I love watching people who are good at what they do. There's nothing better than having a contractor step on my job who is totally professional about their craft and no matter what happens they calmly and methodically handle the situation. I feel the same about the mechanic who works on my truck as skillfully as a surgeon in the operating room or a mother in Wal*Mart who care-freely manages multiple children while she shops, wipes noses, and squirts germ gel as she shuffles through coupons.
As I've written before, I'm a big sports fan and I can't get enough gridiron action during football season. The New York Giants (who take on the New England Patriots Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI) are not my team, but Eli Manning has come to be one of my favorite players because he exemplifies the type of person I find most admirable. Years ago, he sometimes would appear rattled and unsure of himself when things weren't going well, but he's matured into a sure handed quarterback that humbly demonstrates confidence. When they zoom in on his helmet in the middle of the action he now has this look and demeanor that seems to say, "It's all good. Everything's under control. Whatever they do, we'll react and be fine. I got this." And not only has he been demonstrating confidence, he's also been demonstrating competence as he goes through his progressions and nails receivers with his passes. And, to make things even better in my eyes, he's just doing it. He's drawing attention to himself for doing his job well. He's not dancing or spending time talking to the other team. He's not doing nonsensical things off the field. He's not cocky. He's simply doing his job and doing it well and letting his play speak for itself.
That's the type of tradespeople and contractors I like having on my job sites. I want people who know what to do, how and when to do it, and who remain calm under pressure and can systemically deal with challenges when they arise. Not everyone on a construction site fits this description, but when I have the privilege of working with someone who does, I have no problem expressing how much I appreciate them. I may not be able to tell Eli Manning how impressed I am by how he goes about his business with efficiency, effectiveness, and humility, but I can tell the workers on my projects and the other people doing a good job for me.
Mark Twain is credited with the quote, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." If you cross paths with someone impressive who's really simply good at what they do, I hope you think about what I've shared here and consider telling them how genuinely impressed you are with them.