Unprofessionalism can take many shapes. Every trade or profession has a small share of those that are simply dishonest, but the overwhelming majority of the unprofessional actions I have seen throughout my 4 decades of business have come about through the combination of two traits that all trades people and professionals have to some degree:
- The overwhelming drive to make sales and generate income such that it takes priority over all else
The limitations of the fundamental understanding we possess about our own trade or profession and other trades or professions we need to interface with or are connected to or dependent upon.
Every professional, me included, can make mistakes at any point in time no matter how much we think we already know because we are all human and always learning. The true mark of a professional is how they behave and react to those mistakes. My attitude towards is best represented by one of my favorite quotes of all time:
“It’s what you learn after you already know it all that counts!”
—John Wooden, Legendary Basketball Player & Coach
Professionalism is taking responsibility for your actions and omissions, and learning and growing from them.
Unprofessionalism is the refusal to take responsibility of and/or learn from one’s mistakes and shortcomings.
The knowledge I have to pass on to homeowners and other professionals I possess because I too have made my share of mistakes over the decades, and have learned and grown from them — by practicing professionalism. It also seems that my problem solving oriented approach to projects makes me somewhat of a magnet for more than a fair share of problems caused by others’ unprofessionalism, their refusal or inability to fix their own mistakes.
The accounts of my experiences in dealing with the unprofessionalism of others I intend to share here are not intended to demean any individual or business, I write here to provide learning experiences for the reader, be they homeowners looking to contract remodeling services or other industry professionals.
Though my frustrations about specific problems or their causes may be readily apparent in my writing, they are not expressed for the sake of arrogant or belittlement of a single party. My true frustration is far more general in nature, and lies with far more influential groups and associations within our society.