Olympic athletes have a way of making years of hard work look effortless, don’t they? I think they’re amazing, win or lose. Olympic athletes can compete professionally, but the true professionals rise to the top both on and off camera.
What most people don’t see is the rehearsal, education, training, and development that sets the stage for something to look ‘easy’. Dan Kennedy says most people don’t know it took him 14 years to become an overnight success. A professional’s job is to make it all look natural.
When you’re in the presence of a true professional, they have a polish to their conversation. They pay attention to detail, and have a forthright presentation. They tend to have good listening skills. I notice this most in networking meetings, where you always have a good mix of individuals from various backgrounds, skill levels, and customer bases.
The follow-through is just as important to a business professional as it is the Olympic athlete. Professionalism is the great leveler. Developed and nurtured as a skill, a true professional can run a gas station or teach corporate sales teams. An occupation doesn’t have to define the level of professionalism one should expect, because a person’s confidence, ability and attention to detail speak loudly and do the convincing.
- Professionals have a few traits in common that I hope we all strive to exude:
- They follow through. Phone calls, reports, requests for additional information or questions, surveys – it’s not done until it’s done.
- They are polite at all costs, willing to endure miserable company until it’s no longer necessary.
- They’re friendly and humble, ready to share the spotlight or defer to another.
- They try not to speak over someone’s head, breaking down information that might be difficult to understand without being disrespectful.
- They know every aspect of their job. Excellently.
- They are approachable.
Occasionally we’ll hear of an athlete that lost a temper or behaved inappropriately, but we’ll remember the men and women who were a ‘cut above’ and realized they were ambassadors of the greatest country on earth. We’re all ambassadors. As entrepreneurs, everywhere we go is an opportunity to shine a light. We should be looking for ways to connect our companies to our communities to develop a very approachable brand our customers can be confident about.
Speaking of attention to detail, I hope you’re already a Richardson Copywriter Subscriber (on the right>>>>>) but if not, you’re missing out on my Google Tips and Strategies Webinars this February, designed to help you map out sales, marketing, and management agendas easily for a professional approach.
I LOVE watching the Olympics! I often wonder what my life would have been like had I possessed that talent and drive. A fascinating life, but no doubt quite painful …
If you were an Olympic athlete, what would you be?