For three years I had the privilege of working with Tena Mayberry, former owner of Century II. She was one of the best business leaders that I ever worked with and taught me quite a lot. She impressed me so much that when I had to write a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) on a business leader, I selected her. I sent her a note afterward to share that with her, and her response was hysterical. Tena called me on my mobile and laughingly asked, “Why are you telling people my weaknesses?”
To Tena, a professional has three duties. First, to do their very best for their employer. Not just to do your job, but to lead. Second, be part of one or two business groups. When she says be part of, she means to take a leadership role, not just cut a check for membership. Last, and to her the most important, be part of one or two non-profit groups. Her view was that a professional has an obligation to help others. Again, in a leadership role.
I knew this but had never heard anyone lay the role out so clearly. A professional that only does their job is limited and one dimensional. If they only do their job in a business group, then they are selfish. Only when the professional understands that they must give back, contribute to their professional field, and achieve in the role then are they truly a professional.