JUST celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary a few days ago, which brought back memories of days when I struggled to build my business, and quite often complained to my new bride about the tough day I’d had. I guess she also as a resident doctor was going through her difficult days. One day, I found she’d cut out an advertisement about a lucrative job abroad for herself.
I looked at the torn-out page and realized what was going to happen. I couldn’t bear the idea of a job separating us and that put an end to my complaints and it was the beginning of me working hard and building a successful business. What she gave me, maybe inadvertently was a little nudge!
A wise man once said that humans have four basic needs. One is the need to be nurtured, next the need to be needed. Third, the need to be noticed, and finally, the need to be nudged!
There’s this story of a small boy who could not be made to quit banging his drum. Various attempts were made to do something about quieting the child. One person told the boy that he would, if he continued to make so much noise, perforate his eardrums. This reasoning was too advanced for the child, who was neither a scientist nor a scholar.
A second person told him that drum beating was a sacred activity and should be carried out only on special occasions. A third person offered the neighbours plugs for their ears; and a fourth gave the boy a book one meditation exercises to make him placid and docile. None of these attempts worked.
Eventually, a wise person came along with an effective motivation. He looked at the situation, handed the child a hammer and chisel, and asked, “I wonder what is inside the drum?” No more problems, the nudge worked!
Very often we need to be nudged. At times, we may need to be nudged into healthier behaviours or maybe nudged out of destructive relationships or patterns, simply nudged to think a little bigger; to do or be more challenging and less mediocre.
Good leaders know about this basic human need to be prodded, challenged and encouraged. They know the best way to nudge someone is to invite them along a path that is more appealing than the one they’ve chosen! Good leaders also nudge us to dream and tempt us to do more than we ever thought possible. They nudge us to become a part of something great.
I’ve seen German Shepherd dogs In the sheep farms of New Zealand gently nudge sheep into their pens when they wander away, or lose sight of home. Are you a good leader who can nudge people back on track, or maybe you yourself needed a little nudge, and is this the one you needed today?