Why do we need to “get out of Dodge” to be recognized?

24 May

I pen this posting from International Standards (ISO) meetings here in Niigata Japan (2 hours train ride outside of Tokyo) where I am part of the USA software engineering delegation to ISO standards this week.  It’s great to visit almost any Asian country where I experience the best of western and Asian culture — and I love it! The food, the scenery, the camaraderie among countries working together are all great!

Does this seem strange coming from a single-white-female visiting a country (Japan) long stereotyped as treating women as lesser than men?  Here’s what is interesting to me: when I travel abroad, and especially to Asia (whether it be Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, or India, so far), I am treated as the American expert I am (in other words on par with men) during the day, and then treated with high regard (and even called “American eye candy” at times) at the end of the workday.  No where else have I been given such direct respect for the books I’ve published, the tomes of articles I’ve written, and the volunteer and consulting hours I’ve contributed to the software and project management industry.  Certainly not in the U.S. or Canada!

I remember growing up when Bryan Adams, the popular rock entertainer was first starting out in Canada, and he had to work years to gain respect of his peers. It was only when he made it big here in the U.S. that he was accorded star status back at home!

I wonder why it is that so many great people who deserve respect and accolades for their years of effort and achievements have to go elsewhere before they gain 1/2 the same level of respect at home?

I haven’t any idea why this phenomenon exists or what drives it, but all I can say is that it sure revitalizes one’s energy, motivation, and drive for success when one is granted “royalty” status – even fleetingly – in another country.

So, if you feel frustrated or stagnated that your efforts–  in the RIGHT direction — are going unheeded (i.e., not yet gaining the financial or other success that you know you deserve), find support overseas.  From my experience, the rewards are refreshing, and even temporary recognition makes it all worthwhile.  Imagine that someone, somewhere outside of where you are, appreciates your work as valuable and adding value to your industry.  Just food for thought…

Wishing you all a prosperous and happy week.


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

Copyright Carol Dekkers 2010…

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