Leadership — Amateur or Professional?

Ravi Kathuria Executive Coaching 2 Comments

Do you consider yourself as an amateur or a professional leader?

Difference between an Amateur and a Professional?

Can you tell me what is the difference between an amateur and professional sports player? I know, you are probably thinking a professional gets paid.

What I am asking is the difference in their level of playing. Amateurs and professionals play the same game, same rules. Then what separates a professional — what is a professional doing that an amateur does not do?

Working with the same ingredients, what does a professional chef do that an amateur chef does not do? What does a professional investor do that an amateur does not?

Definition of a Professional

The dictionary definition of a professional is someone who is proficient, skilled, trained, specialist, an expert, and one who is systematic!

Are you an Amateur or Professional Leader?

Now, ask yourself, are you an amateur or a professional leader?

I have seen many executives, including CEOs, who have twenty years of experience, but are still executing at the same level for twenty years. They have not gained proficiency in leadership.

So many executives treat leadership as something that happens by default. They are being amateurs when they do not ask themselves, am I proficient as a leader? What do I need to do to become a great leader? Do you ask yourself that?

Amateur versus Professional Leaders

Leading versus presiding

Amateurs preside. Professional leaders lead — actively and proactively. They understand their role, their responsibilities, their obligations as a leader, and their calling.


Amateurs are clueless, they do not understand themselves. Great leaders have self-awareness. I did a detailed video on self-awareness, please watch it.

Systematic versus Instinctual

Amateurs act on instinct. Professionals add a systematic, structured approach to support their instincts and intuitions.

Connect all Elements

A leader must use a systematic method to connect all the strategic elements in the business, so everyone can see the logical flow and connect with it. Otherwise, such a leader will cause confusion and become a hindrance.

Do you have a systematic approach to leadership, or do you wing it and hope it is good enough? Every amateur swings at the ball and hopes it is good enough.

Functional versus Holistic

An amateur leader leads on the basis of his/her functional expertise. A chief financial officer who becomes CEO views the organization as a financial problem. A chief marketing officer who becomes CEO sees it as a marketing problem. Such leaders develop a skewed focus.

A professional leader appreciates and values all aspects of the business, and stiches them all together.

Grow, Learn.

Become a professional leader. Learn. Grow your leadership skills. Hire a coach to help you become a professional leader.

All the best. Thank you.

— By Ravi Kathuria, Author, “How Cohesive is Your Company?”

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