True Professionalism

The Courage To Care About Your Clients & Career

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About The Book

Are some technically competent professionals who work hard and long hours 'true professionals' or are they just cruisers? In this deeply illuminating call to arms, David Maister, the world's premier consultant to professional service firms, vigorously challenges individuals to examine closely the meaning of their work and reach beyond their grasp.

The pursuit of the highest standards, Maister argues, is the primary road to commercial success. He presents a visionary reconception of professionalism that encompasses a lifelong dedication to self-improvement, a personal commitment to excellence, and a true spirit of service to clients. Looking first at the individual professional, Maister dares those good corporate citizens who 'do their duty' to discover what they truly love to do. Turning to the institution, Maister focuses on what he calls the 'instability' of professional service firms today, and offers advice on how to invest in skill building. David Maister's message is a recipe for success and for professional satisfaction making TRUE PROFESSIONALISM a worthy successor to his previous writings.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Group Questions
1. What percentage of our people are acting like DYNAMOS (i.e. acting as if they had a career, actively working to expand their skills and responsibilities)? What percentage are CRUISING (i.e. doing the job well, but not learning and growing)?
2. How can we manage differently in order to encourage more dynamism, and tolerate less cruising?
3. What are our enforced values (in the sense of the non-negotiable minimums that must be observed to belong to our organization)?
4. How well do we live up to the values we espouse? How well do our people think we live up to them? What must we do to better live up to our values?
5. Are we too tolerant of dysfunctional behaviors or "adequate" performance? What should we be less tolerant about?
6. How organized and disciplined are we in using our non-reimbursed time to invest in things that will make us more competitive?
7. How well are we performing on the following business processes?:
  • Creating innovative solutions to client/customer problems
  • Finding new, efficient ways to lower cost of performing our tasks
  • Earning unprompted referrals from client work
  • turning individual client assignments into long-term relationships
  • continuously gathering market intelligence and tracking emerging client needs
  • generating awareness of capabilities in important markets
  • turning inquiries into assignments ("Sales Process" Effectiveness)
  • Developing new services
  • attracting high-quality new recruits
  • Transferring skills to junior staff
  • Developing and growing New Senior people from junior ranks
  • Disseminating and sharing skills and knowledge
  • Helping people to continue to grow and develop their capabilities throughout their careers

8. How well do our managers perform in the eyes of their subordinates? Do they pass the tests of Motives, Values, Competence and Style?
9. Is your firm culture one where firm life is to be enjoyed and not endured? Are your people "having fun" at what they do? If not, why not? How can the level of fun and fulfillment be improved?
10. Are we a firm of "True Professionals" or one of "Good Technicians"? How do we describe our firm and why? How can we raise the degree of professionalism?

About The Authors

David Maister is widely recognised as the premier expert on professional service firm management. Maister is British by birth but has made his success in the US where he founded the highly successful Maister Associates Inc. He is also the author of several highly acclaimed business books.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (December 11, 2012)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471108518

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