What defines a professional manager?
Is it a term that hinges around the monetary aspects of a manager’s work, or is it a term that deals with the character and make up of the manager in question, or their ability to deliver quality work?
All of these factors figure into the equation.
A professional in any occupation is a person who is paid for a service with which they are providing. Whether this service is under an exclusive contract from a particular company, or is being provided as work for hire, the professional is being compensated for their work monetarily. However, money by itself, as attractive as it can be, doesn’t make a professional. More important than the financial rewards that can be allotted to a manager or their abilities, is a clear understanding of what it means to act in a professional manner.
The building block around which a manager constructs his/her professionalism, is attitude. A positive attitude is the one thing that can benefit a manager more than anything else. A positive attitude can not be an imposed behavior modification on the part of any manager, or person for that matter. Rather, it is something that has to be learned through acquiring a competence for the correct way in which to behave, to present yourself, and to use criticism as a tool for advancement. It can be tailored to fit the individual, because not everyone who possesses a positive attitude, displays it in the same manner.
The foremost ingredient to attaining a positive attitude, is self esteem. As a manager it is the crucial primary factor behind performance. If you don’t take pride in yourself and your work, your work will suffer for it. An easy equation to remember is that your self esteem is almost equal to the value of your work. In a manager’s case his/her own performance and that of his/her unit/team.
Another crucial factor in my definition of a professional manager, revolves around the ability to honor commitment. A manager who can’t be depended on to honor commitments is unprofessional and intolerable.
Finally, when I define a manager as professional, I think of a person who respects his/her profession and has the dedication to deliver competent performance time and again.