Opportunity often knocks before you’re ready.
A brief dialog from the movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, illustrates the power of “nudges”.
Frodo Baggins: “Before you (Gandalf) came along, we Bagginses were well thought of. We never had any adventures or did anything unexpected.”
Gandalf: “Indeed. If you’re referring to that incident with the dragon, all I did was give your uncle a little nudge out of the door.
Frodo Baggins: Whatever you did, you’ve been officially labeled a disturber of the peace.
If you’re fortunate, someone “nudged” you.
Remember the first meeting you led? The first tough conversation? You wanted the opportunity. You needed a nudge.
My first public presentation was to a high school assembly. I was sixteen. I only THOUGHT I was ready.
How to nudge:
#1. Ask people to do things they haven’t done.
FIRSTS are exponential growth moments. Usually growth is gradual. Sometimes, like learning to ride a bike, it’s frightening.
You grow when you do something for the first time.
#2. Instill confidence with 4 questions.
- What qualities do you have that will serve you well in this new challenge?
- How have you succeeded with challenges in the past?
- What do past failures warn you to do now?
- What does support look like to you?
Don’t simply tell people what you see in them. Ask them what they see in themselves.
#3. The secret to growth is feedback.
Two nudge-lessons from my first presentation.
First, I was too foolish to know the principal was giving me this opportunity because he was committed to my future. I needed to hear, “I want you to succeed.”
Second, I didn’t receive feedback. Perhaps silence was perceived as kindness. It wasn’t.
Timely feedback stabilizes growth and expands potential.
How might leaders nudge people out the door?
What might a growth-feedback plan look like?