repost from 1.26.11

If you pay close attention, occasionally you find it.  When it shows up you wish you had it.  Last Saturday afternoon, I saw it.

What is it?  Confidence.

It was the second half of a high school basketball game and I was sitting on the bench for the home team, serving as an assistant coach.

I don’t even know the kid’s name.  He was wearing the wrong jersey.  Let’s just call him #22.

What I do know is that he “went off,” “string music,” he was “chopping cotton,” went “buckets.”

Can you say “swish?”

8 three pointers to be exact.  The kid was on fire!

#22 reminded me of an important principle . . . Confidence is contagious.

It only took a couple of possessions for his teammates to realize that they needed to get him the ball.

And it almost worked.

Had it not been for our team leader dropping 30 points of his own, we might not have won the game.  We did survive #22′s onslaught.  But barely.

As a leader, I wish I could sit and have a conversation with #22.  I would ask him how it felt to go Drano.  I would search him for his shooting secrets.  I would request a small dose of his mettle.

I bet he would tell me, “Confidence is not only contagious.  It is available.”

Do you have it?

“Where does it come from,” you ask?  The following four are a good place to start.

1.  Preparation. Nothing breeds confidence like preparation.  I never dreaded a test when I went in knowing all the answers.

I can assure you that #22 has spent hours shooting when no one was watching.  His diligence has ensured that he can now deliver under the bright lights.  You don’t get lucky and make eight 3-pointers in a game!

Prepared leaders are fearless leaders.

2.  Permission. #22 had a smart coach.  A coach who told him, “Keep shooting,” after he missed his first couple of shots.

Wise leaders create an environment of permission.

There should be the expectation that preparation is taking place.  But if it is, get out of the way and let your team members do what they do.

3.  Affirmation. Confidence grows with belief.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you and see if you don’t feel more courageous.

Likewise, encourage your teammates and they will soar.

4.  Humility. This one may seem counterintuitive, but it should not be.  The wise leader is the one who realizes his ability to perform is more of a gift from God than it is an act of self effort.

While preparation is vital, only God brings success.

There is an old Proverb which says, “The horse is made ready for battle, but victory comes from the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:31)

Preparation, permission, affirmation, and humility.  Make them your focus and you can be sure that your performance will rise and your confidence will thrive!





Are there any other “keys to confidence” that you would recommend?