Monthly Archives: September 2014

Are You an Amateur or a Professional?

 Much of my work over the last many years has been helping senior management reshape their workforce and methods in order to be better positioned to achieve the goals of the business.

Many of the people with whom I have worked are senior management’s middle management and the teams of front line employees whose work methods must change in order to meet the new demands of the business.

In doing so my clients have found it beneficial when I expose their workforce in one business unit to the services that the various other lines of business provide to their external customers. Since many times one internal business unit is a customer of another unit of the same organization, this technique helps add relevance to the types of requests that the workers receive. It helps them understand urgency, and most importantly helps them understand the true value of performing their tasks that so often have become routine and perhaps even appearing somewhat meaningless when so far removed from the event that triggered the request.

In other case though we discover a worker who can never be satisfied and will never feel that they know enough for their duties to be relevant, so they continue to question. Much like the proverbial actor asking “what is my motivation,” an employee of this sort appears unwilling to recognize that in the work of an amateur perusing a hobby, a quest for deeper understanding of the forces at work can be allowed to continue for a long time without penalty since a hobby is a way of occupying ones mind. In the work of a professional however, the intangibles are never allowed to derail their work.

A professional produces his or her own requisite output on demand, regardless of the motivation. Unlike the amateur, the professional recognizes that because there is demand, someone somewhere unseen, perhaps many levels away from their customer’s customer, is in need of their value and are willing to pay a professional for that value.

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