Professionalism Jonathan Poland

Professionalism is the practice of following the standards and expectations of one’s profession, organization, and role. It involves upholding the values and behaviors that are considered appropriate in a given field or workplace. The following are illustrative examples.

Appearance, Grooming & Hygiene

Maintaining a reasonable professional appearance and level of personal hygiene.


The how-know, talent and fundamental knowledge required of a role. For example, a software developer with a solid grasp of the first principles of computing.


Actively contributing to conversations, decision making, strategy and work in line with the expectations of your role.

Social Norms

Adherence to the social norms of a culture, society and organization. For example, shaking hands with a customer and maintaining an appropriate level of eye contact.


Taking an appropriate level of care in executing your duties. For example, an accountant who double checks all work such that they rarely make big mistakes.

Time Management

Reasonable use of time. For example, playing video games at work isn’t typically considered professional.

Resource Management

Reasonable use of resources. For example, a manager who always gives their direct reports enough work to do.


Producing a reasonable amount of output in an hour of work.


The ability to continue to be productive without direction. For example, a designer who doesn’t wait around for work but pushes into projects and initiatives such that they are always busy.


Following direction, instructions and rules.


Communicating anything you feel is important as opposed to keeping things secret.

Personal Resilience

The ability to endure stress, criticism and office politics without loss of motivation, engagement or productivity. For example, an employee who can cope with the minor injustices that are common in the real world without becoming overly dramatic or emotional.

Respect for the Customer

Engaging customers in a friendly and flexible way such that they are unlikely to become difficult. When they do become difficult, professionalism calls for an employee to remain calm, cool and courteous.


Cooperating and building up others.


An earnest desire for your organization to succeed. This doesn’t mean you need to agree with strategy or defend everything your organization does.


Telling the truth even if it is inconvenient.

Risk Management

Taking reasonable steps to manage risk.

Accountability & Responsibility

Taking the blame for a failure when you are accountable or responsible.

Learn More
What is Knowledge? Jonathan Poland

What is Knowledge?

Knowledge is the understanding, skills, and expertise that humans acquire through experience, education, and research. It can take many forms,…

Creative Destruction Jonathan Poland

Creative Destruction

Creative destruction is a process in which new, innovative ideas and technologies disrupt and replace older, established industries and firms.…

Retrenchment Strategy Jonathan Poland

Retrenchment Strategy

Retrenchment is a business strategy that involves reducing the size or scope of a company in order to improve efficiency…

Sustainability Jonathan Poland


Business sustainability is the practice of conducting a business in a way that meets the needs of the present without…

Strategic Drivers Jonathan Poland

Strategic Drivers

Strategic drivers are factors that influence the success of an organization’s strategy and shape the direction of its business. They…

Sales Planning Jonathan Poland

Sales Planning

Sales planning is the process of setting revenue and unit targets for a sales team, and developing a plan to…

Sales Pipeline Jonathan Poland

Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline is a visual representation of the sales process, from the initial contact with a potential customer to…

Solution Selling Jonathan Poland

Solution Selling

Solution selling is a type of sales approach that focuses on offering customers a tailored solution to their problems, rather…

Data Quality Jonathan Poland

Data Quality

Data quality refers to the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of information used for various purposes within an organization. Ensuring high…

Search →
content database

Search my thinking on business, finance,
and the capital markets or start below

Product Development Jonathan Poland

Product Development

Product development is the process of designing, creating, and launching new products. It typically involves a number of different steps,…

Telecommuting Jonathan Poland


Telecommuting, also known as remote work or working from home, is a type of flexible work arrangement in which employees…

Market Value Jonathan Poland

Market Value

The value of an asset or good in a competitive market, where buyers and sellers can freely participate, is known…

Prototyping Jonathan Poland


A prototype is a preliminary version of something that is used to test and refine an idea, design, process, technology,…

Solution Selling Jonathan Poland

Solution Selling

Solution selling is a type of sales approach that focuses on offering customers a tailored solution to their problems, rather…

Two-Sided Market Jonathan Poland

Two-Sided Market

A two-sided market, also known as a multi-sided platform, is a market in which two or more groups of customers…

What are Field Services? Jonathan Poland

What are Field Services?

Field service involves managing and deploying resources and assets at customer, public, and third-party locations, as well as providing services…

Preventive Maintenance Jonathan Poland

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a type of maintenance that is designed to prevent failures and extend the lifespan of assets, including…

Objection Handling Jonathan Poland

Objection Handling

Objection handling is the practice of addressing and overcoming concerns or hesitations that customers may have about making a purchase.…