The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Essay Example
The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Essay Example

The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (614 words)
  • Published: November 5, 2016
  • Type: Review
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“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is a quote that reinforces the importance of ‘fitting-in’. In Japan, the nail that sticks out can be hammered down for any reason – better grades, worse grades, making a mistake in a team activity. In a country where an unspoken rule of conformity is combined with a strict hierarchical structure, bullying – or ijime – becomes an ingrained, almost tolerated phenomenon. Watanabe, 2012) As Amin Maalouf said in his book, “Every individual is a meeting ground for many different allegiances, and sometimes these loyalties conflict with one another and confront the person who harbors them with difficult choices. ” (Maalouf, 2000)

Maalouf has personally felt the conflict that can exist between different elements of a person’s identity. Quite simply, he


writes that people “often see themselves in terms of whichever one of their allegiances is most under attack. Asch C Solomon (1951) conducted research (the Asch experiment) to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group and because they believe the group is better informed than they are. (Simplypsychology. org) Business Owners Opinions A survey was taken among numerous friends and business owners in the community to see what they thought of the quote and what it meant to them.

The first people asked were employees. The responses ranged from, “If you are on top of your game, you will have people try to bring you down” (Putkonen,D. personal communication, June 1, 2013) to “they try to

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hammer us down but it does not work once the nail is strong and solid! ” (Kelly,S. personal communication, June 1, 2013). It was surprising to see the responses from business proprietors. Their answers were well thought out and offered more explanation. (This shows why they are business owners and not employees. The best reply was from Michele Northrup, owner of Intensity Academy; “Let’s think this through: true it is saying that by being different you will be noticed and hammered down.

But what does that really mean, young grasshopper, Billie Jo? It means that it might be painful; but in the end you earn your place permanently in the project. ” Employee Motivation The nail and hammer quote is similar to the tall poppy syndrome. This is the social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticized because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers. Wikipedia) In contrast, there is the thought process of Benjamin Franklin Fairless, "You cannot strengthen one by weakening another; and you cannot add to the stature of a dwarf by cutting off the leg of a giant. " Or as Margaret Thatcher eloquently stated, "let your poppies grow tall. " (1975). The nail and hammer notion communicates that you are to be soft-spoken, modest and inclined to compromise. One should recognize the fact that workers standing out from the crowd make the most enemies and become targets for envy. Conclusion

To summarize, “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down” implies by this proverb that there is a lack of wisdom or recklessness in being

too forward, and wisdom in lying low. People get ahead not by taking chances, but just showing up. It is human nature to fall in line. The Asch conformity experiments demonstrated that people will lie about what they see to conform. Some participants stated that they had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed or thought "peculiar". For those reason, scores of people do just what they are told, when they are told and do not ask any questions.

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