The tell always works more on people because they often take what is harped on enough at face value. That's why lots of writers never even bother with showing a character has certain qualities but only repeat it in text or have other characters give either fawning or disparaging speeches.
The only thing you can't sell about a character like this is them being "cool". Supposedly smart, competent, good, evil, saintly, whatever, it all works. But sonehow coolness can't be sold via text but only viscerally to the audience.
Sam got enough ego stroking as a leader, they could have shown h