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A close look will reveal several real differences between a professional and an amateur. One is that the pro makes everything look easy. The amateur makes every task look hard. In the process, the amateur feels compelled to tell everyone how difficult the task or achievement was. The pro says little, but reveals style and grace. The amateur seeks accolades; the pro seems surprised, but humbled, by praise (tweet this).

An even closer examination will reveal that the pro is easy to be with. Pros take the pressure off others—and it’s easy to see why. They are calm and natural, and they appear highly confident and competent. The amateur gives off vibes of stress and overwork. Above all, amateurs seldom inspire others. As principals, we can learn from these realities.

For instance, you should refrain from telling people how hard you’re working. Telling others that you worked 70 hours last week will not earn their honest appreciation. It will more likely make people wonder whether you’re “in over your head.” It makes people wonder if you can sustain the effort. In fact, many may even think you wasted a lot of time—or did tasks you didn’t need to do. Worse, it may cause others to feel bad or guilty for taking any of your time last week, and it contributes to the general feeling that everyone has more to do than can be done. Think, instead, of adapting the outward grace and style of a pro. Work to give others the impression that while you work hard, you have many pleasurable moments along the way.

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