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True Professionalism

True Professionalism

The Courage to Care About Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career

  • reading group guide
Professional firms are forever trying to get their people to act like professionals—to do the right things. Though their various incentives may create employee compliance, these don't often encourage excellence. David Maister, the world's premier consultant to professional service firms, vigorously challenges professionals to examine this essential, yet under-addressed question: What is true professionalism? His answer is clear: It is believing passionately in what you do, never compromising your standards and values, and caring about your clients, your people and your own career. In clear and compelling terms, Maister shows that this approach is not only ethical but also conducive to commercial success.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684840048 | 
  • May 2000
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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Group Questions
1. What percentage of our people are acting like DYNAMOS (i.e. acting as if they had a career, actively working to expand their skills and responsibilities)? What percentage are CRUISING (i.e. doing the job well, but not learning and growing)?
2. How can we manage differently in order to encourage more dynamism, and tolerate less cruising?
3. What are our enforced values (in the sense of the non-negotiable minimums that must be observed to belong to our organization)?
4. How well do we live up to the values we espouse? How well do our people think we live up to them? What must we do to better live up to our values?
5. Are we too tolerant of dysfunctional behaviors or "adequate" performance? What should we be less tolerant about?
6. How organized and disciplined are we in using our non-reimbursed time to invest in things that will make us more competitive?
7. How well are we performing on the following business processes?:
  • Creating innovative solutions to client/customer problems
  • Finding new, efficient ways to lower cost of performing our tasks
  • Earning unprompted referrals from client work
  • turning individual client assignments into long-term relationships
  • continuously gathering market intelligence and tracking emerging client needs
  • generating awareness of capabilities in important markets
  • turning inquiries into assignments ("Sales Process" Effectiveness)
  • Developi
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About the Author

David H. Maister

David H. Maister, one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms, is the author of several successful books, including Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, and Practice What You Preach, and coauthor of The Trusted Advisor.

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