My Father Bob
“If you’re in this for the money, you are only about half paid…”
Bob Hammond (1921-2004)
My father, Bob Hammond, grew up in Iowa during the Great Depression.
He was poor but received two years of college before being enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
He was an elite P-51 fighter pilot in the Asian Theater and was a decorated soldier.
He drank for 30+ years as he processed the experience. Consequently, our family grew up within the confines of alcoholism, divorce, and dysfunction.
As I got older, and my father got sober, we forged a relationship for a lifetime.
His support for me going to Humboldt State University, coupled with a mutual
spiritual revival, made for a lifelong friendship until his death in
2004. My father always supported my educational goals and expressed
confidence in me; he always believed in my choices and was available 24/7.
He was a people person and an expert salesman. He was relational in every way. People were his passion.
The lessons my father taught me had to do with relationships. People were priority.
For example, he came to work with me one day at the Tri City Weekly in Downtown Eureka to attend and contribute to a sales meeting. I was so proud and excited for my cohorts to hear the wisdom of this sage businessman and sales expert! He was my dad—coming to share his heart.
We gathered around, pen and paper in hand to hear from Bob Hammond, Sales Extraordinaire. We were ready…
He sat down at our office at 6th and D St. and we expected at least 30-45 minute training about the secrets of great sales. No Dice. No even close…
He sat cross-legged in his chair, took a deep breath, and uttered words that were simple and profound and have taken me 15 years to really comprehend….He simply stated:
“IF YOU ARE IN SALES FOR THE MONEY, YOU ARE ONLY HALF PAID.”
That was it. No prelude, no commentary, no addenda—Just 13 words spoken with authenticity and belief.
I must admit, I was a bit annoyed and aghast he didn’t have a strong follow-up and more to add. He didn’t need to.
His point was just this: In business, as in life, people and relationships are key. They are the reason for why we do what we do in business and commerce and in life. The Free Market System is lacking, even meaningless, without good relationships, friendships, and the joy of living a life full of meaningful experiences with fellow human beings.
My dad was a people guy, a hugger who loved crossword puzzles, plants, music, people, and God most of all.
His legacy of kindness, acceptance, thankfulness, gratitude, and forgiveness will always be with me.
As an alcoholic, he always had a special place in his heart for those who struggled with alcoholism. He modeled non-judgment and kindness toward all. My father left an inherent sense of godliness, spiritual value, and
a kindness that transcends most people you’ll ever meet. Although he
was a warrior in World War II and killed many while flying a P51
Mustang, the rest of his life was spent building, not destroying.
He’ll always be remembered in our family as the ice cream grandpa, who always loved Humboldt County and
insisted on multiple gallons of ice cream with each and every visit. Here’s to the legacy of a great guy, a great sales person… one of the Greatest Generation. May we approach our lives, careers, and business with a relational dimension and the kindness and care that all people want and need. Thanks dad for modeling this respect and honor for people in your quiet, but profound lesson.
Scott Hammond is the author of Every Day Dad: The Guide to Becoming a Better Father, a parenting expert, and the father of 9 children, who offers a unique point of view on fathering and intentional parenting. Scott is an award winning professional speaker and a recognized business consultant and leadership coach.
Scott motivates and inspires others toward positive, personal change and growth with his comfortable style, authenticity, and transparency. Using real-life stories, Scott shares how you can overcome life and parenting obstacles and become a better person.
Scott resides in McKinleyville, California with his wife of 27 years, Joni, and their kids. To connect with Scott, visit BecomeABetterFather.com