How to achieve Professional Excellence?

Globalization has increased the pressure on organizations and professionals with  an increasing need felt to effectively manage one properly. Today’s  organizations place great emphasis on personal responsibility and creativity.  Managing yourself effectively and working productively with others is critical for  individual professional success and the success of any organization. I firmly  believe that whatever profession you choose and practice in, one should  possess a proven set of professional skills that helps to stay focused, work  effectively with colleagues, develop networks and expertise, and build a  reputation by delivering effective results. 

 Generally, every professional face following problems in his professional life: • How to achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness in an organization? • How to build and leverage professional reputation? 

  • How to get results working with different and difficult personality types? • How to maintain focus in pressure situations? 
  • How to work productively within the political environment of any organization? 
  • How to make a balanced choice between professional and personal  commitments? 

 Here are the probable answers to all the above questions which have worked  for me as a Practicing Company Secretary, Corporate Governance Advisor and  a Corporate Legal counsel, practicing for almost 20 years.  

Professionals should be able to: 

  • Evaluate own strengths and style, aptitudes, potential growth areas • Develop teamwork skills 
  • Build productive work relationships 
  • Present winning proposal i.e identifying what client needs, structuring your  points in a logical and compelling order, selecting proper medium of message,  using soft skills along with hard skills 
  • Identify the key players in his work environment
  • Build his development plan 
  • Set goals to maintain focus 
  • Schedule time effectively i.e by proper planning, preparing to-do list,  understanding why desks get cluttered—and how to solve this, handling  interruptions and time wasters, analyzing the choke points in your  personal Processes, reducing e-mail domination 
  • Maintain a healthy balance of work and play 
  • Maximize attention to tasks 
  • Develop Communications Skills 
  • Develop Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Techniques 
  • Develop Emotional Intelligence and art of handling people i.e working with  difficult co-workers, handling corporate game playing, being assertive without  aggression and building productive relationships with upper management 
  • Make meetings work for you i.e determining when a meeting is needed and  keeping meetings productive and professional 
  • Manage Stress productively i.e by adopting effective stress management  techniques to handle positive vs. negative stress 
  • Develop networking by contributing to physical and virtual networks 
  • Constructing an effective political approach i.e by either countering political  manipulation or being political with integrity 

 And all these abilities are termed as Professional Soft Skills. Hence, to be a long  term successful professional in today’s competitive business environment, one  has to develop these skills. It can develop either by bad experiences, which  takes probably your whole life or by proper training in the area of soft skills by  attending professional soft skills developing courses, conferences, lectures or  self-practice. 

“As it is rightly said that all Business Problems are People Problems. If they are  trained effectively, business problems will be solved automatically.”

By CS Dr(hc)Shilpi Thapar
(M/s. Shilpi Thapar & Associates, Practicing Company Secretary, Ahmedabad)