No matter what you do, professionalism counts – big time.

Business professionals should uphold a sense of conduct that is unparalleled. Your position or title doesn’t matter when it comes to character. Your heart, your soul, and the strength to follow your gut and be good are what count. Maintaining that high standard of quality, however, takes more than just effort. It takes a strong sense of self to truly be your best. It takes a willingness to be humble, yet fearless. Fearless when it comes to doing the right thing, that is.

When you mentor or lead a team, or you’re simply someone who is highly regarded in your company, field, or industry, you should feel an intense sense of obligation to lead by example and do the right thing. Doing things well while doing good things is the best possible treasure you can pass along.

What you’ll find is your reputation will precede you – always. If you’re a person who does the right thing and still performs at exceptional levels, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. I’m giving you a virtual pat on the back right now for all you do. You should never feel the pressure to operate otherwise. It’s just not worth it, and it will eventually impede your ability to move forward, learn, grow, and help your organization reach its true potential.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. Engage with a mentor who can help you navigate toward professional growth and development in a way that lets your powerful sense of character shine. This is the person who will challenge you and push you toward a higher standard of excellence while recognizing your wins – big or small – along the way. Your mentor will help you learn from his or her successes and mistakes, ultimately transforming who you are by encouraging you to reach past your comfort zone. This is the person who will leave a lasting impact on your professional development and your life.

The strength you already have in order to be a true professional (or to be a mentor who helps someone get there) is in you; everyone has the potential to find that inner glow. When you do, hold on tight, and embrace your commitment to being honest, genuine, positive, and true in the utmost professional way. It’s quite possibly the most valuable thing you can do.

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