It is the annual review and reward season. For me this time is personal. As I look through the names and lists of recommendations I find myself trying to visualize who each individual is. In a review of a global organization it isn’t always easy; in fact I fail most of the time. Yet there are faces that come through, some who are no longer with the company, that give me reason to pause.
I wish you could have met them. Their smiles are always engaging. Their laugh brings hope and cheer even when everything around you screams otherwise. Their work is a model for others around them to follow. And they do! The team performs in a way that brings out the overused word “excellence”. There is a small thing in this world that presents a problem. There isn’t anything that he or she is doing that others consider as “major” or “exceptional”. It is almost strange how being very good at what you do is something that we take for granted.
A question was posed yesterday by another facing the dilemma. “Do I look like I have “mug” written all over my face?” The natural questions that relate to this are more of a clich? than a serious question. “Do you think I am a sucker?” “Do you think I am that stupid?”
The answer to every question is always a resounding “no”! Yet the fact is that companies reward the person who stands out, even if they haven’t taken risks or contributed in ways that were foundational to the larger organizations success. When I look at the evidence around me the answer that comes back is quite weak; “probably”.
Perhaps that is the nature of unsung heroes. Their work allows others to reach new heights. Their sacrifice provides the steps for others to achieve recognized greatness. Their tradition comes from a model who “was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn't even notice.” (John 1.10) In each case, those immediately involved may not notice, God does.