As I listened to and watched talented David Sanchez play the tenor saxophone at the Jazz Standard this weekend, the words “inspiring confidence” popped into my head. Like most accomplished jazz musicians, David plays with supreme assuredness. He’s got musical mojo. He knows he’s talented and he loves showering us with his jazzy sounds, infused with a Latin accent.
I adore people who inspire confidence, whether they’re salespeople at Apple, who have a complete grasp of the plethora of products; a doctor who makes you feel like he’ll figure out what ails you or a sister who calmly, cooly gives you sage advice when you need help with a sticky problem.
People who inspire confidence aren’t afraid to make decisions; don’t worry themselves silly about failing; know their stuff; take charge but don’t show off; don’t kvetch and complain when they’re faced with challenges; don’t make mountains out of molehills; ease the anxieties of those around them, even if they’re not especially at ease themselves.
Cocky, exaggerating blowhards don’t inspire confidence. Think Donald Trump
Wishy washy, flaky people don’t inspire confidence. Think Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men or Phoebe on Friends
Lazy irritating people don’t inspire confidence. Think George on Seinfeld
Problem solvers do inspire confidence. Think Liam Neeson’s character in the cult movie, Taken
Macho men do inspire confidence. Think Clint Eastwood in every movie he’s ever done
Emotionally generous people do inspire confidence. Think The Reverend Billy Graham
Survivors do inspire confidence. Think Joan Rivers