Professionalism as a profession

19.10.2012
Today, when studying for an exam, I almost got an heart attack when coming to a set lecture slides of Professor Frank Muller of St Andrews University. I was lucky enough to turn down a uncomprehensiveble  powerpoint presentation soon enough before it caused a vast colateral damage to my brain. Professor Muller dares to present, at the top 3 UK University, slides with more than 250 words on each of them.  Steve Jobs, the father of personal computer, known for his professional presentations  would probably commit a suicide if he was unfortunate enough to  witness this lecture. And this brings me to a question what is the difference between Frank Muller and Steve Jobs.
Let me to take a short de-tour here. Two weeks ago I was having a hamburger at The Vic. The restaurant has been recently refurbished and is nice and cosy, now. Once you enter you are immediately seated by a friendly staff which explains you the menu with a smile and courtesy, helping you to make the best decision and enjoy your stay there as much as you possibly could. Unfortunately our ‘burgers were running late; however I did not mind as the reasons for the delay were sensitively explained. When we placed our order a mistake occurred, we were presented with food we had not asked for. Nevertheless you could see a genuine regret on staff’s faces and an immediate compensation in a form of a free crisp lager and a discount on the food was given. At the end of the day I was not angry at all, on the contrary I was very satisfied and, although mistakes happened, it was the professionalism of the people which made me think how brilliant this place was.
Have you ever though how important it is to be a professional in what you do? When choosing a dentist, do you choose the one who explains, cares, is genuine and happens to be around if you need her? I bet you do. You certainly do so because she is a professional. Professionalism is what makes your car’s breaks working when you need it; it delivers a birthday card to your mum, it heats your house during the dark winter… it just is what makes this World go around.
Oxford Dictionary defines professionalism as:  “the competence or skill expected of a professional”, which in fact is to be competent, skilful, or assured as opposed to amateur.As a duty of a social scientist is, according to Keohane, not only to carry out the research but being able to interpret the results to others, I am afraid, with all the respect to Mr. Muller’s superb and un-doubtful  research achievements, that he failed to deliver his ideas in an acceptable form.
This answers my initial question, the difference between Steve Jobs and Frank Muller is: the level of the professionalism.
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Ing. Pavel Čejka, PhD, MRes, MBA

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