On Quiet Professionals

Another piece of evidence proving some of the best contemprary military writing originates from a gym in Wyoming.

Years of organizational observation, and several months of work with MTI’s Quiet Professional Discussion Groups, have reinforced for me that most Quiet Professionals are so in spite of their unit or company culture, not because of it. 

This is disappointing but understandable. Self-promotion and individual advancement dominate the cultures of most tactical units, private companies, and government organizations. The up-and-out promotional pressure of the military, and financial compensation for advancement and increased responsibility at private companies, by their nature, don’t readily reward “quiet” team members who consistently put mission ahead of self, i.e. Quiet Professionals. 

THOUGHTS ON ORGANIZATIONAL ETHOS, INCENTIVES AND STRUCTURE REQUIRED TO PROMOTE QUIET PROFESSIONALISM, Mountain Tactical Institute

If you do the work, and no one knows you did it, is it still valuable?

“Quiet does not equal silent. You’re expected to confidently and candidly speak up to improve quality and/or put the mission first.”

A mentor recently shared with me that in most units, there’s about 10% of folks who do the heavy lifting. The rest are there and doing the work, but they’re not invested in the same way.

Anecdotal, sure, but it resonates.

Maturity comes in when you recognize that this is okay. This is the way it is and you work with what you have got.

You don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.

You do the work.

That’s being a quiet professional.


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