We had to study Latin at school. We had a typical teacher, 408 years old with a unique ability to move his mouth whilst the rest of his body remained absolutely motionless. Maybe this is true of all Latin teachers.
I was terrible at Latin but it had left me with a fascinating interest in words, where they come from and how they evolve.
One of the words that has been abused and long overlooked in our language is the word amateur. Actually a French word meaning “lover of”, taken from the latin - amatorem - lover.
The word has lost its sense of original meaning, at least in English. It has come to mean poor, shoddy, low-quality. Prefix something with the word Amateur and it implies something that is unprofessional, not good.
Actually - amateur is about doing something because I love it.
Later this year, 10,500 athletes will walk into a stadium in Rio at the beginning of the 28th Olympics games. Prior to 1955 when television changed it for good, the Olympics were an event for amateurs. Athletes would be stripped of their medals if there was the merest hint that they had taken payments for their participation in sport. It was an event for amateurs - people that did what they did because they loved it.
The most successful businesses in the world were started by amateurs.
The best people to hire for your business are amateurs.
It does not mean mediocre. Poor quality. It does not mean they are unprofessional.
It means they love what they do.
How do you ensure you have enough amateurs in your organisation?