A Code: The Quiet Professional

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1) Mission First. This means mission before self. And that requires letting go of a drive for individual awards and recognition. In Shaul’s quest to become a QP, he's found freedom in this release.

2) Hard Work With a Full Heart. The QP follows a craftsman mindset of long, slow, iterative and incremental improvement. Shaul also notes that this usually requires that you love your work.

3) Understand The Difference Between “Experience” And “Wisdom.” Experience simply accrues with the passing of time in a job. Wisdom takes constant reflection and resolution. Sustaining a practice of regular reflection is part of the hard work mentioned in Principle 2.

4) Knowing what to do is easy. Doing it is hard. Shaul highlights the struggle of rationalization and relativism when guiding yourself. Shaul believes that one's conscience knows the “hard right” and that the struggle is to choose it and carry it out over the “easy wrong.”

5) Continual Professional Learning. Thankfully QP doesn't strive for perfection or hold that it can be attained by mortals. What QP does require is continuous improvement that comes out of a love for the work and a love of learning.

6) Do Your Job With Dignity. This is a product of the craftsman mindset at work. “QPs who put in the work, time, blood and tears to learn their craft develop a sense of dignity about their work that is unyielding.”

7) Embrace The Suck. With an almost Eastern philosophy of ubiquitous suffering, Shaul notes that at least some difficulty is not only inherent in all worthwhile professional endeavors, it's inherent in life. “It means life is hard in general, doing important work is harder still, and along the way regardless, you’ll face adversity. So don’t fight it.” Being prepared for it mentally and emotionally and working with adversity as a teaching tool is perhaps the best thing we can do.

8) Gratitude. Everyone mentions the value of gratitude these days, which of course isn't a bad thing, but Shaul breaks its virtue into two parts: Perspective and Presence. Gratitude requires one to step outside of themselves and outside of time to consider the good the beautiful and the true about their circumstances and that leads to acknowledging - and thanking -others for what they do for us. Our pasts are often marked with regret and our futures with anxiety. Gratitude looks at the present and reflects upon what’s good about it.

Articulated by strength and conditioning coach Rob Shaul from his experience working with the Green Berets. [1]