Waking Up MVP

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On Sunday, I joined the ranks of a very talented and passionate field of experts as a SharePoint Server MVP, and am very grateful to Microsoft, my team at Axceler, and the many members of the community for making this all possible.

It’s the influence of amazing people like Joel Oleson, Mike Watson, Bill Baer, Todd Baginski, Ben Curry, Ivan Sanders, Susan Lennon, Michael Lotter, Eric Harlan, Becky Isserman, Jason Himmelstein, Geoff Varosky, Mark Miller, Chris McNulty, Inna Gordin, Virgil Carroll, Christina Wheeler, Chris Beckett, Owen Allen, Fabian Williams, Jeff Shuey, and so many others that make this community so vibrant and exciting, and inspire me regularly to keep going, to keep doing what I do.

As some of you know, I had my first real experience with SharePoint back in 2005 when, as an independent consultant, I deployed WSS and attempted to get Project Server up and running at a customer site. While Project Server was problematic back in the day, SharePoint stuck (and is now widely deployed at the company) and got me interested enough to investigate opportunities working for Microsoft. Thanks to help from Joel Oleson,I found my first job at Microsoft, where we shared an office for a couple months before he wandered off to work on the product team.

It’s been an interesting ride at times, but very exciting to be a part of this space.

I have been thinking about what to write since Sunday. I thought about writing something outlining what an MVP means, what people can do to achieve it, yada yada. But that’s been done. However, there have been a few blog posts this week with people questioning the value of the MVP designation.

My position is simple, and aligns very closely with what internal Microsoft employees are told all the time: you own your career. You are responsible for getting value out of the MVP designation. It is not handed to you with a user’s manual. Microsoft has set up the framework, provides tools and access and recognition – but you have to do something with it.

I love the joke about the man who wanted to win the lottery, so he prayed every day that he would pick the winning numbers. Every day he prayed, and yet every day – nothing. Finally, he died and met St. Peter at the gates, and remarked “All I wanted was to win the lottery, just the once” to which St. peter replied “You never bought a lottery ticket.”

I hope to make the most of this. Thanks again, Microsoft.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and CMO of revealit.io, a blockchain-based video technology company.