Are Awards Worth Anything?

There are lots of awards given each year to business leaders and their companies here in DFW. The photo above is Shin Takahashi of NEC Corporation of America receiving the Dallas Regional Chamber Chairmans Award. Here are a few other you may know of:

These are but a fraction of the awards given out to honor those who are leading with excellence. Skeptics argue that these awards are nothing but a PR stunt. I understand why they might feel this way when we have an award for practically everything these days, and many can seem self-serving and a bit narcissistic in nature. (By the way, I’ve won “Best Forum Leader in DFW” for the last 3 years in a row!*)

Let me clear the air by sharing what I’ve seen first-hand in the lives of our Renaissance Executive Forum members and their companies. I’ll share about my group members because I am proud of them, they are too humble to do it for themselves, and I want this to be an encouragement to you and your team.

It’s Not Easy to Win an Award

It takes a lot of time and effort just to be considered for these awards but competing has more value than the chance to place a shiny trophy in the lobby.

You are required to fill out a ton of paperwork, meet with people, be interviewed and reviewed by others, and there are some very fine leaders and amazing companies you will compete within the DFW area. The competition is steep and your team is required to prove why your nomination is valid. 

Ben Randolph is the Founder of Agency Entourage. On May 7th of this year, I attended two award ceremonies in one day with Ben and his team. They won the Grater Dallas Business Ethics Awards and nominated in FIVE categories in the DFW American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year Awards. Although they did not take home all the awards that day, you could see the pride they took from being recognized for the way they lead and the results of their hard work.

Looking in the Mirror can Tell a lot

You have to give reasons WHY you should be chosen as the best. This requires you look at your RESULTS, not just the efforts. It’s not just a popularity contest, you have to provide numbers and examples that will be verified by others. 

For example, the process of submitting documents to the GDBEA in order to be seen as a company that models ethical behavior requires a lot of self-examination. This can be very good for the team to look at what we are doing and ask if we are living the way we want to be known as? It’s a great way to validate with your team, the purpose and passion you have in building a culture you are proud of. In the process, it helps us find areas to improve and make the changes before our customers tell us we need to.

This can also be a wake-up call for us leaders to know how our team really sees our company and our leadership. If you were nominated for the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work would your employees vote for you? If you are not sure, it’s time to rally the troops and listen to what they think about your company and your leadership.

Raise the Bar for Others

We all need someone that shows us it can be done. It’s hard enough just to run your business, but running it in such a way that your customers and your team feel appreciated and respected takes much more effort. The example you set gives others hope that it can be done.

An example of this is the Merv Tarde Values in Leadership Circle. The DFW Technology Prayer Breakfast will recognize great leaders in the Technology field that follow in the footsteps of Merv Tarde of Interstate Batteries. Merv lost his battle with cancer last year but was an example of Servant Leadership and a desire to honor GOD at work. His life gave us the confidence to live boldly and serve passionately. 

Let me wrap this up by bragging about the members of our CEO Peer Advisory Groups. Besides building a company and succeeding beyond the challenges they faced, these leaders model excellence (not perfection) in what they’ve done. Let me share just a couple of examples to brag about these great leaders:

There are many more I could mention and I hope this will encourage you to press on toward excellence in how you lead your company, and the next time you hear a local DFW organization asking for nominations, toss your hat in the ring and see what you’re made of.

Robert Hunt

* Best Forum Leader in DFW is an award I give myself each year so if you want to attend my next awards ceremony in my back yard this fall, just let me know and I’ll save you a seat.

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