Business, politics and nonprofits are tools to address different sets of issues, problems and situations. I’m actively involved in all three sectors and often find myself having conversations with men and women in one sector who are frustrated with another sector. Why?
They’re trying to use a hammer as a screw driver.
Okay, perhaps not literally, but follow me. If you only have one tool, you’re forced to use it for everything. Just like Discovery’s hit television show Naked and Afraid. The contestants do the best they can to survive in the wilderness with the one item they were allowed to bring.
Picture these three sectors as different points of a triangle. Business is not the solution to every issue in the same sense that politics/government and nonprofits are not the best solution to everything.
We’d accomplish more if we imagined these sectors as a triangular billiards rack.
As an issue arises, it gets dropped into the center of the triangular billiards rack. If it’s an economic issue, perhaps private or public business might be the best tool. If it’s a tax issue, government might be the best tool. If it’s a social issue, nonprofits might be best suited. And so on.
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each “tool.”
Knowing your tools will help you address and solve a variety of issues far more effectively than using your hammer as a screw driver. Knowing your tools eliminates blame and frustration since the responsibility is placed on the individual to select the best tool, not a “tool.”
3 Ways To Guarantee Your Disappointment
- expect something to be something it is not
- expect something to change
- use your hammer for everything