5 Things I need you to do if you want me to nominate you for an MVP Award

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It’s great to see so many people want to participate in the MVP Program. I find that I’m being asked fairly frequently at the moment – say, a couple of times a week – by community individuals if I will nominate them.

Here are some disclaimers:

  • I have no influence over the MVP Program at all
  • I consider myself lucky to be part of the Program. It is a gift, not an entitlement, and it can be gone at any time.
  • The people who nominated me were not my friends, apart from one person (thank you Andrew!). These were generous people who gave their time to nominate me, and it turns out I was nominated by a lot of people, over a period of time, before I got the Award.

I tend to be happy to nominate people if they ask me; after all, it’s not my decision and it may be good for the Program as well as the individual. From my experience, it wasn’t my community ‘friends’ who nominated me, it was people who didn’t know me very well but they could see that I was making a positive difference in the community. I see the MVP Award as a ‘golden ticket’ to do even more positive things for the community; it is about being other-centered, and not self-centered, I think.

OutliersI don’t see that I am an expert now I’ve been given an Award. Throughout his book Outliers, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours. What he doesn’t say is the next step: the world is moving so fast, you have to keep working all the time to stay on top. So that means that other things sometimes have to be let go.

My brother, a wise man, once told me that ‘it’s lonely at the top’ when I complained about the number of ‘real’ friends I’d lost, particularly over the past two years. Although I don’t see myself at the top of anything (unless it is a complete mess) I see that, sometimes, other people do; and that’s why they ask for the nomination. If I can inspire someone to do good things for the community, then that’s a good thing for me. In fact, leaders should leave a plan and a structure behind them in their trail; good leaders look at what they leave behind them, as well as looking far forward into the future.

I do nominate people myself, and sometimes I’m lucky that they get the Award after one or more nominations e.g. Stephanie Locke, Mark Wilcock, Ryan Adams and Mark Broadbent, but sometimes I nominate and it doesn’t happen for the nominee. I do try to nominate people who I can see are in my ‘trail’ and hopefully, if anything, my life will serve as a cautionary tale and a ‘teachable moment’ for others.

So, what do I need you to do for me? Tell me, in your own words:

  1. Your community activities. Please list them out for me. Don’t assume that I know. I don’t remember what I did, last week. I certainly will have very little clue what you did, even if you were with me.
  2. What you think you’d contribute to community life for Microsoft, their product groups, and the people who work at Microsoft. They are people too and I love most of the ones that I come across. Be generous with your time with Microsoft people too; don’t assume that, because they work for a massive company, that they aren’t under pressure or really busy. Trust me. They are. Don’t criticise without offering to help first.
  3. The area of expertise you think you bring to the MVP Program. I know we are all Data Platform these days, but it makes things simple.
  4. What would you like to do for the Program?
  5. Tell me more about you. Help me to find a thread that makes you unique, and stand out a little.

I know it seems a lot. I’m busy and i need help filling out the form, and I want to do a good job for you. If you can’t be bothered to give me these things, well, you can’t really expect me to spend hours collating all of this information for you! I can tweak it so it’s good English (for example) but you will help me a lot of if you can be your own voice. I don’t want to miss something out, because I forgot to put something in.

What you could do in return; say thanks to me, ask other people to nominate you too, and, most of all, nominate people yourself. Be generous with your time.

Help me to help you.
Image from page 311 of "Greek athletic sports and festivals" (1910)

11 thoughts on “5 Things I need you to do if you want me to nominate you for an MVP Award

  1. Thanks for putting together a really great post. Love your comments about:
    If I can inspire someone to do good things for the community, then that’s a good thing for me. In fact, leaders should leave a plan and a structure behind them in their trail; good leaders look at what they leave behind them, as well as looking far forward into the future.
    It’s great to have you as a MVP!

  2. What an awesome article! Gives me a great list of things to work on as I get to the next level.

    Thank you for all you do, Jen.

  3. I am absolutely willing to answer questions 1-5, the question is how do I send you the details? I have done alot of work outside of “work” but never with the intention of going for the MVP award, more driven by the desire to write/blog/develop, however I am curious as to what people would think of me.

    • Thanks John! It was good of you to get in touch. Truthfully, I get more from trying to help other people, than I do if I lived in a silo, or ’empired’ my knowledge to myself. It seems to me that it works both ways, although it means I have to ‘roll with the punches’ when I get things wrong. Having lived with myself all my life, I am humble enough to recognise that I do get things wrong, pretty much every day!

  4. Pingback: You Deserve to be an MVP | SQL RNNR

    • Thanks Jason. Yes, unfortunately I don’t always get the response I’m expecting when I ask people to list out their community activities for me. Occasionally, people are reluctant to list it out, and the expectation is that I am going to get their community contributions for them.
      I feel that, since I’ve committed time to that individual by answering their questions and giving advice and some mentoring, I don’t think it’s too much to ask people to list out their own activities.
      If they want to fill out the MVP nomination form, it is something that they are going to have to do anyway, and it is something that they may want to put on their blog or LinkedIn profile.
      It’s one reason I wrote this blog, actually; it’s not about ticking boxes. I’m happy to help people, but they need to help themselves a little, too. I want to do a great job for people and it’s very possible I might miss out key information, and I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request to make.

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