Manufacture Your Day by UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING OF PROFESSIONALISM
Many people are confused about the meaning of professionalism these days.
It is confusing….
- High-school students go to school in sweatpants
- Some people are dressed in pyjamas while walking their dogs
- Road rage seems to be the new normal
- Bullying at work is tolerated
- Phones have priority over people
- High quality standards in attitude and behaviour seem overrated
- People are busy ignoring each other
- Using the “f-word” a few times in one sentence is “f$#%ing hip”
- “Hey dude”, “hey you” or “no greeting” is the new cool way to address (or not) each other
What does it mean to be professional?
I understand, not every work environment is a suit and dress shirt environment. However, have you ever met someone in a leadership position in a shirt that hasn’t been ironed and with shoes that haven’t been cleaned in a very long time?
What does this tell you about this person’s interest to be at his or her personal best and lead by example?
If you cannot look after your own appearance and attitude towards life and work, how can you manage to have a clean and organized department / office / shop floor / company?
Allow me to give you 2 examples:
During my Magna times I worked for a President who had a unique approach in the hiring process for managers. For instance, in the last round of the interview he excused himself to take a look into the person’s car. If the car was messy on the inside, this job candidate didn’t get the job.
A VP in an automotive company told me how important he finds it that his team members show up dressed appropriately when they come to work. He said, “People will follow your example. Everyone on my management team is dressed for success. In our work environment this means jeans, a dress shirt and clean shoes. This is part of my expectations. As a result, even the people on the floor pay greater attention to their appearance and cleanliness in their work area.”
Extraordinary leadership is all about consistency and self-discipline.
What does consistency of quality mean when it comes to professionalism?
Leadership isn’t about having a title, it is about the right attitude towards people who can do nothing for you.
- Be polite and considerate
- Greet and thank people
- Offer something to drink when you have guests in the office
- Hold the door open for someone else
- Manage your emotional state
- Promote emotional and conversational intelligence
- Demonstrate good social etiquette
The way you speak will get people’s attention. There is no place for foul language in a leadership position. If you lose your temper in front of others, you will lose their respect in no time.
3. Dress for Success
Whatever this looks like for you, make sure that you look “clean and polished” from top to bottom (not like you just rolled out of bed). People look at you and the way you carry yourself. Be aware!
4. Passion for Self-improvement
No matter where you are in your leadership journey, it is important to keep learning and growing at all times. Never expect more from others than you can deliver yourself. It is just so easy to lose sight of leadership and communication basics.
Strive to be at your personal best. That’s what leadership is all about. You and the people around you deserve it.
To my Canadian readers, I will you a well deserved long weekend. Relax and rejuvenate.
Food for Thought:
If you promote someone, make sure that they understand that personal growth is an expectation in the new role.
Please read the article: