friend of mine named Allen, who unfortunately passed away too soon, was a very handy person. He could fix almost anything and he had a wide variety of tools to fit almost any need.

His garage was a veritable Home Depot with an immaculate collection displayed in the most organized manner. Included in his collection was a peg board with hooks that accepted each specific tool – with, you guessed it, an outline of the tool to show the user where to hang it when the job was done.


Pay particular attention today to the words you and others are using to create your world. Determine the extent to which the ideas that are generated build something wonderful, or in some cases take things apart.

Consider sending me a list of three to five of your favorite words that you like to hang ideas on, by replying to this email.