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Confidence

November 25, 2009

“If you really want the job, get it and then worry about figuring out how you’re going to do it. If you really want it, you’ll find a way to get the job done. You’re as good as the next man.”

I doubt that he ever spoke those exact words, but that’s the way he thought, so over the years I’ve put his voice to the words. And with those words and his powerful ideas, my father gave me the gift of confidence.

As things turn out in business and in life, you’re not always as good as the next guy, but you’re never that far behind either. What’s important is to think you can be as good as anybody on any given occasion. Most of the time you can, if you put your mind to it.

When you have confidence, you aim higher, accomplish more and feel better about yourself. If you have one gift to give, give the gift of confidence. Confidence is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Today’s managers labor to improve employee effectiveness. Fundamentally, the long term effectiveness of any improvement program will depend on the confidence of the participants. Confident individuals will make progress one way or another. Without it, all efforts are wasted, no one ever reaches their full potential.

Confidence is not arrogant, brash or cocky. A confident individual soon recognizes those to be but thin masks for insecurity. Confidence is quiet but powerful, friendly and firm.

How do you go about instilling confidence in others? I’m not sure I know the answer, maybe that’s what makes people who do it so special. A lot of people mistake encouragement for confidence. Encouragement is great, but it’s little more then well intended words. Confidence can’t be transmitted with words alone, no matter how cheerful or supportive.

My father gave me the gift of confidence. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I know he did and I’m forever thankful.

As I look back on our years together I don’t remember him teaching me anything specific, but yet I learned so much. I don’t remember him criticizing me for the errors of my way, but I learned from my mistakes. However confidence is transmitted, it requires a light touch.

Confidence is an art, not a science. You can’t always tell when it’s needed or when it will do the most good. There’s no prescription for dosage and no formula for administration. You just have to be there when needed, in some manner or other.

Confidence is a conundrum. It is a precious, but abundant commodity. You don’t need to be powerful or perfect, strong or smart, you can produce generous quantities of this precious gift from your own inner strength. Regardless of your accomplishments or adversities, if you believe in yourself, you can make others believe in themselves.

Confidence is words, deeds and action. It’s time spent with and time spent away. Perhaps, most importantly, it’s your good intentions for a better tomorrow.

My father passed away last week. He left me no treasures, but he did give me the gift of confidence. My Dad is gone, but the confidence lives on. That he gave me the greatest gift of all, I will be forever thankful. I hope that as a parent, teacher, coach, or boss, I can find the ways to pass that gift to others.

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