I want to expand on the stated highlights of my trip, with professionalism being the 1st topic that I talk about. Ironically, multiple situations since my return have had the topic of professionalism on my mind. So I am glad it is the 1st topic.
To be a professional, according to Merriam- Webster is to “characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace“. Wow that absolutely sums it up doesn’t it?!? No wondered Merriam-Webster are the definition experts!!
The traits I saw exhibited by all the Groundsmen I met on the trip is amazing. The “technical or ethical standards” of our profession are being created by these Groundsmen. Placed under such impossible demands from weather and from traffic, they are setting the standards the rest of us are “characterized by or conforming to”. Pitch quality continues to rise, and less than perfect is absolutely unacceptable- even if the weather or challenge could be used a plausible excuse for them.
And the “courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace” that I saw exhibited was even more captivating to me. Theses professionals understand that extra traffic on a field is reality.. so they spend their time working to figure out how to produce the best turfgrass possible with a positive, “get it done” attitude. Negativity does not exist. The challenge is respected.
With the examples that I observed from the European experience, I continue to think about how I can help our operation at Maryland SoccerPlex set a stronger example of professionalism. And I challenge anyone reading to consider each and every part of your day- from goal setting to communication. Then think about the definition of professional: “characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace“. Does Merriam- Webster describe you and your operation as well? If not, I hope that reading this provides some motivation and insight. Writing it has added even more into my very own. Thank You to our European friends yet again!!!
With the the examples from Europe and the definition on my mind, this weekend highlighted professionalism even to a higher level with a visit to Charlotte, NC. As a guest of DuPont, I was honored to be a part of the Sprint Cup All-Star celebration of 2o years as the sponsor of Hendrick Motor Sports and #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon. Professionalism was on display in all angles: The DuPont staff kept their guests feeling VIP the entire trip with organization, hospitality, and conversation; a tour inside of the Hendrick Motor Sports headquarters exposed a culture and work place of progress and innovation; and their driver Jeff Gordon’s time with the group excited even the non- 24 fans in the group. The definition of professionalism fits Dupont and Hendrick in a way that it fits very few organization their sizes. DuPont’s technologies are a huge part of the environmental programs at the Maryland SoccerPlex- and it is an honor to work towards their example of professionalism.