I’ve been writing down some thoughts on leadership…mostly stuff that I am learning or understanding more and more. Today, I want to write about professionalism, which is something that is not talked about all that often. Acting like a professional, with experience and wisdom, is a key to being taken seriously.
- You might be a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy, but that attire is not always appropriate, depending on the environment. Don’t be fooled into thinking you should be who you are all the time…if you’re going to meet the President, you should put on a suit.
- Make a serious effort to return every email you get within 24 hours. If you have to formulate a response or do some work, just shoot a quick message back and close the communication loop. When people go through the effort to send an email, the least you can do is respond quickly. You are not more important than everyone else.
- If you’ve got an office, do your people use a professional and courteous voice when they answer the phone? If you act like I inconvenienced your day when I call or pull up to a drive thru, then I’m forming an opinion about your organization.
- Professionalism involves excellence, and noticing the things that people often overlook.
- Don’t have internal conversations in front of outsiders. I’ve been guilty of this before, but it’s not professional to talk about some things out in the open.
- Make sure your signs and printed pieces look good. Don’t tape things on walls…take some time and make an effort to make things look professional.
- Make sure letters and the stuff on your website sounds good. If you’re not a natural writer, have a natural writer do some editing.
- Get things designed professionally. “I know a guy” will kill you.