Sunday, February 28, 2010

Competitors without medals

Just finished watching the closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Having a few hours to kill at the airport I am still and constantly thinking about the past two weeks at work and mainly focusing on the one coming, can’t help but remember similar days in the past.

I keep wondering about all kind of teammates, past and present, which I have known have been in comparable situations not just once or twice. All of them coming through and fulfilling all expectations and even exceeding those sometimes.

What else can we do? Athletes prepare for many hours every week in pursue of a triumph, a record, a medal, the exhilaration, excitement, fame perhaps, and even a secured future for them and their families. The rest of us have to work; some of us went through sports competitions when younger, but either we were not cut for the chosen sports or we made a bad selection, or there was simply no infrastructure in place to support our dreams.

Now we face the daily competitions in the business world. Who gets the medals here?

Some people have no idea what kind of preparation one has to go through to deliver the results bosses, other departments, or clients are expecting. Sometimes such efforts, long hours, past memory recalling, quick thinking, resourcefulness and willingness are just taken for granted.

For athletes that fail to make it to the podium, they simply don’t get a medal but are in no way punished in any way: life goes on as usual. However if we fail we put our job on the line or lose the client; with a very slim chance of gaining it back. Ever.

I respect every profession, and know that there are some specific ones in which a mistake can result in injury and fatality, a recession, or worse.
Yet I have to focus on the IT field, one of the most fascinating yet frustrating of all; I salute all of you administrators, programmers, technicians, engineers and consultants whose performance is deserving of at least a moment at the podium.

You are really the unsung heroes of many enterprises.

“Me sirve tu batalla, sin medalla.” (I used your battle without a medal) –Mario Benedetti

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