From Wikipedia: 'A professional is a member of a vocation* founded upon specialised educational training'.
So what training have the managers in your company had?
In a recent Harvard Business Review, Richard Barker – a professor at the Cambridge Judge Business School – wrote that “management is not a profession at all and can never be one”.
Naturally enough, this caused quite a storm in management education circles prompting leading business journalist Stefan Stern to say in Professional Manager, the journal of the Chartered Management Institute, recently:
“By ‘professional’, most of us understand the idea of a relatively highly qualified person earning their keep by doing serious and worthwhile work. A professional has certain standards, codes and disciplines to live and work by. The opposite of a professional is an amateur: someone who likes doing what they are doing, but who remains fundamentally unserious about it”. He made the case for managers, who may be ‘jack-of-all-trades’ but they should be master of one: management.
Again from Wikipedia: “An amateur (French amateur ‘lover of’, from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, ‘lover’) is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science… without formal training”.
So there we have it. The 21st Century company is no place for the well-meaning amateur, the bumbling David Brent figure. Managers of all firms should – no, must – embrace professionalism, if they are to get serious about what they do for a living every day.
Now, while management training might not be top of your organisation’s investment aims in 2013, I bet you still aim to get the best out of your people. So, a short review of sound management practice might be just what your managers need to gain some pretty practical ideas on not being a ‘Muppet’ when trying to be a manager!