I’ve heard John Maxwell say many, many times that leaders are readers, and from the first time I heard that statement, I have been reading as often as I can. A few months back, I picked up “Manage Your Day -to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind” and read the following paragraph written by Steven Pressfield:

A professional is someone who can keep working at a high level effort and ethics, no matter what is going on – for good or ill – around him or inside him.

A professional shows up every day.

A professional plays hurt.

A professional takes neither success nor failure personally.

When I read this it came to mind that working for a highly visible organization or well known production company does not actually make you a professional. You see, I often thought that by working in “church” production world, I was at amateur status at all times. I believed that to become a professional, I would have to leave “church” world and head into the “industry.”

So here is what I have learned and what I believe currently it takes to leave the amateur status behind.

High Level Effort… Regardless

Professionals play hurt. Professionals play year around. Professionals stick to their beliefs/standards through it all. Over the years I have learned that if I want to take it to the next level I must put more hours than required. The average work week is 40 hours and most organizations require average work. So a few years back I found myself working more than 40 hours per week because I did not want to do average work. Instead I wanted to be leading the charge and that required more. (I will be posting next on why this part does not encourage a “workaholic” for life)

Show Up Every Day

I learned while playing basketball in high school that “phoning it in” during practice hurt me in the actual game (if the coach even decided to start me). Every day I do my best to show online casino up ready to give it 100%, whether it be in a brainstorm session, meeting, or a rehearsal. This may mean running through the entire lighting cue list one more time to see how I can simplify it – even if it is 11:00pm. It may mean playing back my online mix again and again even though I hate it.  And it may mean spending an extra 10 minutes cleaning up my office/desk before heading out the door for the day.

Success OR Failure  is not Personal

[quote]“A professional takes neither success nor failure personally”[/quote]  This is possibly the hardest statement for me to accept, but I believe it will take you to the next level. In creating service flow, programming lights, directing video or mixing online, I pour my heart into it. That in itself is very personal, which makes the statement “A professional takes neither success nor failure personally” very difficult for me to live out. So here is how I have dealt with it. I put my heart and soul into the planning & execution of the “product/service” then leave it there. Once the event is over or the product has “shipped” I do my best to leave the personal stuff off the table, because I want to make sure there is an evaluation after every event or product launch. If you are able to reach this level, you can improve on your art form so much faster because you will begin to take criticism and advice more seriously. This doesn’t mean you listen to what everyone says and change things based on every different opinion, but you won’t dismiss it because they may have hurt your feelings. With our latest installation of a separate online mixing console I have learned to trust the above statement the most.

There is so much more that can be said and discussed about what I have written here, but this is personally where I am right now. I have begun to share this with my media and production staff members and it”s resulted in a lot of good conversation. I encourage you to evaluate and discuss this topic with others in your circles. I promise it will bring up lots of great discussions.

[note]Photo taken from The Great Discontent article on Scott Belsky[/note]

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