Professionally, How do you measure your relevance? Is it a series of accomplishments or perhaps money, restrictive stock options, position, power, or influence. If you said yes, then I would argue that you are actually measuring your success and not your relevance to an organization.
I am fortunate to have been the recipient of awards and accolades both from clients and manufacturers. And while it is a great feeling of accomplishment, the kudos quickly fade.
There is a saying in Sales; you are only as good as your last transaction. The sad truth is that even though most mature VARs all say they are engineering focus or engineering driven; their actions tell a different story. The majority of the time it’s the sales engineers who are the only ones being taken for a ride.
Your probably wondering why I would make such a bold statement, it ultimately goes back to relevance. Engineers are the heart of a VAR or Integrator but they are too often treated like the cartoon Dilbert. Don’t get me wrong they are not mistreated or marginalized, they are given just enough kudos to keep them content and yes some of them are even promoted. But is that a token of appreciation or an acknowledgment of time served? Ultimately, does it even really matter. The fact remains that for most of my career I was content with the status quo and I suspect a lot of engineers feel the same. Silent heroes, who show up, climb mountains, exceed expectations and get the job done without complaint. But should it be a thankless job?
This week I was honored by executive management team, not for any single accomplishment but for the recognition of my relevance to EvoTek and my contribution to our success. I was presented with Luminor 1950 – Panerai. It was a profoundly different experience than my previous awards which only recognized my achievements. I was treated to an experience mostly reserved for business leaders and it was both awesome and humbling at the same time.
Coincidentally Google celebrated the 100th birthday of Claude Shannon this Saturday. Mr Shannon is the perfect example of the silent hero. He literally invented the “Bit”. Many consider him the father of Digital communication. A man who’s contributions will impact our lives in more ways than we will ever know. If engineers are truly the heart of technology companies then we need to change how we appreciate and ultimately recognize our digital heroes, the guys who are truly relevant.