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Joe Mayo

There’s an ongoing discussion in the community about various aspects of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) awards and this is a quick contribution I’ll make to share a few thoughts.  Recent events in this discussion include MVPs who either weren’t re-awarded and/or declined their award.  There are alignments and differences between their perspectives and mine, particularly in the areas of expectations and values.  This is one of my contributions to that on-going discussion.

In it’s simplest form, the MVP program is designed to recognize people who have contributed to the community.  Microsoft has provided their definition of an MVP, which I find to be a humbling experience.  Some people actively regard themselves as “experts” in their field and live the role through their behavior and words.  I’ve met people who describe themselves as “elite” and, regardless of what you think of a person who would make such a declaration, indeed they are often quite capable and their accomplishments are impressive.  Perhaps definition, expectation, and reality don’t always align, but no system is perfect and people will often fail to agree on the virtues of that system. My opinion of the MVP award system might not be unique, but there will be people who disagree.

I prefer to subscribe to a school of thought that recognizes the “award” part of the system.  Essentially, I did things that Microsoft decides as worthy of recognition.  Therefore, they’ve shown appreciation for my efforts by giving me MVP awards.  While humbled at the association with a group of respected professionals, I’m mostly grateful for the award and thankful for the recognition.  In the United States, we have a common saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”, which means that you shouldn’t be ungrateful when someone gives you a gift.  So, I don’t question Microsoft’s motivations, compare whether someone else is more or less deserving, or complain about the quality of the gift.  Sometimes it’s good to display grace and thankfulness.

@JoeMayo

Posted on Thursday, January 5, 2012 4:06 PM | Back to top

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