"26 Qualities of Career-Minded people"
Professionalism and Leadership
Can anyone consistently execute at top performance or reach their potential without a foundation of professionalism? That's a straightforward question with a simple answer, "No!" Here's a more challenging question: "What ARE the qualities of professionalism?" The responses I get are much the same as when I ask, "What are the qualities of leadership?" The two lists overlap so much that my conclusion is that leadership and professionalism are, at the very least, close kin to one another.
Discussing what is professionalism
and how does one acquire it?
The Essence of Professionalism
I enjoy asking people what qualities define professional behavior. In my book Professionalism from A to Z I identify 26 qualities of a career-minded person (aka a professional). The puzzle to your left includes words relating to professional attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. A word puzzle does not include definitions so it can't explain semantics or provide context. Even so, you will recognize some of the words straight up as elements of professionalism -- words such as: manners, integrity and attitude.
The crossword puzzle format represents the concept that these qualities are connected to one another within the domain of professionalism. For example, can anyone have honor without integrity or understanding without listening? Can a professional excel without a purpose? We could ask the same questions from a leadership perspective. Can a person lead change without vision or courage?
How Does One Acquire Professionalism?
You might have concluded that my definition of professionalism is different and broader than others. Here's the reason why. I believe that maintaining separate standards of beliefs and behaviors for home, for work and for play makes life more complex than it needs to be. To me, being a different person in different scenarios is too close to schizophrenia. Why not manintain one standard that is appropriate anywhere?
That being said, preparing children to become adults should include teaching the principles of professionalism, which includes, but is not limited to, morals and ethics. It shouild begin at an early age in the home and be consistently reinforced throughout the formal education process. A person should enter the workforce already knowing and practicing the basics. Then, the rest of time on Planet Earth should be dedicated to reviewing, refining and living a life of professionalism as an example to younger generations.