Never lower your standards...


Professionalism is a characteristic we look for in leaders, one that has to do with how they act and conduct themselves. As a long-time recruiter of corporate leaders, I looked for professionals that were honest, trustworthy, reliable, respectable, ethical, organized, accountable, focused, poised, positive, empathetic, and excellent communicators. That’s a lot to look for but it’s what we expect in the people we work for and follow. Leaders can only lead when people willingly follow them, and it’s been my experience that most followers aren’t blind – they have standards and expect to see those in their leaders. When interviewing for potential leaders we sometimes spend too much time on their experience rather than on these characteristics: that’s why I asked them and the references I talked to about them to give me examples of some or all of the characteristics listed above. And when I hired any of them, I told them explicitly that those were the things I’d be looking for in their behavior and performance. These are not hard to measure – just ask the people that report to them what they see and think. Leaders who lack professionalism – meaning all those things I listed above, fail to be as effective as we want and need them to be. Look for leaders who set high standards for themselves today.

 

Raymond Albert Kroc (1902 – 1984): American businessman, credited with making McDonalds a worldwide brand