The word amateur is French for ‘lover of’ or as BBC Radio Four recently put it ‘as someone who does something for the love of‘.
So, if you are a highly paid professional who is passionate and focussed on your job, would you be happy that someone called you an amateur?
Maybe we’ve allowed the original meaning to get lost along the way courtesy of some previous negative experience.
Would we want our network infrastructure managed by amateurs? The carers and teachers who support our children to be labelled as amateurs? What about those brain surgeons employed to save lives?
They’re definitely not someone who delivers sub-standard work without the appropriate training – something we are used to classifying as amateurism. That’s what most typically perceive amateurs to be.
Maybe we need to think more carefully about the words we do or don’t use, cherish their original meanings and, if necessary, provoke a reaction to start interesting conversations.
Are you an amateur?
Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.