Quick: Who was the second man on the moon? Who reached the summit of Mount Everest first? Was it Sir Edmund Hillary or Tenzing Norgay?
Why are we so obsessed with ‘first’ ‘greatest’ ‘biggest’ ?
In the case of the first man on the moon. What about all those hard working people back on earth, toiling away at Mission Control? The talented researchers and scientists who created the rockets to take man to the moon? And the moon lander itself?
In the case of Everest. What about the team of Sherpas who made it possible for Hillary and Norgay to reach the top? For the uninitiated, Sherpas are brave locals in Nepal and the surrounding regions who carry loads to base camps during mountaineering expeditions. They work really hard and carry food, supplies, oxygen tanks, equipment etc. Yet it is the summiteer(s) who get all the publicity.
Event management involves many aspects that need to be handled carefully by teams of people: conference planning, delegate sales, marketing, sales & sponsorship, exhibition, logistics, venue, food & beverages, sound & lighting etc. These people all work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event a success.
But you want to know who are the big speakers and sponsors at the conference.
All those porters on Mount Everest really didn’t mind when photos of Sir Hillary and Norgay appeared on the front pages of newspapers. But they were proud to be part of the first successful Everest expedition. They made it happen — if it wasn’t for them, there would be no glory for the summiteers.
In India, we hear about great progress made in different government programs like Aadhaar and UPI. The government agencies (NPCI, RBI etc) are the stars who take all the credit. But did you know that there are highly talented people outside government who did the actual cutting-edge work? These unsung heroes have volunteered their services for their country. Many of them work for free.
Never mind if you aren’t getting the credit for the great innovation or product your company produces. Consider claiming the patent, though! Just believe that it happened because of you and your team.
Years from now, no one will remember that you did it. Chances are your boss or company won’t acknowledge your contribution.
So are you the Sherpa or mission control specialist that works quietly to make it possible?
Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org