In project design, people management, and their career, education, and even in their personal lives, professionals are guided by the concept of usefulness.
Professionals consciously choose the path of usefulness. They make decisions in projects, the delegation of powers, education, and career based on the desire to constantly increase their utility, i.e., value to the world.
This does not mean that professionals are blind altruists. They choose their path based on personal interests and preferences for their and their family’s benefit.
Professionals are capitalists. Poor professionals do not evaluate how to squeeze the maximum impact from their products and personal time. This is the essence of all working systems, only in our system, there is no brutality and parasitism.
The main criterion for decision-making is usefulness.
Professionals choose the grade of steel, the email subject, or their successor based on their usefulness.
Professionals strive to optimize their work and never compromise quality. Professionals pride themselves on their professionalism.
Professionals cannot consciously do a poor job even if the client has turned out to be a total nightmare and they have not been paid. The work’s quality is always a matter of self-respect. For professionals, it is degrading to slack off on a project. They would lose respect for themselves by doing work "no worse than others would."
Doing shoddy work is a mortal sin to professionals. However (!), the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. Quality means meeting expectations.
The best solution is a working solution. Perfectionism cannot serve as a justification for increasing the budget or timeline. Professionals use their know-how and creativity to finish the task on time without compromising quality.
Late delivery even of “high-quality” work renders it useless.
Professionals are not afraid of looking like shoddy specialists by asking questions. They know that questions are the principal method of receiving information. Of course, one can always learn by screwing up on the job. But is it not better to ask seasoned veterans?
Questions show an interest in the particularities. Questions can and should be asked in interviews, work, and interactions with your boss, colleagues, and subordinates.
BETTER ASK THAN SORRY
Professionals can make mistakes. Professionals are not afraid to own up to their mistakes. Mistakes are new knowledge and experience. But professionals do not repeat their mistakes, they learn from them and take measures to avoid them in the future.
We do not ignore problems. If professionals notice poor-quality work, or a mistake or problem, they immediately point them out.
LEARN FROM IT
DO NOT REPEAT IT
Professionals are strong in spirit and dedicated. They devote their life to growing in the profession and contributing to the development of the profession itself. Professionals are mindful of life’s limitations.
Neither winter, vitamin deficiency, rent, nor the price of fruits interferes with a professional. They know that a comfortable life will come later in exchange for professional success. They stay up late trying to crack a problem while they have the vitality of youth.
Professionals do not like the work they did in the previous year. They know how to do it better and faster. This is a normal result of professional growth.
Professionals plan their life. Young vigor and ability to work nights diminish over time. Therefore, as soon as professionals have mastered the basics of the job and become a good implementer, they immediately learn to delegate to increase their usefulness without compromising quality. Commanding a squad to complete a mission is physically the most energy-consuming part of a career.
If a professional does not have mentees, there will be no continuation of their career: after all, at some point, there will be no strength left to lead people from the trenches. The prospects are retirement and downshifting.
Therefore, by the peak of their career, a professional must have mentees. When the benefits from the transfer of knowledge and experience begin to outweigh the benefits from personal participation in the work, mentees free a professional to work on the “big picture” level. A caterpillar transforms into a butterfly; a lead engineer becomes a head one.
A mountain of knowledge helps a professional plan their own growth. But without a “turbine under your tail,” you cannot climb that mountain. All other professionals must constantly be feeling its heat, smoke, and pressure. Personal drive will help bypass all the wunderkinds and master the most fantastic skills.
Complacency is a mortal sin to a professional.
Professionals are curious; for them, there are no uninteresting topics or boring tasks. All knowledge about the world is present in engineering: scientific and technical, humanitarian, cultural, and artistic. Professionals may say, “I don’t know about graffiti,” but cannot say, “I am not interested in graffiti.” Perhaps, “I don’t know history well,” but never, “I’m not interested in history.”
You can never say in advance what knowledge will be useful in the future. Therefore, professionals accumulate observations, impressions, and discoveries all their life. They cultivate literacy, oral and written language, and aesthetic taste.
Professionals read books and collect daily observations from walks and trips.
In the Middle Ages, craftsmen jealously guarded their trade secrets. On our team, it’s the opposite -- a professional hastens to share their insights; they conduct seminars for colleagues, outline pointers, publish their observations, and present their findings. They organize professional roundtables or conferences in their city.
Professionals share their knowledge.
Professionals know how to face the truth if reality contradicts their ideals. They always retain a healthy amount of skepticism and a critical outlook but do not allow them to become an obstacle to new knowledge.
Knowledge is an immortal legacy of a professional’s career.
Indifference is a mortal sin to a professional.
Professionals always remember that their profession is service-oriented, and they work for the client.
