What is true professionalism? We know it when we see it, and when we don't. It's easy to come up with a laundry list of traits we consider unprofessional, but how do we capture the elements of what makes for a true professional?
David Maister states that professionalism is, "...believing passionately in what you do, never compromising your standards and values, and caring about your clients, your people, and your own career."
Together with my colleague - Ilyse Smith - I've been asked to speak about professionalism at an internal training program next week. Ilyse and I have been pondering the nature of true professionalism for the past few weeks. The server at my morning coffee shop epitomizes true professionalism for me; he is caring and friendly without being intrusive, seems to love his job, remembers my name and order, and by doing all this ensures I'll keep coming back. According to Maister's definition, he qualifies.
With apologies for the self-serving blog post after a few months on hiatus, I'd like to hear from you if you're interested in this topic:
1. How do you define professionalism?
2. Is this a skill that can be taught in business school? Is it?
3. Do you have any examples of professionalism (or generic examples of the lack of it)?