Professional Behavior


Objective: To develop a Leadership behavior and demeanor that employees can strive to emulate.


“Teaching by example” Stands the test of time. You make the greatest impact by virtue of your actions, not your words. In a Leadership role, no matter how often you encourage your Team to deliver a great customer experience or focus on achieving their Key Performance Benchmarks, they want to do it when you demonstrate your willingness to approach your work the same.

Your Team will make a number of comparisons between what you say and what you do, especially if you are requiring them to make some sort of the change in their basic behavior. Most people will literally watch you determine if you are serious about the change and willing to take the lead before they decide to change their routine or behavior. If not, if they don’t see the commitment from you by your actions, they will likely not adapt to the new way of doing things.

As a leader, you have a tremendous impact on your Team. Most of the people on your Team will eventually emulate you to the point of becoming almost carbon copy because they look to you for guidance in handling the daily problems of business.

They may adopt your jargon, imitate your style of dress, assume the same attitudes toward customers as you have and so on ~ and all without ever making a conscious decision to do so. Obviously, if you are going to have that kind of effect on people, it would serve you well to make sure the impact is what you want it to be. To do that, you will have to play the part.


The following characteristics are the kind you would want your Team to emulate:


As your people witness your composed approach to problems, and even emergencies, they will begin to understand the importance of remaining calm under pressure.

Orientation Toward Systematic or Process Driven Solutions

The almost natural tendency, when faced with a problem, is to solve it with a personalized solution {e.g., better training, more people, better people). While all of those solutions might solve the immediate problem, it will do nothing in developing the capability of your Team to solve similar problems in a predictable fashion in the future.

Ability to Dream

Most people view the present as something to endure and survive, the ideal behavioral model considers it no more than a temporary phase, on the way to the ultimate goal. Many people are idle dreamers who attempt to escape the demands of reality.

The desired change turns into a “Goal” or “Wish” instead of an “Objective” or “Plan”. The Quick Fix is often the Enemy of meaningful, fulfilling and sustainable results.


Instead of developing and implementing a sustainable selling system and process that can be easily replicated, the “easy way” might be to find a couple of good salespeople that can keep the schedule full. Talented people do not equate to predictable and sustainable results. Talented people following a well-defined process equals a manageable, scalable and predictable outcome.

Commitment to Improvement

Through your example, teach your people to be seeking better ways to get things done while implementing systems and policies that currently exist. Put another way, abide by what has already been developed in conjunction with a ceaseless effort to improve it.

Desire for Learning

By remaining open-minded and seeking knowledge wherever you can find it, you will convey the message that they should always be willing to place themselves in the posture of the student, just as you are. The search for knowledge keeps the mind alert and active, often resulting in excellent innovations from members of your group.


It is one thing to be rational; it is quite another to be reasonable. To be rational is to rigidly impose the rules of formal Logic upon life and all human behavior. Remember, the purpose of your behavioral model is to give your people something to emulate. Rational balanced by Reasonableness. (“That seems rational, but is it reasonable or practical?”

For example, If you enforce standards and policies, without any regard for circumstances, your efforts will be counterproductive while teaching your team to be just as unreasonable. The goal is to maintain a reasonable and rational interpretation of processes, benchmarks, and standards.

Thoroughness and Persistence

A half-hearted and shallow approach to business will send the message to your Team that a halfhearted approach is acceptable. Through your own actions, you must demonstrate the importance of persistent implementation of systems and policies, the dissatisfaction with compromised results, and the refusal to gloss over serious problems.


Everyone should be prepared to bounce back from setbacks of business no matter how dire they may seem to be at the moment.

Basic Loyalty

Team members should perceive that his or her future is closely tied to the future of the company as if there were a common destiny. Most importantly, the link between the person and that destiny is no one other than you. In other words, you fulfill the dual role of, first, literally embodying the spirit and the future of the company and, second, demonstrating basic loyalty.

Employees do not work for their companies, but for their managers because that is where relationships are formed. Therefore, the company becomes a reflection of the manager. Except in rare instances, how an employee feels about the company is an indication of how he or she feels about you (their direct manager).

Lack of Cynicism

Cynics are tragic people whose self-perception is so diminished they cannot imagine a world in which such characteristics as optimism, dreaming, commitment to something greater than oneself and the desire to do something truly remarkable could possibly exist. Always “looking for the angle,” they can trust no one else because, first and foremost, they cannot trust themselves.

Be very careful how you express your frustration regarding employees, business or customers or Team Members your Team. It is quite easy for a group to develop the perception that the customer is an idiot if their manager is constantly calling their customers idiots. It is perfectly acceptable to vent an occasional complaint (e.g., “Boy, what an idiot!”). However, you can never be heard to say, “They’re all idiots!” since that is the beginning of cynicism.

How you actually feel about any or all customers is not the issue here, the message you are sending to your employees and Team Members by your actions and words is the issue and must be very guarded.

Managing people would be easier if you could just be yourself.

The fact is, your employees need to be managed (Lead) by someone who is perceived as better than they are, someone they can respect and look up to. A living example of the character, behavior, demeanor, and approach you expect them to emulate. Everyone needs a Role Model.

Be the change!