Good professional versus good employee

Sometimes I wonder if being a good professional can be different from being a good employee. After all, what is being a good employee when you’re over-delivering or serving your customers better than your employer expects? Is that “stealing” from your company? How about when you are over-worked by trying to be a good employee – does that set a bad example as a professional?

There seem to be some tension between doing good work and being a good employee. And it has to do perhaps with the actual business culture and character of the firm that you’re in. Or it comes through from the self-interested capitalist identity of what a firm stands for. It is strange though, that the firms that would persist tend to be the ones who have been able to uphold their values and commit to them.

So all the short run success factors and metrics turn out to be pretty poor indicator of long-run success. Yet people feel like they have no choice but to stick to these short term metrics because people can’t patiently wait for results or their fruits.