Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Nudge Needed Today

Originally uploaded by jen halski

Flashback to my city league baseball days as a mere 13 year old...

"I'm going to start you at 2nd base", Coach Davis said to me when I arrived to the game. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I had been with the team the past two years and played right field almost exclusively. The only reason I was starting at all was because I could hit decent and was fast on the bases (I know, hard to believe that today). My defense was my weak point. I was the kid who got bored in right field and would cross my arms and legs convinced no one would ever hit the ball to me.

I hadn't practiced much at any other position but the outfield, so this announcement was a shocker to me, but I relished the chance. Suddenly, I was pumped up for the game. I couldn't wait to get out there and prove I could play second base. I had a renewed sense of confidence and purpose. I also felt my coach had confidence in me that I had not had in myself before that game.

The Take Away: Sometimes all you need is for someone to show a little confidence in you. Maybe they see the potential you have not tapped and they're giving you the opportunity to prove you can do more. It's a confidence boost for sure and it gives you the chance to show what you're made of.

How often do you give these opportunities to others? When do you provide your co-worker the nudge they need to take their talents to the next level? Do you show confidence in those you see talent untapped? Are you showing others their value?

If you aren't doing what you can to help others, to provide opportunities when you can, or provide a nudge when one is needed then why not start today?

The Rest of the Story: That night I made all of the plays at my new position, including turning a double play. I was pumped up and I started focusing on my defense more as a result. I ended up playing there most of the rest of my youth baseball days as a result of that evening. Coach Davis didn't make a life changing move. He wasn't changing the world. I doubt he even remembers it today. But, it was the nudge I was needing at the time.

The best leaders have the ability to show others their value. Give someone the nudge they need today, and they'll remember it for a long time. No matter how insignificant it may seem to you.

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