In the weekly M&G attorney meetings, shareholder Rett Kendall recently delivered a series on professionalism. He used a definition taken from the Australian Council of Professions (ACP) to provide a guiding framework: professional is an indicator of integrity, ethics, trust, and expertise. 

The two key focal points of the series encompassed mindset and having a humble ambition. Although mainstream perspective primarily equates professionalism with decorum, appearances, and practice, he challenged each attorney to hold to a mindset of stewarding external and internal expectations as well as service to others. 

Can humility and ambition co-exist? Kendall emphasized a strong “yes” by defining humble ambition as “aggressively, intentionally, and strategically pursuing knowledge and skill to be used in the interest of others.” Growth is essential in professionalism but it’s critical that the driving force is motivated by benefiting the team and serving others rather than one’s self.