FCW Insider: Getting ready for the Fed 100
It's my favorite time of year again. On October 20, FCW will open nominations for the 2009 Federal 100 awards. Still I can't help but worry.
I've been involved with the program for 15 years, and I still take great pleasure in reading all the nominations we receive. I especially love reading about people I have never heard of doing work on projects we have never written about.
Of course, every year, some of the awards go to big names in the community. That is to be expected. The Fed 100 awards are intended to recognize individuals who have had a major impact in their agencies or in the federal IT community. Some people are in a better position than others to make a difference, and they tend to get into those positions because they have a knack for making things happen.
But every year we hear about people who do amazing work without garnering headlines. Typically, these are not individuals who make the rounds on the D.C. cocktail circuit or, for that matter, who show up in the pages of FCW.
They make a difference by applying their energy and expertise to perplexing problems. Or they work behind the scenes to ensure their agencies don't make headlines for the wrong reasons: missed deadlines, mismanaged projects or technological or policy miscues.
Every year, though, I worry about the large number of equally deserving individuals whom we never hear about.
That was the case in 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Initially, we received some nominations related to emergency response and relief efforts, but not nearly enough, given the magnitude of the disaster and response. So I made a personal appeal to officials at the Coast Guard, Homeland Security and other agencies, asking them to ask around for unsung heroes. Sure enough, I received another dozen nominations, many of whom were selected (read our roundup of those winners).
Hurricane Katrina was certainly a unique event, but I know that every year has its unsung heroes. So here is my plea: When it comes time to make those nominations, go ahead and submit the obvious ones, but don't stop there. Dig a little deeper in your organization, ask your colleagues for recommendations and earn someone an unexpected but well-deserved award.
We'll all feel better for it.
Posted by John Stein Monroe on Oct 09, 2008 at 12:17 PM