Professional vs. Amateur


It’s easy to spot a true professional. They’re poised, confident in their abilities, successful, and in-demand. A professional carries with them a presence that commands respect but they don’t wield it like a weapon, instead they find ways to help others rise to the occasion.

We should all be professionals in whatever role we have in life, whether as an athlete, executive, salesperson or volunteer.

There are three (3) attributes I’ve observed that separates professionals from amateurs.

  1. A Commitment to Outcomes. Professionals are compensated for positive results. A professional athlete delivers an individual performance in wins/losses or they accumulate points… etc. Every employee or leader needs to perform in order to add value. It is imperative to understand the results and expectations of ones’ contributions. If expectations or outcomes are unclear, the level of professionalism drops. A professional is always committed to outcomes that give them the best chance to win.
  2. A Dedication to Training. The formal definition of a professional is an individual who is paid for their effort and typically has formal training within their field expertise. In today’s rapidly changing world, we always have to be learning if we want to win. A dedication to training is not a degree you earned in the past or a one-off training course, it’s a perpetual mindset that drives you to seek out new information, learn new skills and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Too many people rely on credentials from yesteryear or on-the-job experience and they miss out on the advancement opportunities available to them.
  3. An Unwavering Attitude. Amateurs are fair weather players. If they feel like performing or showing up, they will. A professional gives their best in every situation regardless of their mood, feelings or the circumstances at hand. They don’t allow temporary setbacks to take them off course and they never waver in their focus to deliver. Their loyalty and tenure within the workplace is second to none. An amateur jumps from one company to another, or from one project to another, hoping for better circumstances.

So.. when you look at your own level of professionalism: Are you winning or losing? Are you studying something new? Are you delivering the goods even in tough times?

We see and interact with amateurs and professionals every day and we can all attest to the difference they make. The decision we all need to make is whether we’re going to choose to be a professional or amateur in any given situation.

I wish you great success as you strive for excellence.

Have a great day!