Habits of Professionals

If I had to tell only one thing that makes people evolving from amateurs to the next level I would say it is all about the habits of professionals. This is because I see this over and over again in people that I highly respect and see them as professionals. They all have certain behaviors leading to great results over and over again. To point out this more clear: It is not the knowledge or the experience someone is having, it is the discipline to apply all the rules and habits that makes someone a professional. Habits and rules are close as the applied rules dictate how we do things. A rule can be for example that we are asking questions to get sure we understood everything before we work on a request we got. I see professionals as people you can trust and rely on. That's why it is important that no reason on this planet can come around the corner and let them forget the rules they made for themselves.  

How to identify a professional

What I do in order to identify a professional is to listen what he / she is saying and what kind of words are used. I then think what this means and compare it with the actions that are taking by the person. If the actions and the words are not aligned he is not a professional, because a professional knows what to do and why. This has certain implications: When he is talking about the topic he describes exactly how his inner map looks like (his rules are coming from this map), he also believes so much in it that he cannot do it in another way. This makes him super congruent, trust worthy and reliable. He doesn't need to be the best in his field, but this is not my definition of a professional (my word for the best people in their field are experts). So if his words and actions are aligned the next thing I am taking a look is how often he applies his rules he has decided on. If he is not applying his rules in stressful situations I also do not consider him / she as an professional. Again because this makes him not reliable and you cannot control the situations he is in. In the end the question I am asking myself is this: Would I work with him in a team where he has a big impact on the result and the result matters a lot to me? If I cannot say yes, than this is because he is not a professional.  

What to take away from it in the big picture

Everybody says he wants to work with the best, the most skilled ones: The pro's. In this context they often times do not mean a professional, they mean someone who has the best self marketing! I on the other side prefer to work with people I know and can trust over having someone doing great, but only if the sun is shining. Regarding teams it means a medium skilled team will outperform a unprofessional team over time a lot. So my advise for you: Do not look for the things people say they can do, look if they say what they do. And this also when it is super hard for them to hold their word.