Monthly Archives: March 2014

Professionalism in the workplace

The Oxford dictionary defines a professional as: “A person competent or skilled in a particular activity” while professionalism is defined as: “The competence or skill expected of a professional”

That summarizes my post today.

Professionalism is simply put: the ethics of every profession. It means a person is an expert in performing everyday tasks relating to his/her profession.

Professionalism has got little or nothing to do with skill and abilities. Professionalism, if a skill at all, is a soft skill. You either have it or you don’t.

Sadly most ‘professionals’ do not display signs of professionalism. Pride and Arrogance have replaced the definition of professionalism.

Below are a few traits common with professionals. I will start with the easy ones 😉

1. Competence: You know your job and you do it well. Take note that not everyone knows what their job is…whether or not they read their job description.

2. Self Development: No professional wants to be caught with their pants down. Caught without their facts. As a professional, you need to know your stuff. Desire knowledge. Get wisdom and in all you are getting, get understanding.

3. Reliability: Can your team depend on you to show up on time, submit your work on time, e.t.c. Kunle Olaifa, HR Manager- Samsung West Africa, recently said: ‘The market women at Alade market in Ikeja area of Lagos State, are more professional than most ‘professionals’. You will always meet them at their stalls at the right time; If they tell you a particular product would be available by the next day, you can take their word to the bank. If It won’t be available, they would let you know when next to check back. They go to great lengths to ensure customer satisfaction.

4.Honesty: Say things as they are. Be up-front. Do not sugar-coat the truth.

5. Integrity: Known for consistently keeping to set principles and ethics.

6. Respect and support to others: Treat people the way you would like to be treated and be willing to support, help, listen and teach others.

7. Work-Life Balance: Balancing work and personal life is and will always be one of the most difficult things a professional has to deal with. Learning how not to let personal matters interfere with work-related matters and how not to spend work hours attending to personal matters sums this up perfectly. Another aspect of this is taking time rest so that your job is not affected by you experiencing burn-out.

Yes this is a tall-order and the truth is that we will struggle at this…I know I do. But keep at it. Strive to achieve these. The more practice you put into these, the better your chances of achieving a positive reputation among peers, colleagues, subordinates and superiors.

What other traits should be found in professionals? Please share your views and let’s learn from you!


Evaluate culture….or stifle growth, creativity, and Intrapreneurship

I came across a post on Forbes by Jesse Lipson where he analyses an infographic and I could not help but lend my voice.

Its about research carried out by a group of scientists. It shows a monkey trying to climb a ladder to get to some bananas resting at the top of the ladder. Each time a monkey gets to the top of the ladder, the other monkeys on the ground get soaked with water. Soon enough, all the monkeys are attacking anybody who tries to climb the ladder.

The scientists then replace the group with new monkeys one at a time until none of the original monkeys that witnessed the water-soaking remains in the group — yet the bananas remain at the top of the ladder. No monkey dares climb the ladder for fear of attack by the group.

If these new monkeys are asked why they beat up anyone that tries to get to the top, your guess is as good as mine. They would probably say “its the way things are done” or “its the culture of the organization” or maybe they would even find an excuse like “The bananas are probably poisonous”.

That’s the same thing that happens in organizations. Because something has gone wrong when tried the first time, a new policy goes out, preventing everybody from doing anything similar. Fear sets in when anyone tries to do the same thing or something similar.

And then the organization becomes Static. Stagnant. Boring.

And still nothing happens. It takes an outsider, a change specialist, to come in and do an overall assessment of the organization and determine that growth lies at the top of the ladder; To let them know that creativity is being stifled because no one can get near the bananas.

However all these can happen only if the organization is willing to change. If they can open their eyes, see and accept that they need change. Only if they understand that change is good and they are daring enough to change


I see two very interesting options:

1. Go up the ladder, get the bananas and prepare for a good bath! 😀

2. Tip over the ladder! 😉

Embedded image permalink

What do you think? What will you do?



You can view the infographic here.

You can also view Jesse Lipson’s post here.


The Social Intrapreneur’s Journey. By… My Impact

So I recently came across an infographic that shows in detail, the social intrapreneur’s journey. It details the typical journey of a Social Intrapreneur and a Social Entrepreneur.

Before I share the link to this document , I’d like to encourage you to read these other articles to bring you up to speed. ( If you are in too much of a hurry, just scroll down and grab the link)

Click here for a .pdf version of: A Social Intrapreneur’s journey


A Big shout-out to My Impact for carrying out such extensive research and producing this very insightful document. Do visit their website for a full article regarding the above:

Recognize Intrapreneurs Before They Leave

It is a real pity that CEOs and Senior Management are ignorant of the benefits of having and encouraging intrapreneurs within the organization. They are afraid to train and develop intrapreneurs and have them leave to other organizations.

If only they knew the level of growth they were denying their organizations.

If only they knew the level of profitability, gone down the drain, by not encouraging these inrapreneurial innovators.

If only they knew……

…… But now you know!