I read this book - The Professional - by Subroto Bagchi. This is not like one of the Who moved my Cheese.. kind of books. Not as well written in my opinion, but makes up for it, in that it has a lot to offer for someone who hopes to be a good professional.
He does not discriminate between jobs. This is not just for the managerial cadre. (I have never understood the term 'professional courses' in our country - does that mean, all those who are not engineers, doctors, lawyers are not professionals? ) . All of us, whatever our jobs may be, according to the author, are professionals - and ultimately he says being a professional is a matter of personal choice, and the values we opt to live by.
Integrity is important, and he laments that this quality is very poorly understood. Even little things like misusing office stationery, long phone calls are all that one should consciously not be doing. He also feels that one has to look beyond money, while base comforts are necessary, apart from that, the quest for material success erodes self worth. As you advance in your profession, he adds one should keep touch with the basics even as you start delegating to others, otherwise he warns, decay sets in.
Towards the end he lists out what being unprofessional is - missing deadlines, not respecting privacy of information, passing on the blame, mindless job hopping ....among others.
He writes, the day you feel empty, shift attention from yourself to others - go spend time time with those who have just joined the organisation, help an intern with his work, take on pro-bono work with an industry association - and - see how the pitcher of emptiness begins to fill again.
There is a nice bit of advice for the mid-career professional, for those who want to make a difference to society. Do small things on a sustained basis he says, do things for your profession; do not worry about changing the world.
Like I said, this may not be the best book, even though he has quoted a few incidents to illustrate various aspects, some of which I thought were unnecessary, it can even drag at parts, but this is writing that are not just words meant to impress. It is a sincere narration of what he truly believes are values one should possess to be a good professional. A book that is easy to relate to.