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.