Nov 10, 2010

Professionalism and Love of Work

the face of the number cruncherImage by conskeptical via Flickr
When my friend @dhanvada tweeted that "A professional is a person who can do his/her best work even when he/she does not feel like it" that it brought to my notice what about my last post was bothering me so much.

When we talk about beauty in work we talk about being an artist- no matter whether you are number crunching or selling or managing back-end operations- and an artist is an amateur.

The root of the word amateur comes from the Latin (I think) word for "love"

So the dichotomy between being someone who loves his work and someone who is professional is that people can rely on the professional almost all the time.

However, and this is my submission - when an amateur does the work he/she loves then you can compare that with the best professional's work and say "This has soul in it. Heart. Beauty"

Unfortunately modern corporations don't see an ROI in "love of work" - and yet we know when we see it in elegant designs of computing devices by Apple, in the clean user interface of Google, in the thoughtful tools that Ideo designs, the in joyful movies that Pixar makes.

Because sometimes the search for ROI hides the opportunity to be great. To soar and to touch the sky.

But I know you'll remind me of the story of Icarus. Didn't he lose his wings and fall to the ground?

Yes he did. But for a brief time he reached higher than any human before him ever had.

Success is transient. Beauty and Art even more so. But the love of doing that lasts a lifetime.

And for that reason I want to be an Icarus.
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