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True Professionalism: The Courage to Care About Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career

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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? 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, thes 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? 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. 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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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? 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, thes 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? 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. 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.

30 review for True Professionalism: The Courage to Care About Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sergei_kalinin

    Вторая книга из классического "пятикнижия" признанного мирового гуру консалтинга :) Книга просто отличная! Примерно треть книги будет полезна ВСЕМ, кто работает с другими людьми (профессии типа "человек-человек") и намерен достичь в своём труде максимально высокого профессионального уровня. Книга очень хорошо прочищает мозги в плане: что есть "истинный профессионализм", а что - лишь его жалкая имитация. Две трети книги посвящены организационным компетенциям консалтинговых фирм, необходимым для фор Вторая книга из классического "пятикнижия" признанного мирового гуру консалтинга :) Книга просто отличная! Примерно треть книги будет полезна ВСЕМ, кто работает с другими людьми (профессии типа "человек-человек") и намерен достичь в своём труде максимально высокого профессионального уровня. Книга очень хорошо прочищает мозги в плане: что есть "истинный профессионализм", а что - лишь его жалкая имитация. Две трети книги посвящены организационным компетенциям консалтинговых фирм, необходимым для формирования в своих рядах тех самых "истинных профессионалов". Понятно, что данная часть книги является узкоспециальной и полезна в первую очередь для руководителей консалтинговых компаний. Но сами направления развития (повышения профессионализма) консалтинговых фирм - полезны и актуальны как никогда!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joel Ungar

    An outstanding work. Several chapters have given me some great ideas to start implementing. The begining analogy is great - he asks professionals what qualities they'd expect in a secretary. Of course, the attributes are what the professional should have, but generally doesn't. I'd have given this 5 stars if it wasn't for the emphasis in spots on measuring financial results and effectiveness by reference to hourly billing systems. This book was written in 1997 and perhaps the author has changed h An outstanding work. Several chapters have given me some great ideas to start implementing. The begining analogy is great - he asks professionals what qualities they'd expect in a secretary. Of course, the attributes are what the professional should have, but generally doesn't. I'd have given this 5 stars if it wasn't for the emphasis in spots on measuring financial results and effectiveness by reference to hourly billing systems. This book was written in 1997 and perhaps the author has changed his views on hourly billing. I don't believe in hourly billing and using it to measure effectiveness is not relevant. I have had this book for a while and rue that I didn't read it sooner.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scribble Orca

    David Maister addresses the psychology behind professional services firms, explaining what makes partners tick, the business model that generates the most profit, how to effectively and efficiently manage labour resources, and what are the necessary ingredients for long-term, repeat-business relationships. This is a must-read for anyone working for or consulting to professional services partnerships.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrecrabtree

    I can't help but feel the author is naively optimistic, perhaps he's a humanist and believes in the inherent good nature of people. Odd since Maister is supposedly known as a world renowned consultant on helping professional service firms (law, tax, accounting, etc.). I would have thought that his books would not be filled with you should do this, and you ought to do that. Maybe it's because Maister does an awful lot of telling and not too much showing. In many of the other good "management" boo I can't help but feel the author is naively optimistic, perhaps he's a humanist and believes in the inherent good nature of people. Odd since Maister is supposedly known as a world renowned consultant on helping professional service firms (law, tax, accounting, etc.). I would have thought that his books would not be filled with you should do this, and you ought to do that. Maybe it's because Maister does an awful lot of telling and not too much showing. In many of the other good "management" books I read I am not just told what is wrong with current system, and what to do to better manage things, but also why and then proof that it works. I can't help but feel that Maister posits a lot of "wouldn't it be great if..." but never has anything to back it up with, at least nothing other than his name. And an appeal to authority is not what I'm looking for. Or maybe it's because I work for a professional services firm that professes to like what Maister espouses, but doesn't actually do it. Not sure why. Maybe they've tried in the past (this book is 20 years old) and it didn't work for whatever reason. It's not all a loss though. I found chapters 13 & 14 good. 13 provides a way to categorize the type of work you (or your firm) takes on, and why you might want to take on different work. 14 goes into how you would calculate profit/engagement in a helpful way so you can get away from simplistic measures like billable, realization, etc. I've now read 3 of Maister's books and I have to say I think I'm done for now. I'll look for other authors in the field. Perhaps they have something to offer.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Victor Ramos

    David Maister sabe demais de professional services e é sempre agregador ler seus livros. Neste, ele discorre com muita lucidez sobre como construir relações sólidas e produtivas com clientes e as mudanças de paradigmas necessárias para alinhar tanto indivíduo como firma a esses objetivos. Proporciona uma renovação da visão do que é o verdadeiro profissionalismo e, por isso e acima de tudo, reaviva a paixão pelo escopo da atuação como consultor/professional.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aidan Ryan

