The Courage to Care About Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career
It is time you built a career out of your job by practicing “True Professionalism.”
About David H. Maister
David H. Maister is an author, a consultant, a former professor at the Harvard Business School and a founder of Maister Associates, Inc. in Boston.
“True Professionalism Summary”
To become a true professional, you have to invest your time and energy into providing the best services and the biggest value to your clients.
All professionals follow three fundamental principles:
- They believe in what they do.
- They never compromise their values and standards.
- They genuinely care about their clients.
In life and work, you are either dynamo or a cruiser.
The difference between the two is in the attitude they assume.
Dynamos are continually developing and improving their skills and enriching their knowledge. They are passionate and strive to make progress.
Cruisers, on the other hand, are simply cruising – they may be good workers, but tiptoe in the same place, without ever progressing further.
Cruisers are common. They exist and work even in some of the best companies.
What you are – a dynamo or a cruiser is what will decide if you have a career or merely a job.
Of course, you can cruise from time to time, but true professionals do not and cannot cruise forever.
Constant cruisers are short-lived because there will always come someone who will do the same job better, faster and cheaper.
So, to be able to survive in the labor market, you have to grow and adapt continually. In other words, you have to become a real professional, who knows when it is time to become a dynamo and grow.
The way to becoming a better professional is paved with specialization, rainmaking, innovation, ability and client service.
True professionals never put making more money by working harder on the top of their list of goals. Instead, they try to add value to their services and be paid for them at higher rates.
If you do not consider yourself a true professional, do not worry.
All professionals have started somewhere at some point.
Starting is never a problem. Persevering is.
Key Lessons from “True Professionalism”
1. The Road to True Professionalism
2. Priority Activities that Affect your Future
3. Activities to Invest Your Non-billable Time In
The Road to True Professionalism
- Develop a career strategy.
- Follow the proﬁtability of your employees’ assignments.
- Guarantee your client’s satisfaction.
- Continually improve yourself.
- Build your employees’ skills.
Priority Activities that Affect your Future
- Developing innovative approaches to solving client issues.
- Lowering the cost of performing professional tasks.
- Earning referrals from client work.
- Turning individual assignments into long-term relationships.
- Gathering market information and tracking emerging client needs.
- Turning inquiries into assignments.
- Developing new services.
- Attracting high-potential recruits.
- Transferring skills to junior professionals.
- Developing and growing new partners from junior ranks.
- Sharing skills and knowledge among partners.
Activities to Invest Your Non-billable Time In
- Building relationships with your clients.
- Networking and entering new markets.
- Training your people and learning new things.
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“True Professionalism” QuotesRemember, planning your career is up to you, not your firm. Click To Tweet The problem, clearly, is not in figuring out what to do. Rather, the problem is to find the strength and courage to do what we know to be right. Click To Tweet Most professionals I meet seem to want to belong to a firm with real values — but few seem to think their firm will ever get to that point. Click To Tweet Real professionalism has little, if anything, to do with which business you are in, what role within that business you perform, or how many degrees you have. Rather, it implies a pride in work, a commitment to quality, a dedication to the… Click To Tweet For most firms, as well as for individuals, there is great power in knowing precisely who you are, precisely what you specialize in and precisely which client needs you intend to excel at. Click To Tweet
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