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Recognizing what’s invisible

August 5, 2015

Who are you most likely to nominate for an award? The volunteer who is visible at events or the treasurer doing the accounting at home in the evening? Will you applaud the parent who is reading in classrooms by day – the one the teachers are raving about – or the one typing up meeting minutes after work to help keep people on track? Do you recognize the star of the show or the person who has gathered all the props?

Over the past several months I’ve seen a few examples of recognition of the star without acknowledgement of the shadow. Frankly, I’m a bit concerned. We need volunteers with a broad range of skill sets and personality types but do we recognize them equally?  It’s not at all a slight against the folks who are front and centre. We need them. Heck, I tend to be one of them. I’m just suggesting that we ensure we look past the usual suspects when it comes to recognition and shine the spotlight on all our contributors (provided that’s of value to them). No one is front an centre without people behind the scenes.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2015 11:14 am

    That’s good advice, Dominique. An organization needs a healthy dose of volunteers along with the “movers and shakers” to function optimally.

    • August 6, 2015 9:20 pm

      Thanks Robert. I always appreciate your comments. I think it’s important to recognize all contributions, not just the ‘cool’ jobs whether they are paid or unpaid.

  2. August 10, 2015 11:26 am

    Every role is important, whether it’s front and center or in the shadows. Good leaders know they have to recognize the unsung heroes just as much as the visible superstars.

    Excellent reminder!

  3. September 10, 2015 5:39 pm

    Well said, Dominique! I like hearing about those amazing folks who do those quiet, unseen projects and tasks that make things so much easier, happier and more powerful for all of us. Hurray for the unsung heroes.

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