Rahul Gandhi’s popularity is on the rise, and I’d like to imagine, it could have been a small nudge from his mother. Maybe it went like this: “Rahul, please don’t think that you are the inheritor of the PM’s chair!”

“But ma, my great- grandfather, grandmother and father all became prime ministers!”

“They worked hard son, and you’ll have to do the same if you want the chair they sat on!”

Well if this conversation took place, and I’d like to think it did, the nudge truly worked and today his party has won a resounding victory in Karnataka, and comes next to the PM in popularity in the country!  

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 neighbors 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 problem, the nudge worked!

Very often we need to be nudged. At times, we may need to be nudged into healthier behaviors or maybe nudged out of destructive relationships or patterns, simply nudged to think a little bigger; to do or be something more challenging and less mediocre.

Good leaders know about this basic human need to be prodded, challenged and encouraged. They also know that the best way to nudge someone is often simply to invite them along a path that is more appealing than the one they've chosen, like quickening the little boy’s curiosity about what was in the drum, telling Rahul to work harder!

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.

In the sheep farms of New Zealand dogs are used to gently nudge the sheep into their pens when they wander away, or lose sight of home.

Just a little nudge to get you back on track! Is this the nudge you needed today?

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