Stubborn People That Don’t Get It

Stubborn People That Don’t Get It

My friend Steve is a smart guy. He is a hard-driving business man and he is always coming up with new models for new businesses. Give Steve a white board and a dry erase maker and he will draw you a business model.

Recently Steve and I were talking about people who just don’t see to get it.  It was then that he knocked me over with this statement:

The people that don’t get it; they don’t get that they don’t get it.”


Hitting Your Thumb with a Hammer

Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? If you have not, I bet you can guess that it hurts.

Now, whether you have or have not hit yourself in the thumb with a hammer, I bet you wouldn’t think to do it a second time. I am even more positive you wouldn’t hit your thumb a third or fourth time?

Seeing as we probably agree on the hammer/thumb thing, why then do some people do this with their actions? Why is it that some people make the same mistakes over and over again and metaphorically hit their thumb with a hammer repeatedly?

Metaphorically hitting your thumb with a hammer does not discriminate which level it affects a businesses or organization. Front-line workers, supervisors, managers, directors, vice presidents and even presidents and CEO’s all possess hammers and thumbs. Whack! Whack, whack!

Thumbs and Hammers

When you repeatedly make a mistake in how you lead, how you build relationships, how you close a sale or whatever the case may be, it is the thumb and hammer effect.

If you are lucky, someone mentors or coaches you through your blind spot and you stop hitting your thumb with a hammer.

Unfortunately we all know someone who can’t face their own flaws. They won’t face their own shortcomings. They like big swollen thumbs.

Getting It

Throughout my life I have hand sore thumbs. Unfortunately I need to give my thumb a few hard whacks to learn my lesson. The most important thing is that I do try to learn the lesson and heal the thumb. I try to get that I don’t get it and then I get it.

Like you, I have strengths and I have weaknesses. I try to build on my strengths and work with people who cover my weaknesses. I get that I don’t get it and find someone else that gets it.

Like you, I will never get some things as well as others get them. I get that they get it and that I will never get it. So I get out of the people’s way that get those things and let them do their thing.

Like you, I can’t get everything. I get that I don’t get everything. When I was a younger man, I used to try to pretend I got everything. As I have grown wiser, my thumb hurts less. Not getting it or only getting a little of it is okay.

Stubborn people that don't get it - 2

My Tombstone

Every once in a while I read what people have as their epitaph on their tombstone.

Winston Churchill’s reads, “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

I want mine to say, The people that don’t get it; they don’t get that they don’t get it. Luckily, Al got it.”

Comment below on this post

How about you? What do you do when you get that you don’t get it? How do you tell others that they don’t get it? And how is your thumb feeling today?


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Eric Grapengeter

    Doesn’t look like a thumb in the picture. 🙂

    Isn’t this the same as the often quoted definition of insanity; “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”?

    I am trying to “Get it”, now that I am trying to expand my business, and realize I have to do things differently, as how I have been working for years is well suited for my single threaded consultant model, but it sure hasn’t worked for my current desire for growth. Hopefully I “Get it” soon, and can relay a success story!

    • AlGetler

      Eric, thanks not only for you comments, but for your honesty. Many of us are facing changes and ending up in places we never thought we’d be.

      Just curious; what steps are you taking to “get it”? Workshops, books?

      • Eric Grapengeter

        Here’s a few things that I’m finding important:

        1. Understanding finally that I need a team, can’t do it by myself. I am much less hesitant to engage people that are better at things than I am.

        2. Spending a minimum of 25% of my time in the networking, marketing, etc space. Without that, there is no hope of building in a parallel way, it will always be serial projects. Also, this encompasses learning how to sell, for someone who has always been a computer geek. You recommended Michael Port, I am making time to go through that book.

        3. Joining organizations to support #2 above, such as Chamber of Commerce, lead and referral groups. Using social media to stay in touch with my entire network, not just after a project is over to look for the next project.