The benefits to the client are above all else. Professionals will never undertake a commercial project if they do not believe it can get done. Professionals will never compromise their conscience.
A client sets the task. He orders a job done and expects top-rate service. Human relationships are built on expectations, and the first step is to figure out what the client envisions.
Professionals learn and practice the principles of good customer service. They clarify and shape the client’s expectations. It’s better to “underpromise and overdeliver.”
Professionals are sociable and constantly perfecting the art of negotiation. Professionals listen to their client and are not obstinate in conflicts, spineless, or a pushover.
Thanks to the philosophy of utilitarianism, professionals see the contradictions and skillfully turns a personal conflict into a technical problem.
Professionals never speak condescendingly about their client when communicating with colleagues or other clients.
Arrogance is a mortal sin to a professional.
Professionals try to do everything as efficiently as possible: achieving the highest quality most simply.
Professionals are always seeking ways to improve their professional techniques and approaches and optimize their efforts. Their methods are constantly changing with the growth of experience and knowledge. If professionals do not suggest improvements in their own work or their colleagues’ work, it’s a sign of stagnation and indifference.
Professionals never change their methods for the sake of a client relationship.
Adherence to their own methodology distinguishes a professional. Professionals should not allow a client to decide for themselves how to do the job. Achieving the result is an intimate professional process determined by the designer himself or their manager.
Professionals take responsibility for everything in their life, work, and projects. Professionals think and act independently without complaints or excuses.
From idea to implementation is a difficult road. Reality always gets in the way. Professionals understand well that “to do” and “to get done” are fundamentally different things.
Therefore, professionals are constantly learning to turn tasks into accepted works, project plans into realized products, problems into solutions, and ideas into realities. The professional follows the path of an entrepreneur.
Like a good entrepreneur, a professional does not seek the boundaries of their responsibility. Even cleaning toilets is not below him.
In a typical society, people are forced to work. Doesn’t matter how -- by recording their attendance at the office or through the control of managers or a ban on social media.
Professionals know how they work best. They determine where to live, the length of their workday, the number of days off and vacations.
Professionals do not say or show how much they work. No one monitors their discipline and attendance. Only results matter, so nothing can cover up for their absence.
Such freedom is not for everyone. Most people need to be constantly monitored and attended to for the work to move forward. But we do not have such types.
Professionals face all challenges head on.
Professionals have a careful and rational attitude towards money.
Professionals are capitalists. Professionals are devoted to their work not because of money, but they understand that money, first of all, is a resource of a serviceable system, that is, a part of the profession in which they are engaged. Secondly, it provides for their family’s quality of life.
Like all capitalists, professionals want to earn a lot. They associate their well-being with professional success. Therefore, at the beginning of the path, they are ready for hardships, and at its zenith, they are in no hurry to retire.
Professionals' only argument when discussing money is their own usefulness. Anything else offends their entrepreneurial spirit.
Professionals never discuss the company’s contract amounts. The professional avoids conversations on this topic with other clients, friends, and acquaintances. It’s not their secret to share.
Professionals care about their reputation, participating in a limited and prudent manner in discussions, conferences, and social media. They do not argue with strangers on social networks.
Professionals do not publicly evaluate the work of colleagues at competitors’ companies. The exceptions are open recognition of other people's merits, professional reviews at the authors’ request, and closed educational discussions.
Professionals speak respectfully of their clients and do not discuss client relationships with anyone.
Professionals remember and honor their alma mater. Professionals never insult the place where they started their career, despite any grievances. Professionals do not entice clients and employees from their alma mater if they themselves did not take the initiative. Professionals find their own clients and grow their team.
Professionals do not act with prejudice, offend, or condemn people on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity, age, sex, orientation, social status, the presence of diseases or disabilities, pregnancy, religious or political beliefs, the presence of tattoos, etc.
Professionals do not allow religion, politics, or intolerance into the workplace. Professionals can participate in political life, but will not engage in campaigning among colleagues.
Only professional qualities concern a professional. Professionals are busy with work.
The company is the team.
Every professional cultivates their own area of expertise. The best ones become teachers in their disciplines and gain authority and recognition.
Professionals know that their strength is in like-minded people, and the strength of their knowledge is in connection with other disciplines. All disciplines in the company are linked by common ideology, terminology, and techniques and a foundation of examples. If they lose connection with their colleagues, their knowledge will lose value, relevance, and reach, becoming inessential.
Professionals know that the company’s success is their success.
Professionals can be trusted. Professionals are conscientious, honest, open, responsible for their words, and do not accept lies, theft, and betrayal.
We are all professionals, we trust each other and value that trust. Our company, team, and work are based on this trust.
Unprofessional people do not work for us.
P.S. The professional’s codex is a living document. Its task is to educate novices and sync with like-minded people.