Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crowdsourcing On LinkedIn: What Does It Take To Be A True Professional?

“The true professional is a person whose action points beyond his or herself to that underlying reality, that hidden wholeness, on which we all can rely.” Parker Palmer 

Last October I started writing an article about the qualities of a true professional, and right in the middle of the first paragraph, an idea came to mind. I thought, "What if instead of writing it on my own, I do some crowdsourcing on Linkedin and pick up the brain of the many professionals on my network?"And that's exactly what I did and what a better place to do it than a discussion group. 

Of the many groups I've been honored with being a member, I decided on using the "Advertising Professionals" group because it has the largest amount of members in our industry. See the whole discussion on this link:

As expected, I received lots of interesting insights from professionals of different backgrounds within the industry which helped me to come up with some bullet points about the essence of being a true professional: 
  • You should never promise what you can't deliver. A true professional always under-promise and over-deliver. Once you lose your CREDIBILITY you'll never get it back.
  • When you're a true professional your actions should never be motivated by personal matters. You must always bring to work your ETHICS 'toolbox.'
  • You should never stop from doing what you have to do because 'this is not my schedule.' When a true professional is asked by his/her boss to do or work on something, you'll never hear the lame excuses 'it is not on my job description' or 'these are not my hours.' A true professional is a CAREER-ORIENTED, TEAM-PLAYER and RESPONSIBLE individual, who is always willing to give more than what he's been asked to do. 
  • Effective COMMUNICATION is a critical skill in every professional. Communication is a 2-way path, so listening carefully and expressing your ideas, clearly, thoroughly, succinctly and accurately should be mastered by a true professional. Either when you're writing an e-mail, having a phone conversation or standing up in a meeting, clear and effective communication is a must. 
  • True professionals are constantly motivated to learn and to keep that knowledge up to date, always fresh. They understand the importance of becoming an EXPERT in their field of work by keeping themselves up to date in the latest software, skills, tools, techniques, required to do their job.
  • Indeed true professionals are models of what every company's code of conduct book says. As a rare breed they are, they'll treat everyone respectfully and pretty much the same way they expect to be treated. Especially when interacting directly with clients and costumers, either selling goods or as a service provider, the way you treat them will determine how successful your business will be. So certainly EMPATHY, COMPASSION, RESPECT and HUMAN RELATIONS skills are in a true
    professional's DNA. 
  • True professionals, regardless of being in a position of power, are humble enough to acknowledge what is not known. They are also capable of admitting their mistakes because they are up-front and responsible individuals. Another HUMILITY signal is that no matter how good they might be, you'll never catch them neither gloating or in a self-praise, boastfulness speech. On the contrary, they'll give credit to whoever deserves credit and possess the best attitude to pass their knowledge to their peers.   
In a nutshell being a true professional is an attitude, a passion that emboldens you to do your work with unparalleled energy and contagious enthusiasm. It's way beyond salary and more about giving and serving. It's also about integrity, responsibility, commitment and trustworthiness. Unfortunately for some individuals, you can't fake any of these values, and that makes being a true professional a very powerful brand. A brand that anyone would like to be associated with.