BLUF: What is the 'gold standard' definition of being a professional?

I've been playing catch-up on the many podcasts available here and a vague notion has occurred to me.

Mark will, at times, describe some behavior "not professional".  I apologize for not giving an example right now (too many podcasts all at once).  This led me to thinking about what does it mean to be a Professional.   Most of the definitions I came up with were flawed in some way.  For example, does being a Professional mean always doing whats right for the company, even at the expense of your values?

So, I would like request, humbly, a podcast on the 'gold standard' of professionalism.  However, I would also be willing to read a good book on the subject, but I am rather curious about Mike's and Mark's take on the subject.


PS: I intentionally capitalized Professional to denote the unattainable destination I should journey toward.

jclishe's picture

"For example, does being a Professional mean always doing whats right for the company, even at the expense of your values?"

I find that to be a conflicting statement. I think if something comes at the expense of your values, then by definition it can't be what's right for the company. That's not to say that someone within the company wouldn't ask you to do something that would compromise your values, but that doesn't make it right for the company.



thaGUma's picture

Jason is correct that is a conflicting statement. Closer would be someone who continues to hold their professional values even at the expense of the company. True professions - where a member of the profession actually professes - hold codes of conduct. These demonstrate the level of conduct expected in a professional in his work, his dealing with others and when he feels in conflict. Whether professionals actually adhere 100% to the code is unlikely. Unfortunately there are enough cases where it fails.

American Code for Architects

Read this and you will get a good steer.


Peter.westley's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I think all the hundreds (if not thousands) if things to "do" that MT have taught through the pod-casts add up to being Professional.

Having said that, just because you don't do them all, it doesn't mean you're not Professional.

In my opinion it's not really something that can be defined in a sentence but to loosely quote Steven R. Covey: It's about "integrity in the moment of choice". Acting on what you know in your conscience to be the right thing.

-- Peter

DISC: 2564