Quiet Confidence

It was the Croquet World Championship.  Croquet, the lawn game, was a sport for the privileged and the world championship was the social event of the summer.  When Ben and Jake arrived for the championship in their 20-year old camper, they were initially turned away.  When they showed the guards at the gate of the exclusive resort their championship entry approval, they were allowed to enter but had to park in the back with delivery vehicles.

There was quite a stir in the crowd when Ben and Jake arrived at the grass court.  They were dressed in blue jeans and t-shirts, not the standard dress code.  But they were allowed to compete because no one thought they would be around that long.  But to everyone’s surprise, Ben and Jake started climbing the championship bracket.  They were unphased by the taunting of the crowd.  They never said a word, but their play was like nothing ever seen before in the championship.

When Ben and Jake won the championship, they got in their camper and returned home.  They never stayed for the black-tie award ceremony.  In fact, neither of them had ever worn a tie.

Ben and Jake had what is called quiet confidence.  They didn’t need to brag about their accomplishments.  In fact, they had an internal sense of accomplishment that didn’t need validation by others.

Ben and Jake also maintained calm, even when others were trying to arouse some emotion in them.  They weren’t afraid to be out of their element at the resort.  They had a goal to achieve, and they were determined to achieve that goal.

While Ben and Jake could have been intimidated by their competitors, they never were.  In fact, they went out of their way to acknowledge a good shot.  As each match ended, you could see a grudging acceptance from those they had just beaten.  When others discovered that Ben and Jake were sleeping in their camper, they offered to pay for their rooms in the estate lodge.  Ben and Jake politely turned them down.  They were not looking for any special treatment now that they had proven themselves.

Our world has a desperate need for quiet confidence and assured competence.  Why do you think that so many of our leaders today seem to lack the quiet confidence of Ben and Jake?  How might we replace the insatiable need for ego satisfaction with quiet confidence?  Can those with quiet confidence ever succeed in a world dominated by social media?

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“I’m a firm believer in quiet confidence.  By that I mean knowing inwardly that you are good, and not exhibiting a boastful attitude outwardly. If an athlete doesn’t believe in himself (herself),* no one else will.”           – Dick Van Arsdale (NBA player and executive)

*Added to make the quote gender neutral

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