    This is a book you return to. It's a must read for anyone in professional services, from associates to partners to management to support staff. It lays bare the commonplace dysfunctions of professional services firms and offers invaluable advice -- both for managing a firm and for making your way through one. This is a book you return to. It's a must read for anyone in professional services, from associates to partners to management to support staff. It lays bare the commonplace dysfunctions of professional services firms and offers invaluable advice -- both for managing a firm and for making your way through one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Iscritto Iscritti

    This book has been a real guide to my professional job in the last 20 years. To me, Maister is the best writer about the professional firm... be it law, medicine or information technology (my case).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Ncube

    Good book. Worth reading again

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brad Williams

    Best business book I've ever read. Best business book I've ever read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul W

    This classic book by the "premier consultant to professional service firms" is a must read for anyone working in professional services. Maister starts out by noting that the problem is not in figuring out what to do. Rather the problem is to find the strength and courage to do what we know to be right. He then articulates and explains some key ideas: The primary focus must be on relationship building Show a sincere interest in clients' affairs and a sincere desire to help them Excellence in client s This classic book by the "premier consultant to professional service firms" is a must read for anyone working in professional services. Maister starts out by noting that the problem is not in figuring out what to do. Rather the problem is to find the strength and courage to do what we know to be right. He then articulates and explains some key ideas: The primary focus must be on relationship building Show a sincere interest in clients' affairs and a sincere desire to help them Excellence in client satisfaction is an enforced standard Excellence in managing people is an enforced standard Team work is mandatory, not optional Maister's core message is: Believe passionately in what you do; never compromise your standards and values; and care about your clients. Timely words of wisdom for any professional.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Maister is the best writer on professional services firms, and this book is the "Why" to go along with the "How" of his MANAGING THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FIRM. Consultants, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, especially those who work in larger firms, will find this book useful for orienting themselves and their people on what should be the more important parts of their work: their clients, their firm, and themselves. (I always felt there was a missing section, however, on teams and f Maister is the best writer on professional services firms, and this book is the "Why" to go along with the "How" of his MANAGING THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FIRM. Consultants, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, especially those who work in larger firms, will find this book useful for orienting themselves and their people on what should be the more important parts of their work: their clients, their firm, and themselves. (I always felt there was a missing section, however, on teams and followers, especially since professionals seem not to be very good at developing their people, and yet those same people are the keys to future success.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    A good analysis of common problems be-setting the professional service firm. As with all such endeavors the issue of compensation is pervasive, if not defining. I wonder if it is possible to table the issue of compensation and simply work on the problem solving part for the client. In the end, even in a books ostensibly about "professionalism", it is always all about the money. A good analysis of common problems be-setting the professional service firm. As with all such endeavors the issue of compensation is pervasive, if not defining. I wonder if it is possible to table the issue of compensation and simply work on the problem solving part for the client. In the end, even in a books ostensibly about "professionalism", it is always all about the money.

  13. 4 out of 5

    mdy

    Every time I return to this book, I read some new gem or insight that resonates with me. Earlier in my career, the first section (Mostly About You) was particularly helpful and inspiring. As I took on management responsibilities, the latter sections (Mostly About Your Firm and Mostly About Your Clients) became more important.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    So I am reading this book for my ethics class and found many of the chapters dry but interesting. I don't suggest anyone sit down to read this in one sitting, you will fall asleep. But it is good to read when you are doing some self contemplation. So I am reading this book for my ethics class and found many of the chapters dry but interesting. I don't suggest anyone sit down to read this in one sitting, you will fall asleep. But it is good to read when you are doing some self contemplation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kzryszthof

    El libro fue escrito en 1997 y todo lo que dice es sabiduría repetida una y otra vez que ya suena poco interesante aunque no deje de ser cierta. Me pareció aburrido y monótono y creo que se le notan los años.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Portions a recap of previous Maister books, but relays some effective and potent philosophies on holistically defining your business and career (looking past the numbers, understanding the dynamics at play). Good food for thought...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Fieggen

    Good stuff

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    The best ever.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kim Gonzalez

    Not just for consulting...for servicing any clients or customers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kiersten

    Read this book after Tom Peters mentioned it in another book. Worth the read, good tips and nice reminders.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bookreaderljh

    Read for book club at work - not bad in a selfhelp kind of way. Hard to say how much will be useful at work.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Stuckey

    Fives stars for the first half the book. The rest I did not find as applicable or interesting

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Read OCT 2001

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is David Maister's best work. I appreciated his definition that a True Professional is a Technician that Cares. Great work David. This is David Maister's best work. I appreciated his definition that a True Professional is a Technician that Cares. Great work David.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I read this book as "homework" for my first job, before I ever started. I didn't understand it's value until many years later. Maister has great perspective. This book is invaluable. I read this book as "homework" for my first job, before I ever started. I didn't understand it's value until many years later. Maister has great perspective. This book is invaluable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maddx Schmib

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Herdt

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Parris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Guy

    A great book ! A must-read and must-have for each professional out there !

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna

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