How do you define professionalism? As a musician, professionalism means getting paid for what you do. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “A professional is one who does his best work when he feels the least like working.” There is a higher level of expectation when working with professionals. One of my mottos is, “Say less, expect more.” That pretty much says it all. I also believe professionalsm is based on the 3 Es – expertise, ethics, and excellence.
EXPERTISE – If you are a professional, you are considered an expert. Professionals are the people we go to for advice, counsel, and wisdom. Expertise is about knowledge, experience, guidance, competence, and mastery.
ETHICS – If you are a professional, you abide by a high moral code, are a person of integrity and character, and are honest and trustworthy. Everything you do and say must be “above board.” Your ethics can never be in question. If they are, you are sure to lose respect, credibility, and influence.
EXCELLENCE – If you are a professional, you know how to work toward excellence, achieve it, and sustain it over a long period of time. Professionals are the best of the best, cream of the crop, and the role models we all look up to. They have been where we want to go.
Remember, to be considered a professional, you must live the 3 Es not only at work, but at home. A true professional is more about who you are as a person than how well you do your job.