March 21, 2012



Karen and I have been working quite a bit in our yard lately since we have had a few days of nice weather.  We have lived in our house for exactly one year and in that time we have been compiling a list of things we would like to change, most of which are on the outside of our house.  One of the things on the list is to replace our sidewalk.  We live in an established neighborhood, which is realtor speak for old.  We have several large trees in our front yard as well as along the side.  If you have ever been to the panhandle of Texas then you know the phrase ‘we have several large trees’ is rarely uttered.  Our part of town is the envy of all Amarillo because we have shade.

Well, with large trees comes large roots and roots wreak havoc on sidewalks.  So, it is time our sidewalk is replaced.  Karen and I decided that it would be much less expensive if we (I) did the demolition of the old sidewalk.  I had a sledge hammer that I thought would do the job just fine.  I had been using my six pound hammer with a 13 inch handle to bust off some old metal sprinkler heads so I thought I would use that until I actually used it on the concrete.  I got a few cracks in the sidewalk but I could tell immediately this job would take a tremendous amount of time at the pace I was on.  I went to the hardware store and the ‘expert’ there told me I needed a six pound hammer.  I informed I had a six pound hammer and it was wearing me out.  He then showed me a six pound hammer with a 33 inch handle, a full 20 inches longer than my other hammer.  So I purchased the longer handled hammer and left the store hoping I had not just been had by a slick salesman.  The difference between the two hammers was incredible.  Here I had two six pound sledge hammers but the one with the longer handle was performing leaps and bounds beyond the short handle hammer. 

By all appearance the hammers are the same if you look at the business end of them. The difference lies in what is behind the hammer.  The long handled hammer has more backing it, more support, more umph. 

Many of you reading this have people under your charge and many of you have supervisors asking you to perform a job.  As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to provide that umph to those depending on you for leadership.  You see, if someone has a job to do they can perform that job much better if the support and foundation is behind them.  Don’t expect a short handle hammer to do the job that requires a long handled hammer.  If you are the one being asked to perform a job and feel you need more support then it is ok to ask and be specific about what it is you need. 

If you would like to hear more of my thoughts on this analogy feel free to stop by my house this weekend and bring a long handled hammer.

One Response to “Hammered”

  1. Jana Adams Says:

    Bill, I’m definitely going to keep this awesome information in mind when my sidewalks start breaking up! I would be so glad to come by and help, but, don’t know if I could handle a 33″ hammer…I don’t even swing a regular hammer with much accuracy…but…in case of emergency…please don’t use that hammer on yourself out of frustration when you break your back with that concrete job! I’ll bet I could refer you to some younger, stronger backs that would work for a minimal amount of pay.😉 Sincerely, Jana Adams

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