I really didn’t want to end my day without a posting a tribute to my good friend Jen Stirrup (blog|twitter) who has just been recognised by Microsoft by their MVP Award program and become a Most Valuable Professional. For those of you who don’t yet know what the program is all about …where have you been for the last 15 years or so! Basically the program is a way in which Microsoft awards professionals who are experts in their field and encourages them to grow even further through excellent chains of communication to fellow like minded professionals and provides access to various materials and information that is not disclosed elsewhere. In short it’s a good thing right?!
I’m not going to go into the whole “how to I become an MVP?” discussion because it has been done to death -but feel free to Google this question if you can’t help yourself. Let me just say that if you *want* to become an MVP simply to obtain those three letters to your name then you are possibly not MVP material anyway. If that is the case you should give up trying and concentrate on making yourself the best technically literate person you can possibly become not forgetting to ensure you also concentrate on your social self -for if you find it hard to communicate your technical brilliance to help others then your worth will be limited to me.
Enough of this blathering and back to the subject of this post …DataViz Queen Jen Stirrup; Commander of the Pie Chart, Master of the Spark-line and Defender of the Data Warehouse. Yes there is nothing this Woman cannot do and nothing that she isn’t capable of conquering. Myself and Jen have had some very similar experiences and challenges over the last six to twelve months and this has only helped to serve in strengthening a really good friendship and we both actively try an encourage and advise each other where we can (as we both try to do also to others). It is proof positive that real power lies in the collective or as Napoleon Hill would call the “Master Mind“. I try and live my life to the idea that through others we can truly become great. Obviously not everyone is receptive or responsive to this principle but I try as hard as I possibly can, and when I fail, accept that the failing could possibly have been avoided if I had applied myself in a different way.
I have watched Jen’s drive and effort over the last 12 months in what can only be described as shear amazement because her appetite for knowledge and drive for success is simply remarkable and unbelievable. She is also one of the most approachable and warm people you can meet and will go out of her way to make sure that she delivers. Whenever I have found myself feeling tired from the over exertions of study, writing, work, speaking or travelling I will simply look at her and realise that she has usually done twice as much as me carrying the burden of twice as much responsibility, for her “day job” is not the end of her working day.
I spent this morning chewing my nails to the bone whilst waiting for her to receive the “dreaded” rejection email or the most excellent acceptance. When the news finally came it was a shear relief and I cannot stress how much it is deserved.
I aspire to be like Jen and so should you; not for any title, not for any accolades but because you owe it to yourself to become the person you always thought you could be. It takes a lot of effort, tears and difficulties along the way but if you can bear them, you too COULD become a Most Valuable Person.
You are an inspiration and we love you Jen. Congratulations and enjoy!