Professionalism isn’t about getting paid. It’s about who the work is for, changing things for the better and keeping a promise to show up.
An amateur is building experience, honing the craft…a practicing student. It’s mainly for themselves. Professionalism begins when the choice is made to perform the work for someone else's benefit. And then making a promise to show up with their best work.
Choosing to lead, to manage, to teach someone else as a professional comes with great responsibility. It requires your best performance…every time. It requires vigor but also patience. It requires experience but also empathy. And most of all it requires a dedication to leveling up as a leader…a commitment to keep learning the craft of leadership. And understanding that it’s a lifelong journey.
Choosing to learn might be the professional’s most important decision. Because without it, nothing would change. And that would be a shame.