It's Thanksgiving week here in the US, and we Yanks are always looking for excuses to celebrate the holiday. We come up with things to be thankful for, and talk about it for days and days. So why not do the same for Salesforce, eh?
After all, we have our own little Salesforce world, and within it, there are movers and shakers, influencers and disruptors; they are the people that define our space and make it a better place. Without any further ado, these are the people that Salesforce admins should be thankful for, not just at Thanksgiving, but all year round. (And in no particular order.)
1. Salesforce Product Management, esp. Shawna Wolverton and Parker Harris
Where would we be without Salesforce itself? But more than that, what kind of company would Salesforce be if it didn't listen to its customers? It talks about being a customer company, and it's Parker and Shawna that comprise not only the public face of answering public requests, but then actually make them happen.
It would be one thing if SF talked to people often but didn't actually fulfill requests (as so many companies do) or if they provided requested features but did it entirely in an informational vacuum with no visibility. Parker and Shawna are responsible for making sure Salesforce communicates how it is handling requested features both currently and in the future, AND they manage the teams that actually make those changes happen.
2. Your Users
Ok bear with me here. I know your users can be... a pain. I know they can be challenging and demanding and all sorts of other diplomatic and, well, not-so-diplomatic words. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, obviously, if you didn't have users, you wouldn't have anyone to be an admin FOR, so there's that. But secondly and perhaps even more importantly, even the challenging users do you good, because they make you a better admin.
Their crazy requests force you to learn more about Salesforce. Their demanding timelines force you to learn to be more efficient. Their politics help you learn how to work and operate in a business environment. With the right attitude, even the most difficult users can make you a better admin and a better person.
Of course, it's likely you'll have at least one power user; you know who I mean, the users who get it, who love Salesforce and everything you do for them. Treasure these users; they are the ones who make your bad days good again.
3. Your Upper Management
Along the same lines, your upper management is valuable, though you may not always feel that way at the time. Like the users, without them, you wouldn't have an admin job, and their challenging requests can better your skills. But there's a step beyond these to consider.
Your Upper Management are the ones who are most likely to recognize your worth, especially if you do things for them. This can be a key element of admin-executive interaction; the more you do for them, the more they will support your efforts. And, well, if you are putting in the effort and not getting any support or recognition from your upper management, then I have a lovely little article by Admin Hero Brent Downey you should read.
4. Your Fellow Admins
If you work on a team of Admins, they are your best allies. You may not always feel like they're helping, or even your friend, but in the end, you're all in it together. Besides, if you have a team of people, it's likely your company NEEDS the amount of people it has to manage your Salesforce, and boy wouldn't you hate to have to do all that work by yourself.
At worst, they're fellow soldiers in the conflict of life. At best, they're a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, a shared brain to help you solve Salesforce puzzles, and they have your back when no one else does. If you haven't hugged your fellow admins today... well, you probably shouldn't. I mean there's a lot of nasty germs out this year and we shouldn't be spreading it around. But at the very least, be sure they know how much you appreciate them. Even if you don't always get along, the sentiment will go a long way towards the spirit of cooperation.
If you don't have a team of Admins, you still have the rest of the community! The Salesforce community is an incredible force with amazing people, and if you're not part of it, you're actually doing your career a disservice. Blogs, Success Groups, User Groups, and even Twitter and IRC are invaluable tools for bettering yourself as an Admin. It's easy to start if you're not already a part; you can find a local user group here, and you can check out the wonderful Success Groups here.
5. Steve Molis (aka SteveMo)
Out of all of the community, there is one member who stands out. There's a reason he is one of the most awarded MVPs in the crew. He has tens of thousands of answered questions on the Answers Community, and is recognized for developing and/or publicizing many standard practices and fixes in Salesforce.
If you ask a formula or report question on the Answers site, you're likely to get a response from him. What's more, he's an entertaining speaker who has taught many how to be better admins through his humor and antics. I can't say enough about SteveMo, and I am truly thankful he is here to make our Salesforce ecosystem what it is today.
BONUS: Peter Coffee
Because what would a Top 5 list be without a 6th entry, I ASK YOU.
Peter Coffee is one of the top strategists behind Salesforce, and while we may not see his hand directly, he has the ear of all of the most powerful people in the company, (not to mention in our industry) and he should have yours as well.
Any chance you have to hear him speak, you should take advantage of. Whether he's speaking on Salesforce's future, the state of wearable tech, or even the overall positioning and effects of technology in society, you should be listening. I know that I, personally, am thankful for every chance I have to hear his well-reasoned thoughts on any subject.