We recently produced a large eagle award for a customer a couple of weeks ago. The customer, a sales manager for a major pharmaceutical company, was giving the award to a Vietnam Vet within his company who was a sales rep in one of his sales districts. The award was a belated 30 year old “Thank You” to the sales rep for overcoming his life experiences in putting his life on the line for our country in Viet Nam to achieve “Everyday Greatness” within his life and his job. The vet had come home from completing his tour of duty to scorn and ridicule and worked to overcome his internal struggles in order to be a productive member of our society.
We asked our customer how the presentation went and he shared his experience of the awards presentation as follows: To quote “Actually I wanted to share a story with you personally…
…I had dinner with the Vietnam Vet several days before his surprise presentation. He shared some things with me that could scar you for life. Deep stuff. I made the presentation last Thursday following all of the other Awards. The Eagle award was huge or should I say majestic! I shared some perspectives and then told some of Mike’s story. By the time I called his name he was weeping and so was I. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as folks gave him a standing ovation. Several folks said it was the most special thing they had ever witnessed at a meeting. It was an honor to be able to present it.” Steve
It brought a tear to my eye and I thought it was a validation for doing what we do – providing recognition to those people in everyday life that define and achieve “Everyday Greatness”. Like a song from ones past that “brings you back” to and evokes the emotion of the time and place where you heard it, an award presentation has a similar effect on your emotions. It brings to the surface the emotions of all the hard work, all the time spent, all the dedication, focus, and personal sacrifice needed to bring you to that point of recognition. Not that one necessarily does what one does for the recognition, but the recognition is a validation of what one has done, that has been appreciated by others. Recognition is very special to those who receive it, whether it is your first little league trophy or an eagle award given years after the accomplishments at a pharmaceutical awards banquet.