Recognition & Lists – Do they matter?

Today, on this Monday, it took four minutes to take a deep breath, brush teeth, grab the java, and immerse into the Internet. The email on top of the list was entitled, “25 Of The Smartest Women On Twitter | Fast Company | Business + Innovation”.

This said:

Nilofer,

Congratulations. Of course, like any list, I scrolled down looking for the ONE who had better be on there. You made it so there is some hope for these reviewers.

Best regards,

Andy (Roth)

What a lovely note to get from a Yes & Know community member! And then on twitter, I learned that I am recognized as one the top Twitter sharers for Innovation.

Well, then. That makes for a lovely start to any day, especially on a Monday when I ofttimes lack clarity of purpose, as I defuzz from family and personal time.

As I walked the kiddo to school, I reflected about lists, public recognition, and such. At formal workplaces, recognition is a way of saying, “we appreciate you” and it serves to signal the valued cultural norms. People often quote recognition as mattering more than money for what gives them work satisfaction. Now that nearly 50% of the US workforce is freelance or solo-preneurs, public lists seem to be a parallel way of signaling “keep doing what you are doing, we notice you”.

At age 45, I know this one truth: I cannot pursue ideas alone. Nor can I to change the status-quo-thinking unless I engage others, even those I disagree with — whose constructs I am actively challenging. TheLi.st founder and entrepreneur Rachel Sklar has some great words for this: “visibility begets access, begets opportunity.” When any of us (but especially those groups who are often less seen) are recognized alongside the group they are striving to influence, they gain leverage to engage the conversations that need to happen.

That’s why I am hoping to be recognized by the Thinkers 50 (related to Financial Times). It’s an award to recognize the top 50 thinkers — those creating new ideas to advance the field — of the day. Nomination happened already: http://www.thinkers50.com/biographies/159) …So if you feel like it, it’s time to “inundate” the ballot box.  Vote here: http://www.thinkers50.com/vote. Voting ends September 1. And, Thank You. As I am strive to define / illustrate / illuminate what creates value and advantage in this modern era, you encourage me to keep-a-going. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Who knows? Maybe one day this page will look more inclusive to 51% of the population?

Act: Find one person you value for doing the work they are doing, and recognize them. This could be your husband for dealing with back to school mayhem, or your wife for handling the finances with calm. Maybe that co-worker who remembers that “we” is bigger than “me” and consistently does the right thing even without getting “all” the credit. Or find that person/writer/thinker who inspires your thinking; I would pick Tom Peters, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter whose books are all dog eared from years of reference.

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